Local Clergy

Fr. Jeremy McKemy is the priest-in-charge at St. Ambrose Orthodox Mission.

Fr. Jeremy’s assignment began May 1, 2022, which is the day that Fr. Sam Gantt retired. Fr. Sam played an instrumental role in reviving the St. Ambrose Mission from 2017 until 2022. We are exceedingly grateful for his time, love, and effort and wish him a happy and peaceful retirement!

Fr. David Arnold is the dean of the Appalachian Deanery and also played an important role in the revitalization of the Roanoke Mission.


Met. Tikhon

Abp. Alexander

Bp. Gerasim


We are a member of the Orthodox Church in America, whose mission is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition throughout the American land. Our primate is Metropolitan Tikhon. His Eminence Archbishop Alexander presides over the Diocese of the South. Additionally, Bp. Gerasim is an auxiliary bishop to Abp. Alexander.




Rev. Jeremy McKemy

Fr. Jeremy is from western North Carolina. He worked as a home inspector and claims adjuster for a decade before responding to the call of God to ministry. As a parish priest, he feels he has found his calling. He owns and maintains the website OrthodoxRoad and enjoys helping people learn more about Orthodoxy and diving deeper into their faith.

He graduated from St. Tikhon’s Seminary with honors in May of 2021 and was ordained to the priesthood the following month by Bp. Gerasim of Ft. Worth. He began serving part time in Roanoke December 2021, and was assigned to St. Ambrose May 1, 2022.


V. Rev. Sam Gantt (retired)

The Very Reverend Father Samuel Gantt has been an Orthodox Priest for over 30 years. He served in mission parishes in California, Texas, North Carolina and Virginia. His Doctoral Degree work was in Educational Technology & Leadership (Learning Technologies) at Pepperdine University (Malibu, California); his Master’s Degree work was in practical Theology and Marriage & Family Therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, California), where he taught and directed Biblical Language Instruction (Greek and Hebrew), including Biblical Exegesis for 20 years. In the process of teaching, he has written his own New Testament Greek Grammar text. Over the past 40 years he has taught Beginning Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Biblical Languages (Greek and Hebrew), Latin, Biblical Interpretation, Church History, Early Church Doctrine, World Religions, Ancient Greek Philosophy, Studio Fine Art (oil and watercolor painting), and Graphic Arts. Father Sam has been a marriage and family counselor (at the pastoral level) since 1987, and is a professional artist, specializing in oil and watercolor painting, as well as graphic design. He retired May 1, 2022.