Bishop Basil was born '''William Essey''' in the southwestern Pennsylvania town of Monessen on [[November 26]], 1948. He is the only son and eldest of three children born of William and Genevieve Essey. He was baptized on [[April 17]], 1949, at St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in Monessen, and raised at St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church in Monessen.
His Grace received his primary and secondary education in the public schools of Monessen. In 1970 he received his B.A. in Psychology from California State University of Pennsylvania in California, Pennsylvania. He entered [[St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (Crestwood, New York)|St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary]] in Crestwood, New York, in 1970 and received his M.Div. in 1973. From 1973 until 1975 he served as pastoral assistant at St. George Church in Detroit, Michigan, and from 1975 until 1986 he served as director of the [[Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America|Archdiocese]]'s Department of Youth Affairs with offices at the main chancery of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America in Englewood, New Jersey. While working in that capacity, he served as assistant pastor at St. Anthony Church in Bergenfield, New Jersey, and instructor of Contemporary [[Byzantine Chant]] at St. Vladimir's Seminary from 1980 until 1986. During 1986 and 1987 he resided at the [[St. John of Damascus Patriarchal Institute of Theology (Tripoli, Lebanon)]] at the [[Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand|
[Balamand Monastery of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos]] in the al-Koura region of north Lebanon where he studied, taught and did research and translations for ''The Liturgikon: The Book of Divine Services for the Priest and Deacon'', which was published by the Archdiocese's [[Antakya Press]] in 1989 (reprinted in 1994).
[[Image:Basil Essey2.jpg|left|Bishop Basil]]