Parish Clergy

Rev. Fr. James (Jim) O. Berends, Presiding Priest

Voice: (585) 244-1976
Cell:  (616) 818-5347



Fr. James Owen Berends has been married to Presbytera Anne for over 35 years. They have two daughters, Caitlin and Melanie, who have both graduated from The University of the South (Sewanee) in Tennessee.

Since graduating from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, Fr. Jim has served parishes in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and most recently in Michigan. He was ordained to the diaconate on August 24, 2003 at Holy Trinity in Dallas, Texas by His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah; and to the priesthood on July 18, 2004 at Holy Trinity in Orlando, Florida by His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios. Fr. Jim has served on the Alumni Board at Hellenic College/Holy Cross, and for six years was Co-Coordinator for the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival for the Metropolis of Atlanta. In 2013, his parish hosted the Archdiocese SJCOF.

Prior to becoming Orthodox, he attended Wheaton College in Illinois, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. While there he played intercollegiate basketball. After a two-year gap, he then attended Dallas Theological Seminary, graduating with a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies.

In addition to his love of History (Colonial, the Civil War, Russian & Byzantine), the authors C.S. Lewis, T.S. Eliot, Flannery O’Connor and G.K. Chesterton are frequently referenced in both his writing and his homilies. Most frequently, however, the lyrics of Bob Dylan will be heard. All of these have had an influence on Fr. Jim’s journey to the Orthodox faith.

Other events in his journey were meetings with Archbishop Dimitri and Fr. Peter Gillquist of blessed memory, the reading of The Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware (also of blessed memory), the out-of-print book Eastern Orthodoxy by Ernst Benz and a Greek Festival tour in Dallas.

He has an avid lifelong interest in sports and has adopted the policy of “root, root, root for the home team.” Some time after college, he adopted hockey as his favorite sport. While dating Anne, a generous benefactor provided regular tickets to Philadelphia Flyers games to assist Fr. Jim in his efforts to procure her hand in marriage. It worked! But whether hockey had anything to do with it, you would have to ask her.