HCHC was proud to welcome its alumnus, His Grace Bishop Athanasius of Kisumu and All Western Kenya, to campus for the first time since his enthronement, and serve with him on the Feast Day of the Removal of the Relics of St. Athanasius the Great on May 2.
His Grace Bishop Athanasius Akunda was born Amos Akunda in Kenya in 1971. He was the eldest of six children whose father is a theologian at St. Tikhon’s Theological Seminary. He became Orthodox at the age of eight after his parents converted to Orthodoxy. He attended the Patriarchal Seminary of Makarios III in Nairobi, Kenya, and graduated with a Diploma in Theology. He then received the Master of Divinity degree from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He earned a Doctor of Divinity degree from the International Institute of Church Management and a Doctor of Theology degree at the University of South Africa. He also completed a Diploma and Post Graduate Diploma in Education Management at the India Institute of Management, and a Certificate in teaching English as a foreign language at the Cambridge Institute of English Language in Boston. His Grace has taught African literature, Christian religious education, social education, and ethics at several high schools in Kenya. He held the position of Catechist in Western Kenya and Secretary for the office of the Archbishopric of Kenya.
His Grace was ordained as a deacon by His Eminence Archbishop Seraphim 1998 and as a priest in 2002, also by Archbishop Seraphim. He was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite by His Eminence Archbishop Damaskinos in 2010 on the feast day of St. Athanasius. He has served as the parish priest at two churches in South Africa: St. Seraphim’s in Soshanguve and St. Raphael, Irene and Nicholas in Yeoville, Johannesburg. He was also Dean and Lecturer at Petros VII Seminary. He was the parish priest at St. Nicholas of Japan from 2009 to 2015. Other positions he has held include director of missions from 2003 to 2008 and vicar in charge of missions since 2010.
His Grace has represented the Patriarchate of Alexandria at the World Council of Churches, and the All African Conference of Churches. He left St Nicholas in 2015 to serve at the Patriarchal Seminary of Makarios III. He was appointed by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Nairobi as the director of missions and lectures at St. Makarios Seminary in cultural anthropology, patrology, and liturgics. He was elevated to the episcopal throne of Kisumu and All Western Kenya on November 24, 2015.
HCHC is extremely proud of the career and service of His Grace Bishop Athanasius, and wishes him many happy, holy, and blessed years in Christ’s vineyard!