The well-known and well-loved Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Price recently welcomed a new priest to its parish. Father Serathim Johns joined the church and the community on the first day of February.
Father Johns, 34, was born and raised in Pocatello, Idaho. He was the assistant priest in Idaho for about two years when the bishop started looking for an assignment. The priest of the Greek Orthodox Church at the time visited a handful of times beginning in October, looking at the possibility of a replacement.
Father Johns was then assigned to the local church. He stated that one of the things that makes being in Price unique to him is the fact that the church is one of maybe four other Orthodox Churches in the whole country that is still functioning in its original structure.
“The community is very warm and welcoming; just great people. That makes it very special,” Father Johns stated.
When prompted to choose his favorite part of being a priest, Father Johns was unable to narrow it down to just one thing, stating that he loves every aspect of it. He stated that he has known that he wanted to grow up to be a priest since his childhood. Father Johns is well-traveled, having been across the United States and even to places such as Japan. He went to a seminary school in New York, where he earned his master’s degree and studied to be a priest.
Proclaimed a linguist, Father Johns stated that foreign language is one of his passions. He is versed in varying degrees in Spanish, Greek, Italian, Latin and Japanese.
There are three things that Father Johns would like the community to know about the church. The first is that the church is not just for Greeks. It is welcoming to all that would like to come and embrace the faith. The second is that it is the oldest church. The church was founded by Christ himself with the teaching of the Apostles.
“The Orthodox Church welcomes all people,” Father Johns said.
The third thing Father Johns would like is for everyone to come and see the church for themselves. He then stated that he would like to thank everyone in the community for such a warm welcome.
Pam Cha, local resident and teacher at USU-Eastern, is a long-time member of the church. She stated that the parish is very excited to welcome Father Johns.
“His youth as a priest has a lot of energy for our community, so he’s re-energizing us, too,” she stated.