A Brief Biography of:
Archpriest John J. Dresko
Fr. John was born in Rochester, New York, to John and Helen Dresko. He was baptized there at Holy Protection Orthodox Church and grew up in the faith at St. John the Baptist Church in Rochester, where his parents were founding members. He grew up serving at the altar of St. John’s, singing in the choir and being active in church school and the youth programs.
He graduated from Monroe High School and entered the “Pre-theological” program at St. Vladimir’s Seminary and Iona College in 1974. Fr. John graduated from Iona College in December 1977 with a B.A. in History. While finishing his bachelor’s work, he met Elizabeth Fedak, another student at St. Vladimir’s, concentrating in Liturgical Music. They married on September 4, 1977 at her home parish of St. Michael the Archangel in St. Louis, Missouri. He continued in the graduate program at St. Vladimir’s, earning his M.Div.(cum laude) in 1980. While still at St. Vladimir’s, he was ordained to the Holy Diaconate on December 10, 1978 by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius (Lazor). His Grace, Bishop Boris (Geeza), ordained him to the Holy Priesthood on June 24, 1979. During his senior year, he served as chaplain to the Orthodox cadets at the United States Military Academy in West Point. He also served as a hospital chaplain in the Greater New York area. Other education includes Air University (Maxwell AFB, Alabama), the Meyer Institute for Christian Stewardship, and The Center on Philanthropy, Indiana University.
Upon graduation from seminary, Fr. John was assigned as the first pastor of St. Mark Church in Rochester, Michigan. Subsequent assignments followed: St. Nicholas Church in Mentor, Ohio, the United States Air Force (Chaplain, Lackland AFB, Texas), and Holy Trinity Church in New Britain, Connecticut. Father left active parish life for a while and was appointed as Director of Development for the Orthodox Church in America. Upon release from the Metropolitan’s Chapel of St. Sergius, he accepted assignment to St. Paul’s in Las Vegas, beginning his pastorate on July 1, 2008.
In addition to his parish and administration assignments, Fr. John has held numerous positions of responsibility within the Orthodox Church in America:
Diocese of the Midwest: Budget Director, Youth Director
Diocese of New England: Dean of the Connecticut Deanery, Diocesan Council, Editor of Orthodox New England, Director of Communications
St. Vladimir’s Seminary: Visiting Lecturer in Pastoral Theology, President of the Alumni Association, Member of the Board of Trustees, Chairman of the Dean’s Search Committee (2006)
Orthodox Church in America: Metropolitan Council, Preconciliar Commission (1999, 2002, 2005), Director of Stewardship, Author of the OCA Stewardship Handbook, Chairman, OCA FInance Committee (2015)
Father has authored numerous published articles and has conducted workshops throughout North America on the Christian Foundations of Giving, Developing a Capital Campaign Plan in a Parish, Making the Switch from Dues to Proportional Giving, and Planned Giving.
Fr. John and Elizabeth have four adult children: Christopher, Gregory, Nicholas and Juliana. They also have two daughters-in-law, Melissa (Nicholas) and Meredith (Christopher) and one son-in-law, Brian (Juliana). They have five grandchildren, Anthony, Matthew, and Nathan (Nick and Melissa) and Gabriel and Kiara (Chris and Meredith).