Very Reverand Father Mikel Bock
My name is Fr. Mikel Bock, son of the late Reader Stephen Bock and Monya Bock. I was born and raised as an Orthodox Christian in SS Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, a large parish in Endicott, NY. My parents both worked at IBM. In 1979, IBM had a mass transfer of employees to Charlotte, NC. My parents, my brother and I, moved there. I subsequently met my wife, Lisa. I worked for Piedmont Natural Gas, and later moved on to additional jobs in the construction industry.
After being married for 14 years, we decided to move to Alaska in 1998 so I could attend St. Herman’s Orthodox Seminary on Kodiak Island, Alaska. I graduated from the seminary in 2001, was ordained to the Holy Diaconate in June of 2002, and then to the Holy Priesthood in December of 2002.
Over the years, I served as a priest in Alaska in many different capacities. I was attached to St. Innocent Cathedral in Anchorage where I often served, but I was also a supply priest to many of the villages such as King Cove, Cordova, Valdez, Tyonek, Homer, Nikolai, and others. While attached to the Cathedral, Fr. Daniel Andrejuk and I ran a church store for the Diocese called The Russian Alaskan Liturgical Supply. We made several trips to Sofrino, Russia and bought items for the churches in Alaska, such as chalices, vestments, crosses, and more.
Part of my duties was to oversee the construction and remodeling teams that came to Alaska—whether it was OCMC, OCF’s Real Break Team*, or the several churches who came on their own. Among the projects that were undertaken were the remodeling of St Herman’s Seminary, a remodel of the chapel on Spruce Island and the addition of its large deck.
In 2006, I was assigned to St Herman Orthodox Church in Fairbanks, AK, serving that parish for 3 years. While there, we had many new people come to the church—both Orthodox and Catechumens. We made many improvements to the physical building and the Altar area.
We moved back to Anchorage in 2009, where I re-opened a vacated church, St Nicholas Orthodox Church, in Eklutna, AK. While there, we were able to offer a full round of services at St Nicholas. I also was in charge of the tourism at that church, where we hosted several thousand tourists every year. Several of the people who attended services there were from the Wasilla area, and expressed their desire to build a church in Wasilla. Through God’s grace we were able to buy and pay off land and subsequently build St. Juvenaly Orthodox Church. I served there until 2019.
While I was in the Wasilla area, I also held Bible studies in the Palmer Correctional Facility until it was temporarily closed in 2016. I also held Bible studies in the Goose Creek Prison for 5 years until 2019.
In July of 2019, Matushka Lisa and I moved to Rock Hill, SC to serve at St Anthony the Great Orthodox Church. No one could have foreseen the pandemic, but nonetheless we seem to have made it through by following the directives that were given to us. During the pandemic, we were able to remodel the church and the house next door. The house next door now serves as the hall for coffee hour and meetings, as well as classrooms for Sunday school. Since we have fully opened up, we have seen a steady stream of new inquirers.
Matushka Lisa and I are looking forward to serving the faithful of SS. Peter and Paul in Phoenix.