St. Paul the Apostle Orthodox Church

Dayton, Ohio

Discovering Orthodoxy?

How old is the Orthodox Church?
Where did it come from?

"The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant
It is orthodox, but not Jewish.
It is catholic, but not Roman.
It isn't non-denominational - it is pre-denominational.
It has believed, taught, preserved, defended and died for the Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost 2000 years ago."
Steve Robinson

As long as there have been Christians, there has been the Orthodox Church.

We trace our origins to the tiny communities of believers who gathered together in the years after Our Lord's crucifixion and resurrection. Very early on these communities were led by a bishop and served by presbyters and deacons in worship that included material from the Psalms, the Old Testament, and the developing Eucharistic Prayer.

During the second and third centuries AD the Christian world enlarged. The bishops (Patriarchs) of the leading cities of the Empire, (Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem) guided the Church through difficult struggles for unity in faith and practice. By the 4th century AD the Church had overseen the shaping of the Bible into its modern form, and the basic statement of Christian faith in the Nicene Creed. Worshippers throughout the Roman world were using early versions of the services we Orthodox use today.

Tragically, this early unity could not overcome the growing barriers of language and distance. By AD 1054, centuries of mistrust and miscommunication led the Pope of Rome and the Patriarch of Constantinople to formally break off ties with one another.

The Latin speaking west became the Roman Catholic Church, and has undergone a millenium of growth and sweeping change: the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, the rise of a multiplicity of Protestant churches, the modernizations of the Vatican Councils.

Meanwhile the eastern, Orthodox churches have held fast to the shared, pre-denominational heritage of Christianity's first thousand years. We still worship with the same liturgies, still believe the same doctrines, still read the same Bible, and still have the same hierarchy of bishops, priests and deacons as we have for roughly 1500 years.

We invite you to come and see!