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.
In 1954, he was [[ordination|ordained]] to the [[priest]]hood within the [[
Metropolia|Orthodox Church in America]]. After his ordination Fr. Dmitri founded St. Seraphim Church in Dallas. He continued his missionary activities among the Mexican-Americans. In 1965, he was contacted by Bishop [[Jose (Cortes y Olmos) of Mexico City|Jose (Cortes y Olmos)]] of the Mexican National Church who with his flock had become interested in becoming Orthodox. Fr. and then Bp. Dmitri presented their situation to the [[Holy Synod]] of the Metropolia. After many visits and exchanges, Bp. Dmitri presented his report recommending acceptance of the Mexican group into the Orthodox Church. After consideration, in February 1972, the Holy Synod, now of the Orthodox Church in America, accepted the Mexican group with formation of an Exarchate in Mexico, with Bp. Dmitri as Exarch.
During 1966, Fr. Dmitri attended [[St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (Crestwood, New York)|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 [[Consecration of a bishop|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.