THE WORD “Melkite” is derived from the Semitic word “meiek,” meaning, “king” and literally means “royalists.” Those known by that name are so called because in the disputes around the time of the council of Chalcedon (451) they followed the Emperor in repudiating the Monophysite heresy, and in denouncing the occupants of the Antiochene and Alexandrian Patriarchates as Monophysites. In most cases this is a matter of grave doubt.
However, the cause of the Melkites was espoused by the Byzantine Patriarchate. They attached themselves loyally, and in the Great Schism of 1054 remained among the eastern churches.
In 1686, under their Patriarch Athanasius IV of Antioch, they submitted to Rome and have since continued as the Greek Melkite Uniate Church. In the twentieth century, quite a number fled from Turkish persecution and from the troubles of the two World Wars to the United States. In the meantime, (circa 1911) whose who had already migrated here were visited by:
- Athanasios Sawoya, Greek Melkite Archbishop of Beyrouth and Gebeil in Syria, who on October 9, 1911, consecrated:
- Antoine Joseph Aneed, Exarch of the Greek Melkite Rite in the USA. Both bishops were in full communion with Rome. Bishop Aneed, thereafter, on July 28, 1946, consecrated:
- Odo Acheson Barry, Mar Columba, Titular Archbishop of Canada, who on July 17, 1955, consecrated:
- Hugh George de Willmott Newman, Mar Georgius I, who on July 6, 1956, consecrated:
- Charles Dennis Boltwood, who on October 16, 1966, consecrated:
- Albert J. Fuge, who of May 27, 1972, consecrated:
- John Lawrence Brown, who on December 31, 1973, consecrated:
- Donald Lawrence Jolly, who on March 16, 1980, consecrated:
- Robert Vincent Bernard Dawe, who on October 18, 1981, consecrated:
- Francis Thorne-Coley, who on August 20, 1998, consecrated:
- Lee Allen Petersen, who on April 26, 2009 consecrated:
- Mansell Christian Gilmore, who on January 30, 2011 consecrated:
- Bryan Dennis Ouellette, Ph.D., in ecclesia, Nicholas III, Patriarch, by acclamation and fiat, Holy Nicholean Church, Patriarch, by election and acclamation, Holy Imperial Russian Orthodox Church in exile.