Bishop Anthony was born Richard Anthony Michaels on the feast day of St. Anthony the Great (January 17, 1956) to parents Anthony and Gertrude Michaels and was baptized at St. Symeon the Stylite (also St. Simon the Zealot is commemorated) Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Ironwood, Michigan. Rick was raised with his sister, Joanne, and brother, Craig. The Orthodox church in Ironwood is pan-Orthodox and, therefore, included all ethnic Orthodox communities in the city. Bishop Anthony’s father is Lebanese and his mother is Serbian. As a teen-ager, he was active in all varsity athletics at Ironwood High School, including his role as the starting quarterback of his football team.
Bishop Anthony attended the University of Michigan, where he received his B.A. in Literature, Science and the Arts, having a double major in History and English Literature. Following his university degree he attended St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree and graduated as a valedictorian of his class. Besides English, he has a reading knowledge of biblical Greek and is currently learning Arabic, at the request of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of blessed memory.
He taught modern philosophy at Gogebic Community College in Ironwood, Michigan, before becoming a pastoral assistant and youth director at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, for two years. He and fellow seminarian Fr. Patrick Kinder held positions of youth coordinators at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Akron, Ohio, while they toured the country giving concerts and retreats as part of the group KERYGMA. Fr. Anthony also spent two years based in Nashville, Tennessee, at St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church in Franklin, Tennessee, recording for KERYGMA with Fr. Patrick and Fr. Michael (Alan) Shanbour. Bishop Anthony has lectured extensively in North America, speaking to youth groups and church retreats for various jurisdictions besides his own.
His Grace was ordained to the diaconate on September 18, 2004, and to the priesthood on September 19, 2004, at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in West St. Paul, Minnesota, under the pastorate of the Very Rev. John Khoury, of blessed memory, and by the laying on of hands of Bishop Antoun. He was able to serve his home parish for seven months before he was given his current assignment to lead the faithful of St. John Chrysostom Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Bishop Anthony inspired and oversaw the design and construction of the new church facilities at St. John Chrysostom Church in Fort Wayne. On the sixth anniversary of his ordination to the Holy Priesthood, he had the great honor of hosting Metropolitan Philip for the consecration of the new church on September 19, 2010, at which time he was elevated to the dignity of Archimandrite by the laying on of hands of the Metropolitan. He was subsequently appointed dean of the Indiana Deanery by Metropolitan Philip. On Sunday, December 11, 2011, Bishop Anthony was consecrated as Auxiliary of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, for the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. The consecration took place at the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand, Balamand, Lebanon.
Most recently, Bishop Anthony has given seminars on a book that he is in the process of writing: Between Utopia and Despair: A Study of the Intellectual History of the West and the Advance of the Secular World View. Bishop Anthony continues his pastoral ministry in Fort Wayne, providing a consistent liturgical life for the faithful. It is his honor to serve the parish family of St. John Chrysostom Church.
His name day is January 17 (St. Anthony the Great).