Shimun Mar Yacoub
Shimun Mar Yacoub
|Bishop of the United States of America|
His Grace, Shimun Mar Yacoub (a.k.a. James Peter Bramhan) of the Nazarani Church
|Native name||שימן מר יקוב|
|Church||Saint Thomas Monastery, Emporia, Virginia|
|See||United States of America|
|Elected||21 December 2012|
12 September 2012|
by H.E. Hadrian Mar Elijah Bar Israel
|Birth name||James Peter Bramhan|
Darlington, South Carolina, U.S.A.
Emporia, Virginia, U.S.A.
|Buried||Arlington National Cemetary|
|Spouse||Peggy Shaw Bramhan|
|Education||Ph.D., D.Div., Th.D.|
|Alma mater||University of the Potomac|
His Grace, the Most Reverend Dr. Shimun Mar Yacoub (Aramaic: שימן מר יקוב) was born "James Peter Bramhan" on 16 August 1951 in Darlington, South Carolina to Ethel Franklin Bramhan and the late Richard Bramhan, Sr.
His early education was received in the Darlington County Public Schools, after which he earned graduate degrees in psychology, divinity, theology and philosophy. He also taught a number of martial arts modalities prior to becoming a priest.
African Orthodox Church
Like many African American clergy at that time, he found himself sidelined by the Catholic hierarchy in the United States - so while he was originally trained in Roman Catholic seminaries in the United States, he was eventually ordained as a priest in Africa, where it was felt his skin color would be more acceptable to the people. Eventually coming back to the United States, he wound up serving as a priest and then later as bishop of the African Orthodox Church.
This denomination was founded by the Rev. George McGuire in 1928 to provide a home for those who were disenfranchised by the racial policies of the mainline denominations.
His Grace married Deaconess Peggy Shaw Bramhan. The service was conducted by the Rev. James Salisbury of the African Orthodox Church.
Deaconess Peggy Shaw Bramhan died in hospital on 10 October 2011.
Attempted Conversion to Orthodoxy
For two years from 2010-2012 A.D., His Grace attempted to join the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, but was rejected by all of these, out of fear of being one-upped by him as the result of his episcopal status and strong, charismatic personality.
In 2011, Shimun Mar Yacoub founded the Emporia Initiative as a charitable non-profit 501(c)(3) educational an literary trust, in order to help local writers in Virginia more easily access the publishing marketplace. After his death in 2017, the trustees decided to take the work public, and now represents a number of authors working in many different literary and scientific genres and nations.
In September of 2012, His Excellency, Hadrian Mar Elijah Bar Israel, the Nazarani Metropolitan tonsured James Peter Bramhan as a monk, and incardinated him under the name "Shimun Mar Yacoub", meaning "Peter Lord Jacob" in Aramaic; giving him the title of "Bishop of the United States". Thus he was bishop of the Nazarani Church from its inception.
Prior to his death he built the Community of St. Thomas, Emporia Virginia, where he served as bishop, pastor, and resident clinical psychologist.
SHIMUN MAR YACOUB, PLEASE PRAY FOR US!