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His Eminence Melchizdeck

Archbishop of the Holy Archdiocese of North America and Abroad 

His Eminence, Metropolitan Melchizdeck Archbishop of the Holy Archdiocese of North America and Abroad was born in 1979, the second eldest of five children born to Riad  and Nuha Abed.

After living in Palestine, he and his family moved  to Milford ,CT.  where he graduated from Jonathan Law High School in 1997. In 2001, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology from University of Notre Dame, South bend , IN, In 2004 he received his Masters degree in Clinical Psychology and in 2007 He received his Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychologist from American University.    

In 2008, he was received into the Orthodox Church by baptism and Chrismation from Catholicism and, in the fall of the same year, he began studies at Saint James Seminary, Johnstown, PA. One year later, he entered the monastic community at Holy Cross Monastery as a novice. He was awarded the Master of Divinity degree from Saint James Seminary in 2013, 

In 2014, he was tonsured to the Great Schema with the name Ilia, in honor of Patriarch Ilia of Georgia. Later that year, he was ordained to the Holy Diaconate at Saint John's the Baptist Cathedral in Mayfield, PA and Holy Priesthood at Saint John's the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC. In 2014, he was elevated  to the rank of Archimandrite.

In May 2015, he was named  Abbot of Saint Georgie  Monastery. After his election to the episcopacy by the Holy Synod of Bishops in April 2015, he was consecrated on May 9, 2015 at Holy Archangels Monastery and Cathedral in Avolona as the first Bishop of the Palestinian Orthodox Church Holy Archdiocese of North America and Aboard. Following his nomination as ruling hierarch by the Archdiocesan Assembly and subsequent canonical election by the Holy Synod on June 14, 2015, he was installed as Bishop of the Palestinian Orthodox Church  on June 21 2015 . From 2015 to present, he also served as Rector of Saint James Seminary. He was elevated to the dignity of Archbishop on May 9, 2016

On November 13, 2016, Archbishop Melchizdeck was elected Primate of the Palestinian Orthodox Church in America at the Holy Archdiocesan Council.

In addition to his primatial duties along with archpastoral oversight of the Holy Archdiocese of North America and Stavropegial Institutions, he served as the Archbishop to the Churches Abroad. He is the President and CEO of the United Airline Flight 93 National Memorial Crew Monument and Chapel. He received the Highest of Medal of Honor by the President of Nigeria for his hard work and serving as the Archbishop to Nigeria. He was awarded by President Obama for making the Unborn Baby 41 hero of Laura who both died on September 11, 2001. He serves on the UN as Ambassador for Humanitarian Right to Europe. He is the Author of 14 books,   

On June 17, 2020, Metropolitan Melchizdeck was honored by St. James Orthodox Theological Seminary with the bestowal of a Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa.

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