Clergy and Staff

Fr. John Salem

Parish Priest

Fr. John was born and raised in New Kensington, PA and was reared in Orthodoxy from birth at St. George in his hometown. He received his B.S. in Rehabilitation Education from Pennsylvania State University in 1989; Master of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA in 1993. After graduation from Holy Cross, Fr. John spent the following year at St. John of Damascus Theological Academy at Balamand, Lebanon studying Byzantine Music and the formal Arabic Language. Upon return from Lebanon he served as Youth Director of St. Elijah from August of 1994 to August of 1998. On May 23, 1998 Fr. John was wed to Valerie Homsey (a daughter of St. Elijah Church) in Oklahoma City and have been blessed with two wonderful children.

Fr. John was ordained to the Holy Diaconate on June 14, 1998 at St. Elijah by the hand of His Grace, Bishop BASIL and ordained to the Holy Priesthood on July 12, 1998 by the hand of His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP at St. George Church in New Kensington, PA. Fr. John has served as Associate Pastor of St. Nicholas Church in San Francisco, CA from 1998-1999 and Pastor of St. George Church in Houston, TX from 2000-2011 until reassignment back to St. Elijah on August 16, 2011. 

Fr. Elias Khouri

Assistant Priest

Fr. Elias was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. His family moved to Los Angeles in 1965 where he attended St. Nicholas Cathedral. He served in the Navy and is a Vietnam Veteran. Fr. Elias holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fine and Applied Arts and has worked as a Technical Illustrator and Elementary School Teacher.

Fr. Elias married his bride Irene in 1978. Together they ran the parish youth camp at Holy Virgin Mary in Los Angeles. He and Khouria Irene have raised three children: Juliana, Christian, and Michael, all now grown. He attended St. Vladimir’s Seminary starting in 1994. He was ordained to the holy diaconate on March 10, 1996 and ordained to the holy priesthood on January 30, 1997. Fr. Elias served parishes in the OCA and Antiochian Archdiocese, St. Raphael’s in Iowa City and now St. Elijah.

Rev. Deacon Ezra Ham

Rev. Deacon

Dn. Ezra, a native of Guthrie, Oklahoma, was received along with his wife, Kathy, and family into the Orthodox Church at our parish on Lazarus Saturday, 1991.  He received a B.A. in Philosophy from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee and a Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC).  He did further graduate studies at the Baptische Theologishe Hochshule in Zurich, Switzerland, and doctoral studies at Baylor University.  He completed a Master’s Degree in History from the University of Central Oklahoma and completed the St. Stephen’s House of Studies in Orthodox Theology.  Dn. Ezra has served as an Adjunct Professor teaching both U.S. History and Ancient and Medieval Humanities at the University of Central Oklahoma.  He has served as our Church Administrator since November, 1999 and oversees our Christian Education program which includes Orthodox Study Fellowship, Study Series on John: The Mystagogic Gospel and The Inquirer Class: Finding The Church That Jesus Built.

Dn. Ezra was ordained to the Holy Diaconate here at St. Elijah Orthodox Church on January 27, 2008.