OCF Growth Surges:First Full-time Executive Director in 30 years and Charlotte Area Chaplain Hired
- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 21, 2006
Orthodox Christian Fellowship
P.O. Box 300249
Boston, MA 02130
OCF Growth Surges:First Full-time Executive Director in 30 years and
Charlotte Area Chaplain Hired
Boston, MA - Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) continues its fantastic
growth as a vital ministry of the Orthodox Church with its recent full time
hiring of Rev. Fr. Kevin Scherer as the Executive Director of OCF and Mr.
John Stonestreet as full-time OCF Chaplain in Charlotte, North Carolina. Fr.
Scherer will be the first full-time Executive Director since the initial
establishment of Orthodox campus ministry over 30 years ago. The OCF Team of
four full-time staff are dedicated to the mission given to OCF from the
hierarchs to become the Church on the college campus- ensuring each student
has the opportunity to stay connected to the church.
OCF is a recent recipient of an Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment
Fund grant. OCF is honored to partner with Leadership 100 to serve Orthodoxy
by providing a transition for our young adults from college and
reintegrating them into our parishes. The grant enabled OCF to establish an
Executive Director position to lead the OCF ministry.
"There is nothing more critical to the future of our Orthodox faith in
America than to minister to our youth, especially as they are intellectually
and spiritually challenged and their values tested during their college
years," said George D. Behrakis, Chairman of Leadership 100. "Leadership 100
is proud to support such a needed and significant outreach program as the
Orthodox Christian Fellowship."
As well as maintaining the Boston office, Fr. Scherer will organize national
and local events, solicit grants and acquire funding, facilitate
communication between the National OCF Office, local chapters, and all OCF
chaplains. Additionally, Fr. Scherer will further develop and execute the
OCF's vision and mission with its Board of Directors.
Fr. Scherer comes to the OCF after having spent the previous four years at
St John's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Orinda, California. A 1990 graduate
from San Diego (CA.) Christian College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts
degree in Theology, Fr Scherer went on to receive a Master of Divinity
degree from Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, in 2002. Fr.
Kevin and his wife, Robin, are the parents of three children: Hannah, 10;
Julia, 6; and Clare, 4.
During his pastorate at St John's, Fr. Scherer established a national teen
program, Orthodox Youth Outreach. The purpose of the program is to encourage
youth to live out their faith through Christian service to others. Fr Kevin
hopes to bring some of the same ideas that are successful with Orthodox
Youth Outreach to his new position with the OCF.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of OCF, the Rev. Mark Leondis, spoke
of his excitement with these milestone achievements: "With Fr. Kevin now at
the helm of OCF, I am more hopeful than ever before about our ministry and
our ability to attain our goal of having the Orthodox Church present in the
faith-challenging environment of the college campus. Additionally, having
John present full-time on the campuses in the Charlotte area is another
watershed event as we begin to realistically put our resources where they
are needed to have the proper impact to stem the exodus of our young people
from the Church."
Mr. Stonestreet comes to the OCF as a result of a request made by the
Charlotte Orthodox community. The locally funded North Carolina OCF Chaplain
program serves as the model for other communities throughout North America.
A 2006 graduate from St Vladimir's Seminary, Mr. Stonestreet will minister
to students, concentrating mainly on three campuses: Duke University, North
Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina in Chapel
Hill. Although his immediate focus will be on these three campuses, Mr.
Stonestreet will coordinate regional events and visit surrounding schools as
his schedule permits. His presence should serve to significantly change the
Orthodox campus ministry environment in North Carolina.
Together, Fr Scherer and Mr. Stonestreet will join the current National OCF
team of Mr. Joseph J. Samra III, the Program Director; and the Program
Coordinator, Ms. Veronica Stavila. Mr. Samra's work will expand to include
development, while continuing to oversee all national programs. Ms. Stavila
will work with Mr. Samra to expand the national programs and will continue
to be the primary contact point between the national office and the local
"I am extremely excited to be a part of the OCF team," Fr. Scherer said. "To
help nurture and shape the future of the Orthodox Church on the North
American continent is unbelievably exciting. The OCF will continue to assist
in shaping future generations of Orthodox workers in Christ's vineyard."
OCF humbly asks each Orthodox Christian to continue to offer prayers and
support for this crucial and growing college ministry.
Orthodox Christian Fellowship is the official campus ministry program of the
Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA).
It is a Pan-Orthodox effort which is overseen by an Executive Committee and
assisted by a Student Advisory Board. Additional information on the all OCF
programs can be found on the OCF website at <http://www.ocf.net/>
www.ocf.net , or by calling toll-free at 800-919-1623.
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