Orthodox Christianity, the oldest Christian Tradition, arrived in West Virginia on a Sunday morning in 1892 when a small group of immigrants gathered for worship in a building on Kanawha Boulevard in Charleston.
As members of the Body of Christ, the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, our Cathedral has a responsibility to “go forth and make disciples of all nations,” and call greater-Appalachia home to Orthodox Christianity.
The patron saint and protector of our community is Saint George, a Christian martyr who lived in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. His feast day is celebrated on April 23 (or if that date falls during Lent, the Monday after Pascha/Easter). Every Orthodox Church is dedicated on behalf of a Saint or event in the life of the Church; this offers the local community a spiritual connection to the historic life of the Church, where a young parish can derive its splendor through the intercessions of a holy patron.
Our community belongs to the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. As a Cathedral, we are also the primary center of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic. Or Antiochian Church in America is a daughter Archdiocese of the Patriarchate of Antioch, which is an ancient city in (what is now) eastern Turkey. It is where the term “Christians” was first used to refer to the followers of Jesus Christ (Acts 11:26). It is also where the first Christian Church was founded. Before he arrived in Rome, the Apostle Peter was first the Bishop of Antioch. Our rich spiritual heritage comes from that of the many great martyrs, hierarchs, and faithful of this ancient region. The current Patriarch of Antioch, JOHN X (the tenth), is the 290th successor to the Apostle Peter, and currently resides in the ancient city of Damascus, where Saint Paul converted to Christianity (cf. Acts 9:3-9).
Orthodox is a word, made up of two Greek words meaning, true/straight and worship/glory (ortho doxia). It refers to our beliefs, which are unchanged since the time of Christ. Orthodoxy is not a denomination of Christianity because it predates any denominations. It is original Christianity, preserved until today without change.
We bear the name Christian because we are followers of the God-Man, Jesus Christ. We believe He is fully God and fully Man, and those natures are inseparable. He is the pre-eternal and co-originate Son of God the Father, and the Virgin Mary through the Holy Spirit. He is pre-eternal God born incarnate in time. We believe that salvation comes through His love and sacrifice on the Cross.