His Eminence, the Most Reverend Saba Isper, is the Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East and the Holy Synod of Antioch elected His Eminence to lead the Archdiocese during its extraordinary session on Feb. 23, 2023, in Balamand, Lebanon.
His Eminence will lead and oversee the Archdiocese's parishes, missions, departments, institutions and organizations in the United States and Canada from the headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey. The auxiliary bishops aid him in his administration across the continent.
His Grace the Right Reverend Thomas (Joseph), Ed.D., is an auxiliary bishop of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, serving in the Diocese of Oakland, Charleston and the Mid-Atlantic.
Of Arab-American heritage, Thomas Joseph was born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1953. He attended John F. Kennedy High School in Paterson, graduating in 1970. He went on to college at William Paterson College, graduating in 1974. After college, he worked in the Department of Community Improvements in Paterson, then served as a teacher for the Paterson Board of Education. When the Antiochian Village camp opened in the late 1970s, he was recruited by Fr. John Namie to serve as one of the original camp counselors from 1979 to 1982.
Fr. Thomas (Fr. Tom) was born and raised in Los Angeles. His family attended GARBC Baptist churches. He received his BA in Mathematics and MBA from UCLA. During his college years, Fr. Tom became a Lutheran.
Fr. Tom served as an officer with the United States Army and was on active duty from 1974 to 1977 with the Army Computer Systems Command in Falls Church, Virginia. Following that, he worked for Ford Aerospace Corporation as a financial analyst. Subsequently, he enrolled at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and received his Master of Divinity degree in 1982.
Fr. Tom served Missouri Synod Lutheran parishes in the St. Louis area and Alexandria, Virginia, until 1999, when he and his family left the Lutheran Church to enter the Orthodox Christian Church. Through the influence and guidance of Fr. Peter Gillquist and Fr. George Rados, both of blessed memory, he was ordained a priest on November 14, 1999. He has served three different Orthodox congregations. Concurrently, from 1977 until 2006, he served in the Army Reserves and the D. C. National Guard, most of those years as a chaplain. From 2006 until 2009, Fr. Tom taught math full time, and from 2010 until 2019 he served as a substitute teacher for various subjects.
In 2006, he helped organize a small mission that evolved into St Raphael Antiochian Orthodox Church in Centreville, Virginia. In addition to Divine Liturgies on Sundays and holidays, Fr. Tom regularly leads online Wednesday Bible Study, and uses sermons as opportunities for learning more about the faith.
Fr. Tom has been married to his wife, Meleah, since July 25, 1981. He and his wife have been blessed with three sons, seven grandsons, and one granddaughter – as well as several cats and dogs through the years. Fr.Tom and Khouria Meleah live in Jeffersonton, Virginia, together with their son, Stephen, and their two cats.