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About Us

Coptic Orthodox Church



"...On one hand, its theology is based on nothing outside the scriptures. On the other hand, the doctrines agree in all parts with those of the Early Church i.e. the tradition which has the proper interpretation and application of the teachings of our Lord and the Apostles as understood and practiced by the Christians and the leaders of the Church during the period of the One Universal Church until the division of 451 A.D."
Bishop Athanasius of Ben-Swef and Bahnassa (1977)

The Coptic Church was established in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ by St. Mark the Evangelist in the city of Alexandria around 43 A.D. The church adheres to the Nicene Creed. St. Athanasius (296-373 A.D.), the twentieth Pope of the Coptic Church effectively defended the Doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ's Divinity at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. His affirmation of the doctrine earned him the title: "Father of Orthodoxy" and St. Athanasius "the Apostolic."

The term "Coptic" is derived from the Old Egyptian name of Egypt "E-Ka-Ptah" meaning "The Abode of the spirit of Ptah, the major God of Memphis" When the Greeks occupied Egypt in the fourth Century BC, they pronounced "Ekaptah" with a Greek accent "Aigyptos". When the Arabs arrived in Egypt in the seventh century, they called the Egyptians "qibt." Thus the Arabic word "qibt" came to mean both "Egyptians" and "Christians." The term "Orthodoxy" here refers to the preservation of the "Original Faith" by the Copts who, throughout the ages, defended the Old Creed against the numerous attacks aimed at it.

The Coptic Orthodox Church believes that the Holy Trinity: God The Father, God The Son, and God The Holy Spirit, are equal to each other in one unity; and that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only Savior of the world. Less changes have taken place in the Coptic Church than in any other church whether in the ritual or doctrine aspects and that the succession of the Coptic Patriarchs, Bishops, Priests and Deacons has been continuous.

More information about the Coptic Orthodox Church can be found on our Diocese's website: http://suscopts.org/coptic-orthodox/church/

Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria

Pope Tawadros II

Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy Apostolic See of Saint Mark the Evangelist of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria

Our Diocese


His Holiness Pope Shenouda III is the 116 Successor of St. Mark the Evangelist. His Holiness' era is marked by a remarkable growth in the number of Coptic churches abroad. To address the needs of these churches, His Holiness felt the urgency to establish dioceses abroad. Thus the first Coptic Orthodox Diocese to be established in the United States is the Diocese of the Southern United States in 1993. H.H. Pope Shenouda III appointed His Grace Bishop Youssef to oversee this Diocese.

The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States is composed of the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

There are currently priests serving the churches/communities located in the Diocese.

More information about the Diocese can be found at our Diocese's website: http://suscopts.org

HG Bishop Youssef

His Grace Bishop Youssef

In 1992, His Grace was ordained as General Bishop and in 1993, His Grace was appointed to oversee the Southern Coptic Diocese. In 1995, His Grace was enthroned as the first Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States. View Diocese Profile

HG Bishop Basil

His Grace Bishop Basil

His Grace Bishop Basil was born and raised in New Jersey until our Lord Jesus Christ called him to enter the monastic life in 2008 at the St. Mary & St. Moses Abbey in Sandia, TX. He was consecrated a monk in 2009 and ordained into the priesthood in 2011. Then in 2016, His Grace Bishop Youssef appointed him Episcopal Vicar for the state of Florida. In 2018, His Grace was elevated to Hegumen and later that same year he was ordained as a General Bishop serving under the auspices of His Grace Bishop Youssef in the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States.

View Diocese Profile

Our Clergy

Hegumen Fr. Kyrillos Makar

Hegumen Fr. Kyrillos Makar

Fr. Kyrillos Makar is the priest for St. Mary & St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church located in Clearwater, FL. On June 17, 2001, H.G. Bishop Youssef, with the presence of H.G. Bishop Hedra, H.G. Bishop Serapion, H.G. Bishop Demetrious, H.G. Bishop Metias, and H.G. Bishop David, ordained him priest. On July 22, 2007, H.G. Bishop Youssef ordained Fr. Kyrillos hegumen. Fr. Kyrillos has been serving within the Diocese of the Southern United States since June 17, 2001. We pray that the Lord will continue blessing his service.

Check out Fr. Kyrillos's Coptic Lessions

Fr. Meena Ghaly

Fr. Meena Ghaly

Fr. Meena Ghaly is the priest for St. Mary & St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church located in Clearwater, FL. H.G. Bishop Youssef, with the presence of H.G. Bishop Serapion and H.G. Bishop Cherubim, ordained him priest on February 19, 2012 (Watch Ordination). Fr. Meena has been serving within the Diocese of the Southern United States since February 19, 2012. We pray that the Lord will continue blessing his service.

Check out Fr. Meena's Marriage Lecture Series Preview

Fr. Ermia Bishara

Fr. Ermia Bishara

Fr. Ermia Bishara is the priest for St. Mary & St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church located in Clearwater, FL. H.G. Bishop Youssef ordained him priest on April 15, 2018 (Watch Ordination). Fr. Ermia has been serving within the Diocese of the Southern United States since April 15, 2018. We pray that the Lord will continue blessing his service.

Fr. Meena Ordination

Fr. Ermia Ordination