1994 was the 200th anniversary of the Orthodox Christian presence in North America. Orthodoxy entered through Alaska with the Russian mission there in 1794. Orthodox people with roots in Greece, the Balkans, Africa, and the Middle East have since added to the diversity of our continent and our country.
Immigrants from Syria and the Middle East began to organize Churches in 1895, and thereby the two thousand years of spiritual experience of the Antiochian Patriarchate has enriched the New World for more than one hundred years.
The Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, together with the three other ancient Patriarchates (Constantinople, Alexandria, and Jerusalem); and the four modern Patriarchates (Russia, Serbia, Rumania, and Bulgaria); and the autocephalous Churches (of Cyprus, Greece, Georgia, Poland, and Albania); and the three autonomous Churches (Sinai, Czechoslovakia, and Finland) -- with many dependent (daughter) bodies and missionary situations throughout the world -- comprise what is known today as the "Eastern Orthodox Church" with an estimated 250 million adherents. All are united in faith and worship and share the Apostolic experience and tradition of the past twenty centuries.
The Western Patriarchate (Rome) has been separated from world Orthodoxy since the schism of 1054 A.D. The Roman Church and the Orthodox Churches have not been in communion with each other since that time.
Saint Philip's of Souderton is a "Pan-Orthodox" parish, begun in 1978. We moved from Horsham Township, PA to our beautiful sanctuary Souderton, PA in 1991 and added an education wing including the fellowship hall "the Great Room" and Sunday School Rooms, a library, and an office in 1998. The parish is comprised of over 125 families from many backgrounds. All services at Saint Philip's are conducted in the English language.
The diversity of backgrounds at Saint Philip's attests to the appeal of Orthodoxy at a time when many religious groups are viewed as accommodating and trendy. Many converts have sought out Orthodoxy in recent years, discovering its fidelity to scriptural and doctrinal foundations and its changeless expression of the historic Christian faith.