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Abp. Dmitri was born '''Robert Royster''' on [[November 2]], 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 [[Protestantism|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 in 1941. 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. Dmitri also taught at Tulane University in New Orleans for a brief period. During these early years as an Orthodox Christian, Dmitri was active in missionary work among Mexican-Americans in Texas.
During 1966, Fr. Dmitri attended [[St. Vladimir’s Seminary]] in New York while concurrently teaching Spanish at Fordham University. In 1969, [[Archimandrite]] Dmitri was elected to the episcopate. Then on [[June 22]], he was consecrated Bishop of Berkeley as vicar to Abp.[[ John (Shahovskoy) of San Francisco]]. The consecration of Bp. Dmitri was the first consecration of a convert to the episcopate in America. In 1970, Bp. Dmitri was assigned as Bishop of Washington, vicar to Metropolitan [[Ireney (Bekish) of New York|Ireney]]. On [[October 19]], 1971 Bp. Dmitri was elected Bishop of Hartford and New England while continuing as the Exarch of Mexico.