May 13, 2005

Greek Orthodox Church defrocks ex-Sylvania pastor

Toledo Blade

A former pastor of St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Church in Sylvania who was ousted from the denomination in 1977 and later switched affiliations to the Greek Orthodox Church, has been defrocked by that denomination also, officials said.

Gabriel Barrow, 59, of Houston, who was pastor of St. Elias from 1972 until 1977, was accused of sexually abusing three boys in Toledo in the 1970s.

Metropolitan Philip, leader of the 450,000-member U.S. Antiochian Orthodox Church, barred Mr. Barrow from the denomination on Oct. 10, 1977, citing "reasons beyond my control," but offering no further explanation.

After leaving Toledo, Mr. Barrow returned to his hometown of Houston and worked as a teacher in the Houston Independent School District.

During the mid-1990s, he was accepted into the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and served as a pastor in Webster, Texas.

A former Detroit resident who said he was 16 when Mr. Barrow molested him in Toledo in 1975 reported his allegations to the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese headquarters in 1998 and was told that Mr. Barrow had been removed from the ministry.

Posted by kshaw at May 13, 2005 07:14 AM