Dmitri (Royster) of Dallas

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His Eminence the Most Reverend Archbishop Dmitri (Royster) of Dallas and the South, Exarch of Mexico, is the ruling bishop of the OCA's Diocese of the South.

Archbishop Dmitri was born Robert Royster in 1923. As a teenager he lived in Teague, Texas (outside of Dallas), and was faithful to his conservative Baptist upbringing. But he, along with his sister, felt that there must be more to the Christian faith than his Protestant denomination was offering. After a period of inquiry and study, the two young teens were received, together, as Orthodox Christians, at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas. It was at this point that Robert adopted the name Dmitri (after St. Dmitri of Rostov).

Dmitri was drafted into the US Army in March, 1943, where he served as a Japanese interpreter at the rank of Second Lieutenant. After his military service, he completed his education and served as an instructor of Spanish at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, later becoming a professor of Spanish at SMU. His Eminence also taught at Tulane University in New Orleans for a brief period.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1954 and elected to the episcopate in 1969. After the death of the ruling bishop of the Albanian Archdiocese of the OCA in 1975, His Eminence was given charge of it. Later, Bishop Dmitri was charged with the development of the Diocese of the South, which at the time consisted of several missions.

With approximately 60 parishes and missions under his care (as of 2005), His Eminence shepherds one of the most vibrant dioceses of the Orthodox Church in America.

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