His Eminence Archbishop '''Yesehaq (Mandefro) of the Western Hemisphere''', also '''Abuna Yesehaq''' or '''Father Isaac''' was a leader of the [[Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church]] in the Western Hemisphere, who split his congregations in the Americas from the mother church in Addis Ababa during the political upheaval in Ethiopia in the early 1990's. He was
born '''Laike Maryam Mandefro'' ' in 1933 in [ [w: Adwa|Adwa]], Ethiopia and died on December 29, 2005 in Newark, New Jersey.
Archbishop Yesehaq was also the [[hierarch]] who [[Baptism|baptized]] Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician [[w:Bob Marley|Bob Marley]] (†1981) into the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Kingston, Jamaica, on [[November 4]], 1980.<ref>''"[http://www.jamaicans.com/culture/rasta/interview_AbundaYesehaq.shtml Interviews with Abunda Yesehaq who Baptised Bob Marley]".'' Jamaicans.com. May 21, 2003.</ref><ref>''"[http://www.jamaicans.com/culture/rasta/ethiopian_church.shtml The Ethiopian Orthodox Church & Bob Marley's Baptism And The Church]".'' Jamaicans.com. May 21, 2003.</ref>
This however did not disturb those Rastas who viewed Christ and Haile Selassie as one and the same, and readily underwent baptism at the hands of this man who had been sent from Ethiopia by their living God. Only after the Marxist [[w:Derg|Derg]] Revolution that toppled Haile Selassie (on September 12, 1974) and appointed their own Patriarch over the Church, did the requirement become enforced for prospective baptisees in Jamaica to renounce his divinity and cut their dreadlocks.
Abba Mandefro also founded many Oriental Orthodox Churches throughout the Caribbean and elsewhere, and in 1979 he received the title ''"Archbishop Yesehaq of the Western Hemisphere and South Africa"''.<ref name="NY TIMES"/> He was credited with forming more than 70 congregations, with more than 300,000 members,
with many in the Caribbean. <ref name="NY TIMES"/>
===Holy Synod in Exile of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church===