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On December 20, 2002, the Holy Synod of the Holy Patriarchate of Constantinoble elevated our Holy Diocese to become the Holy Metropolis of Atlanta and His Grace, Bishop Alexios of Atlanta, to His Eminence, Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta. This is his story:
He was born Anthimos Panagiotopoulos, on Christmas Day, Dececember 25, 1943, in Patras, Greece, to Spyridon and Angeliki Panagiotopoulos. He is the oldest of five brothers and two sisters. He was tonsured a monk at Vatopedion Monastery in 1963 and graduated from the Athonias Ecclesiastical Academy in 1964. In November 1965, he was ordained to the diaconate and served as archdeacon of the Metropolis of Patras until he entered the National Kapodistrian University School of Theology in Athens. While in Athens, he served as deacon at the churches of St. Panteleimon and St. Spyridon.
He was ordained to the priesthood on August 27, 1972, and assigned to St. Sophia Church in Patras, while living as a brother of the Gerokomion Monastery of the Virgin Mary. Following his graduation from the University of Athens School of Theology in 1973, he enrolled in the Boston University School of Theology and received his Doctor of Ministry degree in 1977. While at BU, he served as pastor of Dormition Church in Burlington, Vermont. He returned to Patras upon completion of his studies and served as Abbot of the Gerokomion Monastery. A year later, he was summoned back to the United States to serve as dean of Sts. Constantine and Helen Church in Brooklyn, New York, then was transferred to the Hellenic Orthodox Community in 1979.
The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate elevated the Very Rev. Anthimos to the episcopacy as Bishop of Troas on April 7, 1987. He assumed the name Alexios upon his consecration by Archbishop Iakovos on May 17, 1987. He was enthroned a month later at St. Demetrios Cathedral as the first Choroepiscopos for the Hellenic Community of Astoria. He was assigned the parishes in Queens, Long Island, southern Connecticut, and Upstate New York on January 1, 1989, and also was named director of the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria, NY.
Bishop Alexios served the Atlanta Diocese as Archepiscopal Vicar of the Atlanta Diocese from January 1, 1997, until his election and enthronement as Bishop of Atlanta on May 22, 1999.