Timeline of Orthodoxy in America

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This article forms part of the series
Orthodoxy in America
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American Orthodox Timeline
American Orthodox Bibliography
Byzantines on OCA autocephaly
Ligonier Meeting
Saints - Bishops - Writers
Antiochian - Bulgarian
OCA - Romanian - Moscow
ROCOR - Serbian

Ecumenical Patriarchate:
Albanian - Carpatho-Russian
Greek - Ukrainian

Christ the Saviour
Holy Cross
Holy Trinity
St. Herman's
St. Tikhon's
St. Sava's
St. Sophia's
St. Vladimir's
Assembly of Bishops
Amer. Orthodox Catholic Church
Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black
Evangelical Orthodox Church
Holy Order of MANS/CSB
Society of Clerks Secular of St. Basil
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The History of Orthodoxy in America is complex and resists any easy categorizations or explanations.

Early Visits and Missions (530-1900)

  • 530 St. Brendan the Navigator lands in Newfoundland, Canada, establishing a short-lived community of Irish monks.
  • 1741 Divine Liturgy celebrated on a Russian ship off the coast of Alaska.
  • 1767 A community of Orthodox Greeks establishes itself in New Smyrna, Florida.
  • 1794 Missionaries, including St. Herman of Alaska, arrive at Kodiak Island, bringing Orthodoxy to Russian Alaska.
  • 1796 Martyrdom of Juvenaly of Alaska.
  • 1799 Ioasaph (Bolotov) consecrated in Irkutsk as first bishop for Alaska, but dies in a shipwreck during his return.
  • 1816 Martyrdom of Peter the Aleut near San Francisco.
  • 1817 Russian colony of Fort Ross established 60 miles from San Francisco.
  • 1824 Fr. John Veniaminov comes to Unalaska, Alaska.
  • 1825 First native priest, Jacob Netsvetov.
  • 1834 Fr. John Veniaminov moves to Sitka, Alaska; liturgy and catechism translated into Aleut.
  • 1836 Imperial ukaz regarding Alaskan education issued from Czar Nicholas I that students were to become faithful members of the Orthodox Church, loyal subjects of the Czar, and loyal citizens; Fr. John Veniaminov returns to Russia.
  • 1837 Death of St. Herman of Alaska on Spruce Island.
  • 1840 Consecration of Fr. John Veniaminov as bishop with the name Innocent.
  • 1841 Return of St. Innocent of Alaska to Sitka; sale of Fort Ross property to an American citizen; pastoral school established in Sitka.
  • 1844 Formation of seminary in Sitka.
  • 1848 Consecration of St. Michael Cathedral in Sitka.
  • 1850 Alaskan episcopal see and seminary moved to Yakutsk, Russia.
  • 1858 Peter (Sysakoff) consecrated as auxiliary bishop for Alaska with Innocent's primary see moved to Yakutsk.
  • 1864 Holy Trinity Church, first Orthodox parish established on United States soil in New Orleans, Louisiana, by Greeks.
  • 1867 Alaska purchased by the United States from Russia; Bp. Paul (Popov) succeeds Bp. Peter.
  • 1868 First Russian parish established in US territory in San Francisco, California; St. Innocent of Alaska becomes Metropolitan of Moscow.
  • 1870 Diocese of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska formed by the Church of Russia with Bp. John (Metropolsky) as ruling hierarch.
  • 1872 See of the Aleutians diocese moved to San Francisco, placing it outside the defined boundaries of the diocese (i.e., Alaska).
  • 1876 Bp. John (Metropolsky) recalled to Russia.
  • 1879 Bp. Nestor (Zakkis) succeeds John (Metropolsky).
  • 1882 Bp. Nestor (Zakkis) drowns in the Bering Sea.
  • 1888 Bp. Vladimir (Sokolovsky) becomes Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska; ordination of first American-born Orthodox priest, Fr. Sebastian Dabovich.
  • 1891 Fr. Alexis Toth, a Uniate priest, petitions to be received along with his parish in Minneapolis into the Russian Church; Bp. Nicholas (Adoratsky) assigned as Bishop of Alaska but is transferred before taking up his post; Nicholas (Ziorov) becomes ruling bishop of the Alaskan diocese.
  • 1892 Fr. Alexis Toth and his parish in Minneapolis received into the Russian Church; Carpatho-Russian Uniate parishes in Illinois, Connecticut, and several Pennsylvania soon follow suit; first Serbian parish established in Jackson, California; Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox parish founded in New York; first American-born person ordained, Fr. Sebastian Dabovich; Archim. Raphael (Hawaweeny) arrives in America.
  • 1895 First Syrian parish in Brooklyn, New York, founded by St. Raphael of Brooklyn; first clergy conference, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
  • 1896 Bp. Nicholas (Ziorov) reports to the Holy Synod of Russia that "the commemoration of the Emperor and the Reigning House during the divine services brings forth dismay and apprehension among Orthodox in America of non-Russian backgound"; St. Alexander Hotovitsky appointed as rector in New York.
  • 1898 Bp. Nicholas (Ziorov) returns to Russia; Tikhon (Belavin) becomes Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska.

Beyond Alaska (1900-1918)

Revolution and Rivalry (1918-1943)

Emergence of American Orthodoxy (1943-1970)

Union and Division (1970-1994)

Ligonier and Beyond (1994-present)