Archbishop Makarios (born Andreas Tillyrides) of the Orthodox Church of Kenya is a man whose uniqueness and quick rise to the helm of the Church is astounding.
According to the Orthodox chairman of the board of Trustees, also the Parish Priest for Ddegeya Orthodox Church, Fr John Kibuuka, and Archbishop Makarios’ promotion has been a roller-coaster.
“What is different with Makarios is that he was ordained deacon, priest and bishop in just one week,” Mr Kibuuka said.
Makarios is a Cypriot, (citizen of Cyprus). In 1977, after completing his university education, he was sent by the late Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus to organise and open the Orthodox Seminary in Nairobi.
He then worked with many Metropolitans in Nairobi, Kenya as a lay person.
On July 19, 1992, he was ordained as deacon in the Church of St. Nicholas and Anastasios in Riruta, Nairobi, and given the name Makarios.
On July 20, the same year Deacon Makarios was ordained in to priesthood at the Church of St Makarios, the patriarchal seminary in Nairobi.
Then on July 25, the same year and church, he was consecrated as Bishop of Riruta by the Metropolitan of Accra, Petros, assisted by the Metropolitan of Axum, Petros, and the Bishop of Uganda, Theodoros. “He had been in the service for long, so when they started to ordain him, it was fast. This might happen here. They may chose a lay person, who becomes a Metropolitan and he will have to go through a quick process like Makarios. But they can also ordain a bishop,” Fr Kibuuka said.
He added: “The Patriarch chose Archbishop Makarios to be the caretaker of this metropolis until the synod appoints a new Metropolitan”
For more than 40 years, Archbishop Makarios has been a member of the Anglican-Orthodox doctrinal discussions.
He has also attended meetings of the World Council of Churches, Faith and order, Middle East Council of Churches, the Ecclesiastical History Society, the Patristic Conferences in Oxford, Syndesmos, a member of the International official Theological dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, the Reformed and the Lutherans, among others.
Information on the Kenyan Orthodox Church website indicates that Makarios was born in 1945 in Limassol, a township in Cyprus, where he completed his elementary and secondary education.
He studied theology at St. Sergios Orthodox theological Institute in Paris, France, between 1968 and 1972.
At the same time he attended the classes of professors Jean Gouillard the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, in the Sorbonne)and Paul Lemerle of College de France in 1970 up to 1972 and was named the “eleve titulaire.”
In September 1972, he was acknowledged by the University of Oxford as a post-graduate student under the supervision of the Bishop of Dioklea, Kallistos Ware and in 1976, he was awarded the title “Doctor of Philosophy” by the University of Oxford.
Makarios spent three years at the University of Louvain in Belgium as a post- doctorate research student in 1979- 1982.
He also taught at the University of St. Barnabas in Nicosia, in secondary schools and for more than 30 years in the Orthodox Patriarchal Seminary, ‘Makarios III, Archbishop of Cyprus’, in Nairobi.
He has authored hundreds of theological and scientific articles.
Currently, Archbishop Makarios is theGeneral dean of the Orthodox Patriarchal Seminary in Nairobi, where he has served for 35 years. He also teaches Church History, Hagiology, Patristics, Greek, Missiology, Homeletics, and Teleturgics. As dean of the seminary, he has organised the students in translating the Orthodox services into many African languages.