Bellavin, Tikhon 
Search Timelines:

Time Period
1/19/1865  - 4/7/1925
Description
Tikhon came to the United States in 1898 as the Bishop of the Orthodox missionary Diocese of the Aleutians and Alaska, an office in which he served from 1898 to 1907. Tikhon oversaw a period of rapid growth of the Orthodox Church in the United States, including the return of many Eastern Catholic churches to the Orthodox fold as well as the expansion of parishes, seminaries, and schools. His decision to move the seat of the diocese from San Francisco to New York in 1905 signaled its growth as well as the importance of immigration to the Orthodox community. He also worked closely with laypeople and clergy and occasionally moved away from a top-down approach to church governance. Tikhon organized a widely diverse, multiethnic Orthodox community throughout the country and demonstrated respect for differing cultural norms among various Orthodox migrant groups, although ethnic tensions still flared up at times.
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Narrative
Basil Bellavin was born in Russia in 1865. Entering the priesthood, he took Tikhon as his monastic name. He came to the United States in 1898 as the Bishop of the Orthodox missionary Diocese of the Aleutians and Alaska, an office in which he served from 1898 to 1907.

Tikhon oversaw a period of rapid growth of the Orthodox Church in the United States, including the return of many Eastern Catholic churches to the Orthodox fold as well as the expansion of parishes, seminaries, and schools. His decision to move the seat of the diocese from San Francisco to New York in 1905 signaled its growth as well as the importance of immigration to the Orthodox community. He also worked closely with laypeople and clergy and occasionally moved away from a top-down approach to church governance. Much like the later Greek Orthodox Archbishop Athenagoras and similar to contemporary trends in the Catholic Church in the United States, Tikhon organized a widely diverse, multiethnic Orthodox community throughout the country and demonstrated respect for differing cultural and national norms among various Orthodox migrant groups, although ethnic tensions still flared up at times. He also expressed an openness to a greater degree of Americanization in his diocese and promoted the use of English in church administration and everyday life among the Orthodox faithful.

After completing his missionary work, Tikhon returned to Russia and, in 1917, became the first Patriarch of Moscow in two centuries. He died in 1925 in the midst of persecution by the Communist government and was canonized in 1989.
Religious Groups
Timeline Entries for the same religious group Eastern Liturgical Family (Orthodox)
Eastern Liturgical Family (Orthodox): Other ARDA Links

Photographs

Tikhon Bellavin icon- Holy Trinity Orthodox Church- photo by Corielle Stickles

Tikhon Bellavin portrait- Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ggbain-36661
Book/Journal Source(s)
Erickson, John H., 1999. Orthodox Christians in America. New York: Oxford University Press.
FitzGerald, Thomas E., 1995. The Orthodox Church. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Queen, Edward, Stephen Prothero and Gardiner Shattuck, 1996. The Encyclopedia of American Religious History. New York: Facts on File.
Web Page Contributor
William S. Cossen
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History

Bookmark and Share