One Priest, Four Deacons Ordained during Commencement Week: View Photos

14–21 May 2011 • By Deborah (Malacky) Belonick

“I thank God that so many people have been called to the diaconate and priesthood, and especially, that so many have responded to that call,” said His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, primate of Orthodox Church in America (OCA), who ordained five seminarians to Holy Orders of the Priesthood and Diaconate during Commencement week here at St. Vladimir’s, as well as elevating three students to the Sub-diaconate and tonsuring two more to the rank of Reader.(from left) Subdeacons David Bozeman, Chandler Poling, and Monk Kilian; Readers Andrew Smith and Andrew Boyd.(from left) Subdeacons David Bozeman, Chandler Poling, and Monk Kilian; Readers Andrew Smith and Andrew Boyd.

“Our ministry is not ‘our ministry,’ ” commented His Beatitude after one of the ordinations, “it is Christ’s diaconate, priesthood, and episcopacy, of which we become partakers by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Our whole spiritual life is one of surrender, giving up our own will in order to do the will of God.”

Four seminarians were ordained to the diaconate, and one was ordained to the priesthood. A summary of their varied life experiences but common calling to ministry, below, illustrates the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit...” (Jn 15:15-17).

Dn. David Wooten • View photo gallery

Educational and Professional Background: B.A. English Education/Spanish from Oral Roberts University • 7 years experience teaching high school Spanish

Student status: 2nd-year student, M.Div. program

Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America (OCA)

Ordination Holy Diaconate: 14 May 2011, St. Sergius Chapel, OCA Chancery, Syosset, New York, by His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA)

Ordination Holy Priesthood: Currently a deacon 

Current church service: Student service assignment is cleaning Three Hierarchs Chapel, St. Vladimir’s Seminary, where he also is attached as a deacon

Biographical note: Deacon David is married with three children and hails from Fort Worth, Texas. In the summers after his first and second years at St. Vladimir’s, he was blessed to be able to return to a familiar activity: teaching reading development in the New York area. The Wooten family members—Dn. David, Mat. Audra, Hope Elizabeth, Katherine Ruth, and Laura Louise—are looking forward to a third year spent with their dear friends at St. Vlad's. Upon graduation, the Wootens plan to return to the Diocese of the South and are particularly interested in establishing Orthodox communities in Spanish-speaking areas. 

Dn. Timothy Yates • View photo gallery

Educational and Professional Background: B.S. Biology, Harding University 1993; M.A.R. Missions, Harding Graduate School of Religion 1997 • Teacher, Brentwood Christian School in Austin, TX 1997–2001 • Office Manager, Sooner Construction Equipment 2001–2009.

Student status: 2nd-year student, M.Div. program

Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America (OCA)

Ordination Holy Diaconate: 18 May 2011, Three Hierarchs Chapel, St. Vladimir's Seminary, Yonkers, New York, by His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA)

Ordination Holy Priesthood: Currently a deacon 

Current church service: Residential Adviser for married-student apartments on campus, and Clinical Pastoral Education intern at St. John's Hospital, Yonkers, NY

Biographical note: Deacon Timothy and his wife, Tamara, moved to St. Vladimir's in 2009 from Oklahoma, with their children Walker, Madalene, and Michael. At the end of their first year of studies, they were blessed with another little girl, Xenia. This summer Dn. Timothy is participating in a 3-week intensive study of the Church's mission efforts in Albania, which will provide a living case study of Orthodox mission principles, and is a welcome complement to the training at St Vladimir's. After visiting family and their home parish during the rest of the summer, the Yates family will begin the last year of training at St. Vladimir's, and will make final preparations to enter parish ministry in 2012.

Father John Cox • View photo gallery

Educational and Professional Background: B.A. History, Asbury University Musician • Public Relations Representative at the Knoxville Museum of Art • Property Manager at Quiet Reflections Retreat

Student status: 3rd-year student, M.Div. program, Class of 2011

Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America (OCA)

Ordination Holy Diaconate: 13 March 2010, Three Hierarchs Chapel, St. Vladimir’s Seminary, Yonkers, New York, by His Eminence Seraphim, Archbishop of Ottawa and Canada, Orthodox Church in America (OCA)

Ordination Holy Priesthood: 21 May 2011, Three Hierarchs Chapel, St. Vladimir’s Seminary, Yonkers, New York, by His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA)

Current church service: Seminarian parish placement at Holy Trinity Church, East Meadow, New York, The Rev. Martin Kraus, Rector

Biographical note: Deacon John is married with two children. In the summer between his second and third years at St. Vladimir’s he was blessed with the opportunity to serve an internship with Fr. Marcus Burch and the wonderful people at St. John of the Ladder in Greenville, South Carolina, in order to gain parish experience in his home diocese. The Cox family members—Fr. John, Mat. Sunny, John Basil, and Nicholas—are being assigned to Dormition of the Theotokos Orthodox Church in Norfolk, Virginia following graduation and look forward to serving the Church in their home Diocese of the South.

Dn. Aaron Oliver • View photo gallery

Educational and Professional Background: BA in Religion, History/Political Science from Rutgers University (Rutgers College) • Served in Operation Enduring Freedom from 2004–2005 with the New Jersey Army National Guard

Student status: 3rd-year student, M.Div. program, Class of 2011

Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America (OCA)

Ordination Holy Diaconate: 21 May 2011, Three Hierarchs Chapel, St. Vladimir's Seminary, Yonkers, New York, by His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA)

Ordination Holy Priesthood: Currently a deacon 

Current church service: Student parish placement at Holy Transfiguration Church in New Haven, Connecticut, The Very Rev. Michael Westerberg, Rector; after graduation, attached to St. Paul the Apostle Church in Las Vegas, Nevada in the Diocese of the West. 

Biographical note: Dn. Aaron served as Student Council President and an ISD (Inter-Seminary Dialogue) Coordinator while at the seminary. He is a Chaplain Candidate, 1st Lieutenant in the Nevada Army National Guard, and plans to continue his service both in the Church and in the armed forces.

Dn. David Edward Lee Bozeman • View photo gallery

Educational and Professional Background: B.A. English from Piedmont College (Demorest, Georgia) • Teacher, Access Control Sales, Musician, Mortgage Loan Officer

Student status: 2nd-year student, M.Div. program  

Jurisdiction:   Orthodox Church in America (OCA)  

Ordination Holy Diaconate: 22 May 2011, Three Hierarchs Chapel, St. Vladimir's Seminary, Yonkers, New York, by His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA)  

Ordination Holy Priesthood: Currently a deacon  

Current church service: Assistant Sacristan at Three Hierarchs Chapel

Biographical note: Lee Bozeman has been married to Amy for 17 years; the couple has two children. The Bozemans, most recently of Kansas City, Missouri before coming to St. Vladimir's, have resided in a number of states throughout the eastern United States. Apart from the variety of careers, Lee is also a musician, having released records on a myriad of labels, both with the band “Luxury,” as well as solo material. His wife, Amy, a labor and delivery nurse in Greenwich, Connecticut, teaches childbirth education classes and is a freelance writer. The Bozemans are looking forward to their third year at St. Vladimir's Seminary and their future opportunities in service to the Church.