Priest defrocked in ’70s sex abuse case

Author: Tara Dooley
Date Published: 05/19/2005

2 men testified in church court about the former HISD official

A Greek Orthodox priest and retired Houston school district official has been defrocked by church leaders after an investigation into sexual abuse allegations stemming from incidents in the 1970s in Ohio.

Gabriel Barrow, who was suspended from duties at St. John the Theologian Church in Webster last year, was permanently removed from the priesthood, said Nikki Stephanopoulos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Calls to Barrow and St. John the Theologian were not returned.

Barrow also worked as an instructional supervisor in the northeast office of the Houston Independent School District until he retired in August, said spokesman Terry Abbott.

He started at HISD in 1979 as a history teacher at Barbara Jordan High School.

The district has said Barrow had a ”spotless” record.

His removal from the priesthood came after a ”spiritual court” in June 2004 in New York. Two men – teens at the time of the alleged abuse – testified. One, whom the Houston Chronicle is not identifying, said Barrow molested him in 1975 when the priest worked in an Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church of North America in Ohio. He later became a priest in the Greek Orthodox Church of America.

The order to remove Barrow from the priesthood came from the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey.