Saint Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church

Saint Nicholas

Parish History

In 1994, the Episcopal Church was in turmoil over changes to be made in their
philosophy. At that time, our Episcopal congregation and our priest decided to
look into other options. A weekly study class was organized. We studied briefly
what other denominations believed and it became apparent that Orthodoxy was
the only denomination we could truly embrace. Our study class then became an
Orthodox study class using the text, "Common Ground." After finishing the text,
we then needed to make the arrangements to leave the Episcopal church and
become chrismated in the Orthodox faith. It was the wish of the hierarchy in the
Orthodox church that the congregation become chrismated first and then our priest
and deacon would be ordained. On May 10, 1995 everything was ready...we thought!
The Episcopal Bishop of our diocese would not allow the chrismation to occur in
our parish church. At the last minute, preparations were made to have the service
in the Greek Orthodox Church, which we did. Six days later, our priest and deacon
and his wife traveled to the Church of St. George in Troy, Michigan for their
ordinations.

During this time, we were assured by the parish legal counsel that we would keep
our building (which was an historic landmark in Spokane), the vestments, music,
etc. and simply have the building re-consecrated as an Orthodox church. While the
priest and deacon were away, padlocks were placed on the church and outlying
buildings by the Episcopal Diocese. the legal battle resulted in our losing everything,
including the ladies' reception supplies!

For a time, we held services in a hotel in downtown Spokane, and then in the chapel
of a youth center. Finally, however, we found an empty church building to purchase.
It was amazing how quickly we were able to come up with the down payment! In
addition to the down payment, contributions were also made for the renovation of
the building from a Free Methodist motif to an Orthodox decor.

In November 1997, our deacon was ordained a priest also and has since replaced
the priest who took us to Orthodoxy.

God works in mysterious ways! The Episcopal Bishop had a very bad heart condition
and was hospitalized while awaiting a possible transplant. During that time, he and
the new Episcopal priest of our old parish, decided to give back all the vestments! He
died shortly thereafter. May God Rest His Soul and May Light Perpetual Shine Upon
Him!


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