Fr. Jonathan Herman Cholcher
Father Jonathan Herman Cholcher was born in 1963 in Fort Smith, AR, the older of two sons of Lutheran school teachers.
He enjoyed an upbringing filled with church life, hunting and fishing, sports, and music. Prompted from an early age to pursue pastoral ministry, after graduating from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Chemical Engineering, he obtained a Masters of Divinity from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO, and went on to serve two Lutheran congregations: six years at a mission in Shawnee, OK, and four years at a large church with a school in southern Illinois.
During his third internship year at Seminary, while assigned to a church in Plantation, FL, Jonathan met and married Diane Patterson. They have three children: Moriah (David) Hastings, Christian, and Daniel.
While serving in southern Illinois, Pastor Cholcher wrote a paper on Infant Communion for a Lutheran Pastors' Conference; researching that paper, he discovered the Orthodox Church, and after a two-year period of intense catechesis, he and his family were received into the Orthodox Church (7/22/2000).
They moved from southern Illinois to Akron, OH, where Jonathan began work as a teacher at the newly formed St. Nicholas Orthodox School in Mogadore (southeast Akron). Simultaneously under the direction of Archbishop Job of Chicago (OCA), Jonathan was prepared for ordination to the Diaconate (6/24/2001) and the Priesthood (11/3/2002) in the Orthodox Church.
After six years at the school both as teacher and Headmaster, Fr. Jonathan and family moved to Warren, OH (August 2006), where he became the Priest at St. John the Baptist Church there. Wanting, if possible, to be closer to Diane's parents, the Cholchers moved to Bradenton, FL, in May 2020 where Fr. Jonathan assumed duties as Priest at St. Mark's Church.