Fr. Gregory Edwards, Pelagia
and his family
The Rev. Fr. Dr. Gregory Edwards, Ph.D., was born in Virginia in 1978, and was raised Episcopalian. He undertook undergraduate studies at Brown University, where—under the tutelage of Prof. Susan Ashbrook Harvey, a renowned Syriac scholar and Orthodox convert—Fr. Gregory discovered Orthodoxy in 2002. After a year of catechism, he was received into the Orthodox Church.
He was married to Pelagia Copeland on August 17, 2003 at Holy Cross Antiochian Orthodox Church in Yakima, WA. His father-in-law, the Very Rev. Fr. Joseph Copeland, presided.
Immediately after the wedding, Fr. Gregory began post-graduate studies in early Christianity at Florida State University, which he completed in 2005.
Fr. Gregory and Pres. Pelagia both then joined AmeriCorps, the domestic version of the Peace Corps. They were both assigned to Spokane, WA, where Fr. Gregory coordinated local soup kitchens and Pres. Pelagia built homes at Habitat for Humanity. In their year in Spokane, they both assisted their brother-in-law, Fr. Michael Shanbour, in the local Antiochian Orthodox mission community, as chanters.
In 2006, one of the pre-eminent Orthodox New Testament scholars, Prof. Petros Vassiliadis, accepted Fr. Gregory as a doctoral candidate in the School of Theology of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. In the summer of 2006, the Edwards moved to Panorama, Thessaloniki and began language school at the university.
After passing the university language exam in 2007, Fr. Gregory officially began his doctoral work at the School of Theology. On December 16, 2007, Fr. Gregory was ordained a deacon and was received into the Holy Metropolis of Demetrias and Almyros (Volos, Greece).
On February 22, 2009, with the blessing of Metropolitan Anthimos of Thessaloniki and Metropolitan Ignatios of Volos, Fr. Gregory was ordained to the Holy Priesthood at St. George’s in Panorama, Thessaloniki.
On June 26, 2011, Fr. Gregory was made economos and pneumatikos [spiritual father] at St. George’s in Panorama, Thessaloniki.
On June 5, 2012, Fr. Gregory successfully defended his doctoral dissertation entitled “«Η Διακονία των αγίων» (Α’ Κορ. 16,15). Διακονία και Μαρτυρία κατά τον Απ. Παύλο και η Σύγχρονη Ορθόδοξη Χριστιανική Μαρτυρία στην Βόρεια Αμερική” [“‘The Service of the Saints (1Cor. 16:15): Service and Witness According to St. Paul and Contemporary Orthodox Christian Witness in North America”] and was awarded άριστα [summa cum laude].
After six years in Thessaloniki, Fr. Gregory was appointed proistameos [presiding priest] of the Church of the Holy Unmercenary Healers in Portaria, Volos, on July 31, 2012, where he and his family lived for the next four years.
In April 2014, Fr. Gregory was appointed Assistant Professor of Missiology for the D.Min. program at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Crestwood, NY.
In 2016, the Edwards returned to the United States after ten years in Greece. Fr. Gregory was appointed proistamenos [presiding priest] at St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church in New Port Richey, Florida on July 1, 2016. They have four children.