By TATYANA NYBORG
ORTHODOX LEADER: Father Ambrose Arrington of the Holy Apostles Orthodox Christian Church is taking his growing congregation to a new location in south Tulsa County near Glenpool.
RENEE TETZLOFF for GTR Newspapers
Holy Apostles Orthodox Christian Church, currently located at 6636 S. Lewis Ave. in Tulsa, recently purchased eight acres of land for construction of a temple to be built near 156th Street and South Peoria Avenue, which is south of Jenks near Glenpool. The Bishop of the church from Dallas came and blessed the land
“We are negotiating with architects now,” Father Ambrose Arrington, parish priest of the Holy Apostles Orthodox Christian Church in Tulsa, says. “The new church will have a chapel, parish hall, classrooms, kitchen and priest’s office, as well as sufficient parking space for a congregation of up to 200 people. We hope to be in a new building on Christmas this year.”
Father Ambrose continues, “The Orthodox church is the most ancient Christian church, established by Christ and His Apostles. It was brought to the USA in the end of the 18th century by Russian missionaries who came to Alaska and converted many native Alaskan tribes. Then the Orthodox church moved to California and New York.”
In Oklahoma, we have several Christian Orthodox churches that are quite an international community. Father Ambrose states, “We have Greeks, Russians, Lebanese and a good number of American converts into the Orthodox Church.” As a matter of fact, Father Ambrose is an American himself, about 30 years old, married and has three children.
The Holy Apostles Orthodox Christian Church in Tulsa conducts different services for its members such as baptism, chrismation (or confirmation), anointing of the sick, temple marriages, funerals, etc. There are services every Saturday night, Sunday morning, Wednesday night, Thursday morning in English, and once a month—in church Slavonic language. The church offers free Bible study, Orthodox traditions and faith classes twice a week. Soon Bible study class will be offered in Russian.
Several members of the Holy Apostles Orthodox Christian Church volunteer their time at Iron Gate, a ministry located in downtown Tulsa at the Trinity Episcopal Church to feed the homeless, and also the church members collected and donated money to help victims of the recent tsunami disaster in Asia.
“The Christian life is a way of life,” Father Ambrose reflects. “It is a life of continuing change and transforming into the life of Jesus. Our purpose is to be changed and glorified in God.”
He continues, “Members of the Orthodox Church believe that Jesus established His church on the Earth and He will return. We believe in Father God, Jesus, who is a Son of God, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus took on flesh in order to join us together within him and died on the cross so he could restore us to the condition we were before sin (Adam and Eve‘s sin).”
The exterior style of the future temple of the Holy Apostles Orthodox Christian Church will be similar to Orthodox cathedrals in Russia.