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His Grace Archbishop Gabriel - Patron of Mahdere Sebehat Ledeta LeMariam Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Archbishop Gabriel

Archbishop Gabriel was born from a family of priests in Ethiopia in 1945. At an early age he learned the alphabet and began to read the Psalms and other spiritual books for the young. Shortly he completed his education to be a deacon in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Immediately he moved on and studied to be a priest in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

Next he studied Saint Yared's zema with emphasis on Tsome Deegua and Meeraf. He moved from district to district in search of knowledgeable orthodox teachers of the kenae (special type of church poetry). He studied it successfully and graduated as a teacher.

Archbishop Gabriel moved to Addis Ababa in 1961 and enrolled in the Sewasewu Berhan Kolfe Kefetegna Menfesawee School. At Kolfe he studied the New Testament and its interpretation. In addition to his education in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, he also completed his formal modern education at Sewasewu Berhan Kidus Paulos School and Holy Trinity College. Early he was ordained as a deacon in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as a youth. He was ordained a monk at Debre Libanos Monastery. He was ordained as a priest in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church by His Grace Patriarch Baseliyos.

Archbishop Gabriel was sent by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church for advanced theological study to Russia in 1970. He enrolled in Russian Orthodox seminary and graduated with a Master of Divinity degree. In 1978 he enrolled in the Princeton Theological Seminary and completed his Master of Divinity degree with a specialty in ecumenism, which deals with Christian unity and cooperation. He continued with his advanced theological study in Russia, wrote his doctoral dissertation, defended the thesis and earned a Doctor of Theology degree in 1979. Archbishop Gabriel specialized in Christology, a study of our Lord Jesus Christ. Upon completion of his doctoral study he was offered a teaching faculty position in the Russian seminary to teach Oriental Church History. He was invited back to Ethiopia by His Grace Patriarch Tekele Haimanot who was visiting the Russian Orthodox Church in 1979. Archbishop Gabriel honored the Patriarch's request and went back to Ethiopia to serve.

He was elevated to be Episcopos Gabriel in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church by his Grace Patriarch Tekele Haimanot in 1980. He served as Archbishop first in Dire Dawa. He also served as Archbishop in Eritrea, Southern Shewa, and Western Shewa, Jerusalem, and then as Dean of an Ethiopian orthodox seminary in Addis Ababa.

Archbishop Gabriel is currently the Archbishop for Sidama, Amarro and Burjee in south central Ethiopia. He is the spiritual leader and overseer of the Mahdere Sebehat Ledeta LeMariam Ethiopian Orthodox Church.



Abba Philipose is the senior priest and has been serving the congregation of Ledeta Lemariam since 2005. Previously, he served at Debre Selam Medhane Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Church of Houston, Texas from 2000 to 2005. Abba Philipose has always served his God by guiding and teaching the congregation the Lord's work, caring for the sick and advising families with difficulties. 


Kesis Bisrat Atlaw was born in Ethiopia. He served as an active deacon and youth leader at Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem and Ethiopia before coming to the US. Kesis Bisrat was ordained into priesthood in Jerusalem. Kesis Birsrat was inspired by his father who is inspiration to the church and God. The family has long and unconditional love for their God and the church they serve.  Kessi Bisrat and his wife live a true commitment to orthodoxy and are active in promoting their faith.


Kesis Tibebu Sisay was born in Ethiopia. From an early age, he was active in church life, and was fortunate to have several mentors who clearly influenced his life and guided him to a love for his church and its service. As a child and a young man, he was fortunate to be a student of several leaders of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. These mentors would all play a role in guiding the young Sisay enter the Ethiopian Orthodox Church where he would come under the patronage and guidance of his most influential mentor, his father Kesis Sisya, Kesis Tibebu and his wife have two sons and a daughter and live a true commitment to orthodoxy. In time and with the tireless efforts, services and prayers of Kesis Tibebu along with the blessings and guidance, we all will feel completely nourished and connected to God.

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