The Website for the Orthodox Church in America, Oca.org, published a story on July 29, 2014 about St. Athanasius Orthodox Church, with rector Fr. Justin Patterson (SVOTS '05).
On Sunday, July 27, 2014, the faithful of St. Athanasius Church here worshipped for the first time in their new church building.
Over 120 people were present at the final Liturgy in the parish's storefront, for the procession (by car) to the new church after the Liturgy, and for the opening of the doors of the church with a Service of Thanksgiving marking the long journey that led to this day. The move into the new church is but the most recent step in the 12-year history of this community.
Saint Athanasius community was founded in 2002 as a mission of the OCA Diocese of the South. On the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord, about 25 souls were received into the canonical Church from the Evangelical Orthodox Church. With the granting of both the national and diocesan church planting grants, our first pastor, Fr. David Rucker, was able to devote himself to full-time parish ministry, and the parish grew rapidly.
In 2012, the parish purchased its current property, using the sale of another property to quickly pay down the mortgage and launch a capital campaign. The parish family of St. Athanasius, comprised of about 60 families, raised over $400,000.00 in the past three years. In the fall of 2013, the parish body approved plans and received the blessing of Archbishop Nikon to break ground on the new $974,000.00 "Phase One" project.
Space has been set aside on our parish campus for future phases of construction, which will include a large traditional temple and additional office and educational space.
The building committee has worked diligently to stay within budget for this project and, as of this publication, is on track to meet that budget, as the project wraps up. Saint Athanasius will host a fall open house for local community friends. Archbishop Nikon has offered to preside at St. Athanasius' formal Dedication, slated to be held in early February 2015 in conjunction with the celebration of the parish's 13th Anniversary.
The parish expresses its gratitude Archbishop Nikon for his support during this project, as well as to the OCA and the Diocese of the South for the support St. Athanasius received, particularly during its formative years. The parish family looks forward to supporting the institutions that have made the growth of Orthodoxy in Kentucky possible!