Established by the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco in 2013, the Theofanis Economidis Award is presented to a distinguished individual in honor of their leadership, inspirational vision, hard work, and humble service to Jesus Christ and His Holy Church.
The award is dedicated to its inaugural recipient, Theofanis Economidis, who faithfully served the Metropolis as a distinguished layperson and exemplary leader for over 35 years. The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco is pleased to honor Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco with the 2023 Theofanis Economidis Award, as he celebrates 19 years of visionary Archpastoral ministry on the west coast.
Metropolitan Gerasimos is the eighth hierarch serving as the spiritual leader of our region and has been overseeing the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco since his enthronement in April 2005. This region includes 68 parishes in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. There are also three thriving monastic communities in the Metropolis, located in Florence, AZ; Dunlap, CA; and Goldendale, WA. Metropolitan Gerasimos has served as a clergyman in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for over 43 years.
Born in Kalamata, Greece, Metropolitan Gerasimos came to the United States to further his education which includes a Bachelor’s degree from Hellenic College, a Master of Divinity degree from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and a Ph.D. in Counseling and School Psychology from Boston College. He was ordained to the Diaconate in 1979 and served as Archdeacon to Archbishop Iakovos for 17 years. During this time, he also held several administrative positions at Hellenic College Holy Cross including Dean of Students and Director of Admissions and Records, while also teaching courses in Psychology and Teleturgics. He was ordained Bishop of Krateia in 2001 and served as Chief Secretary of the Holy Eparchial Synod for the Archdiocese.
His work on the west coast has been marked by his proactive leadership, initiating programs and ministries such as Family Wellness, Clergy Continuing Education, Orthodox Parish Leadership, Missions and Evangelism, Greek Language and Culture, Stewardship, Church Music, Christian Education, and expanded Youth and Young Adult ministries, among others. The Metropolis is a thriving center of resources and programs designed to enrich the work of our parishes, support our clergy in their ministries, and provide for the spiritual, educational, and cultural enrichment of our faithful.
The Gala first began in 2013 and has been a source of funding support for the expansion of our Metropolis ministries. Previous recipients of the prestigious Theofanis Economidis Award include: Theofanis Economidis (2013), George and Judy Marcus (2014), Gerry and Jeannie Ranglas (2016), and Dr. James and Virginia Kallins (2018).