Fr. James Bernstein, author of “Surprised by Christ,” reposes in the Lord (+VIDEO)

Seattle, June 18, 2024


Archpriest James Bernstein, a noted priest and Orthodox author, reposed in the Lord yesterday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Fr. James reposed at the age of 78.

“With the hope of the resurrection and life eternal we pray ‘memory eternal!’ for Fr. James Bernstein, who fell asleep in the Lord this morning, surrounded by family,” St. Paul Orthodox Church in Brier, Washington, where he served as priest for nearly 30 years, wrote yesterday.

Fr. James is the author of several booklets from Ancient Faith Publishing, and is especially known as the author of Surprised by Christ, which tells the story of his road from Judaism to Christianity and ultimately to the fullness of the faith in the Orthodox Church.

Before his conversion to Orthodoxy, he was known especially as a co-founder of Jews for Jesus. He later served as a pastor in the Evangelical Orthodox Church, which eventually led him and his family to holy Orthodoxy.

He was received into the Orthodox Church in America in 1981, and in 1985 he began studying at St. Vladimir’s Seminary in New York. He later transferred to the Antiochian Archdiocese and was ordained to the priesthood in 1988. In 1990, he was assigned to St. Paul’s in Brier, Washington, where he served for more than a quarter of a century. He was elevated to the rank of archpriest in 1999.

May Fr. James’ memory be eternal!

Watch his “last words” with Abbot Tryphon:

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