The Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the United States were organized as the Order of Saint Andrew on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 10, 1966 when His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos conferred upon thirty outstanding laymen of the Church the respective Offikion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on behalf of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras. This was not a new title or award. Indeed, the history of the various Offikia can be traced back to the Byzantine Empire where the conferring of these titles, by both the Church and the State, originated. The designation of “Archon” itself has an even older lineage, going back to the office of magistrate or even the highest official in the Ancient Greek City States.

Previously, the conferring of the titles had been limited to a very few outstanding laymen who had been able to journey to the Great Church of Christ in Constantinople where the honor was personally bestowed by the Ecumenical Patriarch, a practice that still continues in exceptional cases.

The primary mission of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate / Order of Saint Andrew is to promote and defend the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The spiritual, educational and philanthropic initiatives of the Archons in America are focused on the general well-being of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its institutions, as well as on related religious, educational and philanthropic institutions in the United States.

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew approved the Bylaws that follow. They were unanimously approved by the members of the Order of Saint Andrew at their annual meeting of March 8, 2003 and received the blessings of the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America. Certain Articles were subsequently amended in accordance with the provisions of Article XII (Amendments). All amendments are noted in the respective Articles.