Rev. Fr. Philip Jacob
Vicar & President
After graduation, Philip attended to his divine calling as a seminarian of the Othara Dayara, one of the oldest and austere Orthodox monasteries of Kerala. This stay at the Dayara groomed Deacon Philip to serve as the Personal Assistant to the Metropolitan of Kollam Diocese in Kerala, His Grace Mathews Mar Coorilos (Now His Holiness The Late Moran Mar Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews II our Catholicos of divine memory). It was under His Grace’s divine mentorship that Deacon Philip blossomed as a true spiritual leader. Deacon Philip served His Grace Mar Coorilos for 2 years.
On August 26, 1973 Deacon Philip was married to Kunjujamma Cherian of the Nediyavilla Puthenveedu, Nariapuram, Pathanamthitta, Kerala. The ceremony was held at the St. John’s Orthodox Church, Pathichira, lead by His Grace Mathews Mar Coorilos.
Deacon Philip was then ordained as a priest on September 19, 1973 by His Grace Mathews Mar Coorilos at the St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Parumala, Kerala.
In February 1974, Philip Achen first arrived to America to study for a masters degree at the Divinity at the Hellenic Greek Orthodox Seminary, located in Boston, Massachusetts. He was accompanied by Kochamma. While in there he also conducted services at the St. Thomas Orthodox Church of Boston.
On January 10, 1977 Achen and Kochamma were blessed with a baby boy, Paul Philip Jacob.
In 1978, Achen moved to Detroit, MI, to take charge as the Vicar or the St. Thomas Orthodox Church. He was also responsible for the Orthodox congregation in Cleveland, OH.
The St. Thomas Orthodox Church was incorporated on October 17, 1978 and services have been conducted regularly ever since. Services were first held at the Cass Methodist Church, and later, at the Trinity Episcopal Church, both in Detroit.
On February 17, 1982, Achen and Kochamma were blessed with a baby girl, Paula Susan Jacob.
Under Achen’s guidance and leadership, the St. Thomas Orthodox Church grew spiritually and in numbers. Achen’s vision of the congregation owning its own Church was manifested in 1990 when the deed for the Apostolic Faith Temple Church in Southfield, MI was signed. The new church was consecrated on November 3, 1991 by His Grace The Late Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios.
The Church continued to grow with the membership becoming too large for the current building. Achen’s leadership guided St. Thomas Orthodox Church to purchase a Catholic Seminary in Warren, MI. The foundation stone was blessed by HH Baselios Marthoma Didymus I and laid down by His Grace Dr. Yuhanon Mar Chrystosomos on ??????. The consecration of the newly built church was done by HH Baselius Mar Thoma Paulose II June 2008.
Achen’s dedication and encouragement has helped our parish to organize a very active Sunday School, Martha Mariam Samajam, Youth League, MGOCSM, and FOCUS. Achen has been insturmental in maintaining regular Evening Prayers on Wednesdays and Saturdays, Bi-Monthly Prayer Meetings, and Special Prayers. Achen also commutes to Grand Rapids, MI and Ohio to perform Holy Qurbana and to take care of the spiritual needs of our extended congregation. Achen has been selflessly taking care of all of the parishioners’ spiritual needs throughout the years.