BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate unanimously elected Metropolitan Nikitas of Dardanelles as the new Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain, succeeding Archbishop Gregorios who retired as of Wednesday June 12, 2019.
Metropolitan Nikitas is the Director of the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute in Berkeley, California.
The newly elected Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain made his first statement to The National Herald stating that “with much surprise I learned about my election as Archbishop of Thyateira. I have no words to express my gratitude to His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the members of the Holy and Sacred Synod for their trust in my person. I pray to God to grant me illumination to do His Will. I also pray that all those things that I have learned in the Mission and also at the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute will help me to serve God and His Church as a good and humble shepherd of the People. I thank all the good people for their good wishes and love that they have shown to me all these years.”
Archbishop Nikitas was scheduled to depart on Wednesday June 12 to travel to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople for the Services of Lesser and Great Minima (Announcements) before Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the members of the Holy Synod.
It is reminded that the members of the Eparchial Synod of America with the exception of Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, under the presidency of former Archbishop Demetrios, had excluded Nikitas from the candidacy for Metropolitan of Chicago even after the official declaration of the Ecumenical Patriarchate that he was eligible to be among the candidates.
Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain is the son of Constantine and Kalliope Lulias. He was born on June 22, 1955 in Tampa, FL and raised in Tarpon Springs, FL with his brother John. His roots are from Krokos Kozanis and the island of Kalymnos.
A member of Savant, the University of Florida Honor Society, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree from the University in 1976. His Eminence attended Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and received his Masters’ of Divinity, with Honors, in 1980. He was a Rotary International Graduate Scholar from 1980-1981 and a Graduate Scholar, Ministry of the Exterior, Greece, from 1981-1982. He pursued graduate studies at the University of Thessaloniki, Greece until November 1982. He also studied the Russian language at the St. Petersburg Theological Seminary, St. Petersburg, Russia from late 1992 to mid-1993. His Eminence Nikitas' first assignment upon ordination was Associate Pastor at Sts. Constantine and Helen Cathedral in Merrillville, Indiana. He remained at the Cathedral until 1987 at which time he became the Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Chicago. During his tenure as Chancellor from 1987 to 1995, he was involved in numerous educational, community service, and interfaith activities, including teaching a course in Orthodox Christian Theology at Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois (1988 to 1991). In 1994 he was appointed Director of Development for International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and on July 1, 1995 he became Pastor of the St. Demetrios Orthodox Church of Chicago. He was consecrated a bishop and named Metropolitan of Hong Kong and South East Asia on December 14, 1996. That historic event took place in the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George the Great Martyr at the Phanar in Constantinople. He was enthroned as the first Metropolitan of Hong Kong and South East Asia (the Exarchates of China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore) on January 12, 1997 at the Cathedral of Saint Luke the Evangelist in Hong Kong.
In March of 2007, His Eminence Nikitas was appointed Director of the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute.