Fr. Stavros Ballas, Presiding Priest
Fr. Stavros Ballas was born and raised in Keene, New Hampshire. He earned a degree in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire in 1979. During the ensuing years, Fr. Stavros worked in the private sector but took a year of study at the Greek Orthodox seminary and later joined an Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) mission team to central Kenya in 1989 (five weeks) to help build a nursery school and retreat center. Fr. Stavros returned to the seminary in 1994 to complete his studies, earning a Masters of Divinity degree in 1997 and followed this with a six-month stay in Greece together with his wife Thea, for further study and preparation. He was ordained to the holy Diaconate in March of 1998 and to the holy Priesthood a month later. He has served three parish communities, first as assistant priest at Saint George in Southgate, Michigan (1998-2001), then as priest of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Flint, Michigan (2001-2005) and now at the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary in Chattanooga, Tennessee (2006-present). In 2003, His Eminence Geron Archbishop Demetrios bestowed upon him the office of Economos. In 2007 Fr. Stavros accompanied a team from the Detroit Metropolis for a week in Biloxi, Mississippi to help start the construction of two homes in a collaborative effort between the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and Habitat for Humanity. He has served for four years as the Secretary of the Metropolis of Detroit Clergy Syndesmos, four years as the Chairman of the Metropolis Oratorical Festival, and presently serves on the Metropolis Council.