Fr. James Bogdan was born on December 17, 1932 in Grand Rapids, MI and married Presbytera Joan in 1958. They have been blessed with 4 children and 6 grandchildren. He received his BA in 1952 and his Master of Arts degree in 1956 from the University of Michigan. While working on his Masters degree in Byzantine Studies, he attended Holy Cross School of Theology doing research for his thesis. In 1958 Fr. Jim continued work on his doctorate in Byzantine Studies at Michigan State University.
In 1959 he joined Grand Rapids Community College to teach in the History Department where he became Divisional Chairman of Social Sciences and Dean of Instruction during the college’s reorganization. Fr. Jim retired in 1993 after 36 years of service. In 1975 Fr. Jim was ordained a Deacon and on April 29, 1984, under the 1980’s Archdiocesan “Priests with a Profession Program,” Fr. Jim was ordained a Priest to Holy Trinity. In 2003 he was bestowed the Offikion of Protopresbyter. Fr. Jim retired from Holy Trinity September 2009 after 36 years of service. Fr. Jim took great pride in joining all 6 Orthodox parishes in Grand Rapids for activities. Over the years, the churches sponsored, Bishop Kallistos Ware, Frankie Shaffer, and Presbytera Constantinides. These lectures were opened to the public and drew great crowds. He also spearheaded an exhibit of Orthodox Iconography at Calvin College. Fr. Jim is a member of the Metropolis Council and has been Director of Religious Education for 14 years. He started an Orthodox Book Review every other month, a Speakers Program, and Lenten programs used in our Metropolis and Mobile, AL. Fr. Jim has many fond memories of his ‘teaching and preaching,” and the two summers he served as Priest at Ionian Village.