Fr. James Coles was born in Dallas, Texas and grew up Roman Catholic. He was involved in Young Life in high school and college and met his wife, Kh. Karen, while they were both working at a youth camp in Colorado. He graduated from Texas Tech in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Studies and moved to Tucson, AZ to court Kh. Karen.
In Tucson, he worked as the youth director at an Episcopal Church and they were married that following year. They moved to Los Angeles for another youth director position at the Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills and a few years later moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico for Fr. to work for Young Life as the Area Director. It was while working for Young Life in Santa Fe that Fr. James and Kh. Karen joined the Orthodox Church. Their two oldest children, Emma and John, were born in Santa Fe.
In 2000 they packed up and moved to New York for seminary. In the Spring of 2003, Fr. James was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Theophany, their son, Samuel, was born in April, and Fr. graduated from Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.
Fr. James was the assistant pastor at St. George in Houston from 2003-2005 and has been the pastor of Saint Ignatius in Mesa, AZ since 2005. He took a Doctorate in Eastern Christian Studies in 2016. His dissertation was on Confession.
He has served as the Youth Director for the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West and as the National Chaplain for the Orthodox College Fellowship. He is currently the Missions Coordinator for the Diocese and directs the biennial Clergy Symposium for the Antiochian Archdiocese.
Fr. Basil Caldaroni was born in western Pennsylvania and raised as a Protestant in Cleveland, OH. He married Kh. Tilda in 1978 after falling madly in love with her during his senior year at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK. Fr. & Kh. have two sons, Foster & Antony, and two grandchildren, Jack and Allana.
He was introduced to the Holy Orthodox Church at ORU through the ministry of an Orthodox theology professor who taught there at the time. After completing his BA at ORU (1977), Fr. Basil completed his MDiv at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in the Chicago area (1982) and an MA in Theology at Loyola University of Chicago (1987).
The Caldaroni’s entered the Antiochian Orthodox Church along with the “Evangelical Orthodox Church” in 1987, at which time Fr. Basil was ordained to the diaconate and the priesthood. Fr. & Kh. began a mission from scratch on the campus of Wheaton College in the Chicago area in the Fall of 1987 and that mission has become Holy Transfiguration Antiochian parish in Warrenville, IL. He also served as pastor of St. John the Baptist parish in Post Falls, ID for eleven years before retiring in 2017 and moving to AZ where the Caldaroni’s love being part of the amazing parish of St. Ignatius of Antioch!
Born in Columbus, OH, he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The Ohio State University in 1997, and then his MA in Applied Orthodox Theology from the Antiochian House of Studies in 2013.
He married his wife, Valentina, in 2001 and they have a son, Andrej.
Deacon Christopher has been a member of St. Ignatius since 2006, he was a two-term member of the Parish Council, guides the Men of St. Ignatius study group, and supports outreach. Deacon Christopher Purdef was ordained to the Diaconate in March 2013.