The Ordination of the Rev. Ingram N.W. Irvine, D.D.

The following article appeared in the English-language supplement to the November 1905 issue of the Russian Orthodox American Messenger, the official publication of the Russian Mission: The Rev. Ingram N.W. Irvine, D.D., was, on St. Mary’s Day, Nov. 4th, received into the Holy Orthodox Church by our beloved Archbishop the Most Rev. Tikhon, D.D. and…

The First Churches, State by State

There is an argument, made by many, that the first autocephalous Church to expand into a new territory “gets” that territory. I call it the flag-planting theory, because it reminds me of 15th century European explorers who reached the shores of undiscovered (for them) lands, stuck a flag in the sand, and claimed that piece…

St. Innocent’s Vision

On October 18, 1867, the Russian Empire formally ceded Alaska to the United States. The next month, St. Innocent was elected Metropolitan of Moscow. Shortly after this, Innocent sent the following letter to the Ober-Procurator (the Tsar’s representative) of the Holy Synod.[*] Rumor reaching me from Moscow purports that I wrote to someone of my great unhappiness…

Language in American Orthodoxy, 1916

As you might expect, most American Orthodox parishes in 1916 used foreign languages. From that year’s Census of Religious Bodies, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, we find the following unsurprising information: Both of the Albanian parishes used exclusively Albanian. The four Bulgarian parishes used Bulgarian and Slavonic. The 87 Greek parishes used exclusively Greek.…

“When we speak of Tsarist pressure”

In the late 1920s, after Abp. Aftimios Ofiesh (the successor to St. Raphael in the see of Brooklyn and the subject of my M.Div. thesis and possible future book) had in 1927 established, with the blessing of the Russian Metropolia, the so-called “American Orthodox Catholic Church,” he engaged in something of a debate via correspondence…

Not Quite SCOBA

Few photos from the early 20th century history of American Orthodoxy are so rich in significance as this one. This was taken during the 1921 visit of then-deposed Abp. Meletios (Metxakis) of Athens to America, beginning the process of founding the Greek Archdiocese. He came traveling with Bp. Alexander (Demoglou), who would become the first…