The Prophet of American Orthodoxy


Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine, the great convert priest who was ordained by St. Tikhon in 1905, may well be the most quotable figure in American Orthodox history. You can expect lots of Irvine-related material on this website well into the future, but I thought that today, I might offer some...

Robert Josias Morgan visits Russia, 1904


It's been a while since we talked about Robert Josias Morgan, the black Episcopal deacon who became an Orthodox priest in 1907, taking the name "Fr. Raphael." In the past, I've mentioned that, prior to his conversion to Orthodoxy, Morgan visited Russia in 1904. Upon his departure, he wrote a...

Fact-checking the Bulgarian Monk


Continuing on the theme of Rev. A.N. Experidon (aka "the Bulgarian Monk") from yesterday, I thought I would check out some of the claims made by our itinerant friend. In the Atlanta Constitution (April 30, 1876) Fr. Experidon is reported to have met Loring and Colston, two former Confederate soldiers,...

The Bulgarian Monk visits San Jose


In the latest episode of my American Orthodox History podcast,  I talk about Rev. A.N. Experidon, better known as "the Bulgarian Monk." He was, without a doubt, the weirdest man in the history of American Orthodoxy. For the whole story, I'd encourage you to listen to the podcast, but below,...

Fr. Sebastian Dabovich on the Condition of Society, 1899


In 1899, Fr. Sebastian Dabovich published a book of homilies, called Preaching in the Russian Church. One of those sermons, "On the Condition of Society," is especially interesting, because it gives us Dabovich's perspective on life at the turn of the last century. As you can see, despite all that...

Priest makes bread rise without yeast


Every once in a while here at OrthodoxHistory.org, I like to take a break from serious historical study to present completely random, strange pieces of information from the past. Today is one of those days. The following article appeared in the Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner on November 15, 1927: WATERBURY, Conn., Nov....

“The Archbishop has made a big, bad blunder…”


On November 5, 1905, St. Tikhon ordained Ingram N.W. Irvine an Orthodox priest. It was a courageous action, and I cannot help but think that St. Tikhon's feelings on the matter were bittersweet. He knew -- he must have known -- that he was indeed ushering in a new "epoch in...

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...

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...

The New Orleans Gospel Book


In 1927, Fr. Boris Burden wrote the following: The Church of the Holy Trinity in New Orleans, La., claims to have been the first Greek church in the United States. On the occasion of its dedication in 1860 Alexander II, Czar of Russia, sent to its Greek Priest, the Reverend...