Bishop BASIL (Essey)
His Grace Bishop BASIL was consecrated to the Holy Episcopacy on May 31, 1992, by Metropolitan PHILIP (Saliba) of North America at St George Cathedral in Wichita, Kansas, where he had served as priest since July 1987. He served as an auxiliary bishop from 1992 to 2004, residing first at the Los Angeles Chancery and then moving to the Wichita Chancery. On December 14, 2004 he was enthroned as the Bishop of Wichita and Mid-America.
Bishop BASIL served as pastoral assistant at St. George Church in Detroit, Michigan from 1973 to 1975. From 1975 to 1986 he served as director of the Department of Youth Affairs with offices at the main chancery in Englewood, New Jersey. From 1980 to 1986 he also served as assistant pastor at St. Anthony Church in Bergenfield, New Jersey and as instructor of Contemporary Byzantine Chant at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary. In 1986 and 1987 he studied, taught, and researched at the St. John of Damascus Patriarchal Institute of Theology at the Balamand Monastery of the Dormition of the Holy Theotokos in Lebanon. His book, The Liturgikon: The Book of Divine Services for the Priest and Deacon, was published in 1989 by Antakya Press.
Bishop BASIL was born in Monessen, Pennsylvania on November 26, 1948 and baptized on April 17, 1949 at St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in Monessen. After attending public schools in Monessen, he received a B.A. in psychology in 1970 from California State University of Pennsylvania in California, Pennsylvania. In 1973, he graduated from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary in Crestwood, New York with a Master of Divinity.
In 1964, Bishop BASIL was tonsured a reader by Metropolitan ANTONY. He was ordained to the subdiaconate and diaconate by Metropolitan PHILIP on September 30, 1979. On January 27, 1980 he was ordained a priest by Metropolitan PHILIP and he was elevated Archimandrite on October 9, 1988, also by Metropolitan PHILIP.
Bishop BASIL’s namesday is January 1 (St. Basil the Great). He is a recognized expert on Orthodox Christian liturgics and has published in several magazines and journals.