Deacon Larry Soper ordained to the holy priesthood

Pradeep Hatcher

Alumnus Deacon Larry Soper (M.Div., ’19) has been ordained as a priest for the Serbian Orthodox Church's Eastern American Diocese. His Grace Bishop Irinej, a fellow SVOTS alumnus (’82), presided over the Divine Liturgy and ordination Sunday, July 7, 2019 at St. John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Church, Patterson, NJ.

The newly-ordained, now known as Fr. Lawrence (Lavrentia), enrolled at St. Vladimir’s Seminary in 2016 from St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Canton, OH. Prior to becoming a seminarian, he obtained a B.S. in General Studies from Charter Oak State College, New Britain, CT and an Associate of Arts from Kent State University, Kent, OH. Fr. Lawrence also worked for nearly ten years as house manager for the Interval Brotherhood Home in Akron, OH, which offers medical treatment and rehabilitation for drug and alcohol addiction.

“It was there that I discovered what living the gospel really means,” Fr. Lawrence said in 2016, shortly after joining the Seminary. “I had the privilege of serving those who struggled with addiction, mental health disorders, and poverty. I found that Christ dwells among the poor and disenfranchised, and it is our job to give Him comfort and rest.”

His passion for outreach ministry continued even during his years at seminary, and included a mission trip with fellow seminarians to Uganda in 2018.

Following his ordination, Fr. Lawrence has been assigned as priest at St. John the Baptist Serbian Church in Patterson.

The St. Vladimir’s Seminary community wishes Fr. Lawrence and Popadija Adrienne many years!