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Prior to the early 1920s, all Orthodox on the North American continent (regardless of ethnicity) were under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church. This North American diocese (known by a number of names throughout its history) was ruled by a bishop or archbishop assigned by the Russian Church.
After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, communication between the Russian Orthodox Church and the churches of North America was almost completely cut off. In 1920, Tikhon (then Patriarch of Moscow) directed all Russian Orthodox churches outside of Russia to govern themselves autonomously until regular communication and travel could be resumed. As a result, many Orthodox communities with a non-Russian background turned to Churches in their respective homelands for pastoral care and governance.
After declaring the autonomy of the North American Diocese (known as the "Metropolia") in February 1924, Archbishop Platon (Rozhdestvensky) became the first Metropolitan of All America and Canada. Since that time, the primate of the OCA has been known as Metropolitan of All America and Canada, in addition to his role as the archbishop of an OCA diocese. When the OCA (then known as the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in North America) was granted autocephaly by the Russian Church in 1970 (an act not recognized by all Orthodox jurisdictions), it was renamed the Orthodox Church in America, and the ruling Metropolitan was granted the additional title of His Beatitude.
|Name||Place of birth||Birth name||Jurisdiction||Dates of rule||Notes|
|Joasaph (Bolotov)||Strazhkov, Kashinsky District||Ivan Ilyich Bolotov||Bishop of Kodiak, Auxiliary of the Irkutsk Diocese||1799||Joasaph was elected bishop in 1796, but news did not reach him until 1798. He returned to Irkutsk and was consecrated in 1799, but died during his return voyage to Alaska.|
|Innocent (Veniaminov)||Anginskoye, Verkholensk District||Ivan (John) Evseyevich Popov-Veniaminov||Bishop of Kamchatka, the Kurile and Aleutian Islands||1840–50|
|Archbishop of Kamchatka, the Kurile and Aleutian Islands||1850–68|
|Peter (Ekaterinovsky)||Saratov Oblast||Theodore (Fyodor) Ekaterinovsky||Bishop of Novoarkhangelsk, Auxiliary of the Kamchatka Diocese||1859–66|
|Paul (Popov)||Yeniseysk Province||Paul Popov||Bishop of Novoarkhangelsk, Auxiliary of the Kamchatka Diocese||1866–70||With the Alaska purchase in 1867, Alaska became a territory of the United States.|
|John (Mitropolsky)||Kaluga, Russia||Stephen Mitropolsky||Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska||1870–77|
|Nestor (Zakkis)||Arkangelsk, Russia||Baron Nikolai Pavlovich Zakkis||Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska||1878–82||Following the death of Bishop Nestor in 1882, the Diocese of the Aleutians and Alaska fell under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan of St. Petersburg until 1887.|
|Vladimir (Sokolovsky-Avtonomov)||Senkovka, Poltava Oblast||Vasily Grigorievich Sokolovsky-Avtonomov||Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska||1887–91|
|Nicholas (Adoratsky)||Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska||1891||Bishop Nicholas was transferred to another see before traveling to North America to assume his duties as ruling bishop.|
|Nicholas (Ziorov)||Kherson Oblast||Michael Zacharovich Ziorov||Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska||1891–98||In 1898, Bishop Nicholas was transferred to Russia, to serve as Archbishop of the Diocese of Tver and Kashin.|
|Tikhon (Belavin)||Toropetz District||Vasily Ivanovich Belavin||Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska||1898–1900|
|Bishop of the Aleutians and North America||1900–05||Bishop Tikhon introduced many changes to the diocesan structure, including renaming it to the Diocese of the Aleutians and North America.|
|Archbishop of the Aleutians and North America||1905–07||Bishop Tikhon was elevated to archbishop when the diocese was made an archdiocese in 1905. He returned to Russia in 1907.|
|Platon (Rozhdestvensky)||Kursk Eparchy||Porphyry Theodorovich Rozhdestvensky||Archbishop of the Aleutians and North America||1907–14|
|Metropolitan of All America and Canada||1922–34|
|Evdokim (Meschersky)||Vladimir Diocese||Basil Mikhailovich Meschersky||Archbishop of the Aleutians and North America||1914–18||Archbishop Evodkim returned to Russia and was appointed Archbishop of Nizhegorod in 1919.|
|Alexander (Nemolovsky)||Volhynia Eparchy||Alexander Alexandrovich Nemolovsky||Archbishop of the Aleutians and North America||1919–22||Archbishop Alexander left the United States in 1922, and was replaced by Metropolitan Platon.|
|Theophilus (Pashkovsky)||Kiev Oblast||Theodore Nicholaevich Pashkovsky||Archbishop of San Francisco, Metropolitan of All America and Canada||1934–50||Theophilus was elected as metropolitan after Metropolitan Platon's death in 1934.|
|Leonty (Turkevich)||Kremenets||Leonid Ieronimovich Turkevich||Archbishop of New York, Metropolitan of All America and Canada||1950–65|
|Ireney (Bekish)||Mezhirech, Lublin Province||John Bekish||Archbishop of New York, Metropolitan of All America and Canada||1965–77||In 1970, the Russian Metropolia (also known as the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in North America) was granted autocephaly, and was renamed as the Orthodox Church in America.|
|Sylvester (Haruns)||Dvinsk, Latvia||Ivan Antonovich Haruns||Archbishop of Montreal and Canada, Temporary Administrator of the Orthodox Church in America||1974–77||Archbishop Sylvester was appointed as Temporary Administrator in 1974, and handled the day-to-day business of the Church for Metropolitan Ireney, whose health was failing.|
|Theodosius (Lazor)||Canonsburg, PA||Frank Lazor||Archbishop of New York, Metropolitan of All America and Canada||1977–80|
|Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada||1981–2002|
|Herman (Swaiko)||Briarford, PA||Joseph Swaiko||Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada||2002–05|
|Archbishop of Washington and New York, Metropolitan of All America and Canada||2005–2008|
|Jonah (Paffhausen)||Chicago, IL||James Paffhausen||Archbishop of Washington and New York, Metropolitan of All America and Canada||2008-current|