Nicolas Benachi, founder of the New Orleans Greek church

In the early years of the New Orleans parish, resident parish priests were few and far between. Fr. Agapius Honcharenko visited for a short while in 1865. Fr. Stephen Andreades served the parish in the late 1860s, and Fr. Gregory Yayas was the pastor from 1872-74. But the real leader of the community in those…

The First Orthodox Liturgy in the American South

As we discussed earlier, Fr. Agapius Honcharenko celebrated the first Orthodox liturgy in New York City on March 2, 1865. At the time, he was the only Orthodox priest in America outside of Alaska. And as we’ve also discussed, there were Greeks and other Orthodox Christians living in New Orleans in the 1860s. In fact, they…

More on New York’s first liturgy

This week, I’ve been discussing the first Orthodox liturgy in New York City, celebrated by Fr. Agapius Honcharenko in 1865. (For those posts, click here and here.) Honcharenko appears to have arrived in New York in January 1865. The following is part of the January 18, 1865 entry in the diary of Rev. Dr. Morgan…

Trinity Chapel: A Correction

A couple days ago, I wrote a piece on the first Orthodox liturgy in New York City, celebrated by Fr Agapius Honcharenko in 1865. The site of the liturgy was Trinity Chapel, which belonged to the Episcopal Church. In my post, I included a photo of Trinity Church… Which, as it turns out, is different…

The First Orthodox Liturgy in New York City

On March 2, 1865, New York City witnessed its first-ever Orthodox liturgy. The service was held in Trinity Chapel, which belonged to the Episcopal Church. The priest, Fr Agapius Honcharenko, was originally from what is now Ukraine and what was then a part of the Russian Empire. But he came, apparently, from the Church of…

Two Russian Priests in New York City, 1863

In September of 1863, in the middle of the American Civil War, a fleet of Russian ships arrived in the New York harbor. Their mission was both diplomatic and strategic, but anyway, that’s not terribly relevant here.[i] More to the point, among the crews of the ships were at least two Orthodox priests serving as…