Born in 1960, the son of a protestant deacon, Father Allan was raised in a Protestant Christian (Church of Christ) tradition and was trained to love the scriptures from the time he was a toddler. After graduating high school, he immediately entered a Christian bible college in Lubbock TX, where he met his future presvytera, Danita, to whom he’s been married since 1981.
Shortly after their wedding, Father Allan found employment with Fleming Foods Grocery Wholesale Warehouse in Phoenix, AZ as a warehouseman and dock foreman, where he remained for 16 years. Later, he went to work for Intel, in one of their semiconductor fabrication plants in Chandler, AZ, as a quartz-clean specialist, where he also served on their Emergency & Medical Response teams. During this time, an Orthodox priest began sending books for him to begin exploring Orthodox Christianity. That initiated Fr Allan’s aggressive 6-year scrutiny of Orthodox theology, until finally, in 1998, he and his family requested to become catechumens in the Orthodox Christian Faith.
After a further, year-long catechumenate, experiencing the entire liturgical cycle of the Church’s feasts and a series of classes, he, his wife, Danita and their two teenage children, Joshua and Faith, were received into the Orthodox Christian Faith on Lazarus Saturday, April 3rd 1999.
During his first several years as an Orthodox Christian layman, he served the Church in the roles of Altar Captain; Sunday School Teacher; Parish Council Member; and Radio Show Co-Host—doing Orthodox apologetics on a call-in Evangelical Protestant radio station. In 2003 Father Andrew Barakos, of Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Scottsdale AZ, sent him to Hellenic College, to pursue undergraduate studies and then a graduate degree. During their time there at the school, Presvytera Danita, used her gifts to initiate a highly successful campus religious education program for the nearly 50 children of seminary students (something that the school had never had before).
While still an undergrad, Father Allan also served for two years as president of the Married Student’s Association for both Hellenic College and Holy Cross. There, he and Presvytera Danita worked as advocates for campus family-life issues and the quality of life for the many children on campus.
After graduating from Hellenic College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies, in 2006, he began attending Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology to pursue his Masters of Divinity. During his time with Holy Cross, he traveled to Albania with an Orthodox Christian Mission Center team. For 2 weeks there, he worked in their Tirana summer-camp employing the use of folk stories to introduce Muslim and atheist children and teenagers to the Orthodox Christian Faith. In the summer of 2008, he spent several weeks traveling through Greece and Turkey, where he visited ancient Christian holy sites, including a week-long pilgrimage through Mt Athos and a visit with His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Over the course of his last academic year, Father Allan participated in an internship with a street outreach ministry in Boston, helping to feed, clothe and connect the homeless and marginalized with both physical and spiritual resources. After six years in Brookline MA, Father Allan graduated with a Master of Divinity degree on May 16th, 2009, and went immediately to serve Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, in Scottsdale AZ, under the guidance of Father Andrew Barakos, in the role of Lay Pastoral Assistant. In March of 2011, His Eminence, Metropolitan Gerasimos transitioned Father Allan to Los Angeles to begin serving as St Sophia’s Pastoral Assistant. On June 13th, 2011, His Eminence ordained Father Allan to the Deaconate, and then to the Holy Priesthood on July 17th, 2011, where he served as Assistant Priest to St Sophia Cathedral until November of 2015.
Under the wise mentorship of his Proistaminos, Father John Bakas, Father Allan helped pave the way for a widened demographic at the cathedral, where one can now find people from many different cultures, ethnicities and religious origins adorning the community as Orthodox Christians like precious jewels. Fr. John Bakas and Fr. Allan also teamed up on intensive efforts to guide the parish-council and the parish-at-large towards a greater awareness and fulfillment of the Church’s divinely given mission. During his four and a half years there, Father Allan established a “WHYs of Orthodoxy” class, serving as both a class for those who wished to become Orthodox and a place where people who grew up in the Faith could learn more about why we Orthodox Christians believe what we believe and why we do what we do. In 2013, he was additionally instrumental in starting an “Orthodox Young-Adult Professionals Forum” ministry, where 20-35 people continued to attend weekly to share a meal together, pray together and strengthen their grip on tools from ancient Orthodox Christianity, to help them navigate and thrive in 21st century Los Angeles culture.
On December 1st, 2015, Father Allan-Gabriel and Presvytera Danita were assigned to Saint Basil the Great Greek Orthodox Church, in San Jose, California. There, while maintaining leadership in the spiritual and liturgical life of the parish, Father Allan began extensive focus on helping to revitalize the care for the temple, which had fallen into extreme disrepair. Under his leadership, they restored the outside of the church to offer a more welcoming curb appeal, and remodeled the cry-room to create an atmosphere whereby young families would feel more at home. He led efforts to remodel the parish hall and outside courtyard to better accommodate parish gatherings and adult education and finally he helped redesign the parish website toward offering helpful information to non-Orthodox inquirers and added the ability for parishioners to make stewardship offerings and other types of parish donations electronically. Father Allan and Presvytera Danita’s two children are now in their late thirties and early forties. Their son Joshua (a talented chanter) has given them two granddaughters and a grandson. In December 2020, Father Allan and Presvytera Danita transferred to the Atlanta Metropolis to be near their son and 3 grandchildren, where Fr Allan helped His Eminence to quickly fill an opening at Annunciation in Pensacola. While there, an urgent need arose for a priest with Fr Allan’s and Presvytera Danita’s gifts and strengths to fill an opening, here at St John the Theologian Orthodox Church in Panama City, where he celebrated his first Divine Liturgy on July 4th, 2021.
Upon his arrival, it was observed that much infrastructure was missing from the life of the parish. Thus, Fr Allan:
- established a regular pattern of mid-week feast day liturgies, including a fuller array of Lenten and Holy Week services;
- began a monthly Youth Sunday, with Fr Allan doing a children’s sermon. (On each of these Sundays, children are encouraged to be more involved in fulfilling ministry roles, like helping the ushers, singing in the choir, and reading the Epistle Reading);
- created a weekly bulletin/worship guide with news and info about upcoming parish events, to help keep us organized and working together;
- established catechism and adult religious education class called, “The WHYs of Orthodox Christianity”;
- developed new content and a new design for the parish’s web-page (which hadn’t been updated in ten years), focusing now upon providing online info for those inquiring into Orthodox Christianity;
- re-established a long-forgotten Sunday School program, utilizing the brilliant skills of his wife, Presvytera Danita;
- led the parish council to adopt healthier practices in accounting for parish finances and offering parishioners transparent and monthly communication regarding its economic status, which had never been done;
- developed the parish council by creatively adopting and training newer members, expanding our skill-sets;
- established a Stewardship program, with constant teaching about the meaning of authentic stewardship in Christ;
- led efforts to slowly, clean-up, reorganize, and revitalize various parts of the facility to better facilitate the expansion of Christian ministry from our parish.
- found Choir Leadership, and (at Bishop Sebastian’s instruction) introduced a new hymnal with archdiocese standardized English, to help lead our parish towards the practice of enthusiastic congregational singing of the Divine Liturgy and other services;
As of yet, there is still a significant amount of infrastructure which Fr Allan hopes to lead us to regenerate at St John the Theologian parish, including:
- developing a unified understanding and embodiment of our parish’s WHY, Mission, Values, and Vision, as they pertain to Orthodox Christianity;
- developing maturity in parish praxis, whereby, out of Holy Philotimo (a love for living an honorable life, devoted to God); the day-to-day expenses of our parish are provided for entirely by parishioners’ stewardship, leaving Greek Festival funds to offer much-needed ministry to our surrounding Panama City.