Our Story 

What is the Orthodox Faith?

The Orthodox Church is the original Christian Church, the Church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ and described in the pages of the New Testament. Her history can be traced in unbroken continuity all the way back to Christ and His Twelve Apostles, empowered and sent forth on the day of Holy Pentecost. Incredible as it seems, for over twenty centuries, she has continued in her undiminished and unaltered faith and practice. Today her apostolic doctrine, worship, and structure remain intact.  The Orthodox Church maintains that the Church is the living Body of Jesus Christ. Many of us are surprised to learn that for the first 1000 years of Christian history, there was just one Church. 


Saint John the Baptist Christian Orthodox Church was founded in Rochester, New York on the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women (May 17) in 1964.

That year, a group of Orthodox faithful joined together with the desire to establish a Christian Orthodox parish where the Divine Services would be conducted entirely in the English language. Faithfully enduring many difficulties and overcoming obstacles, the parish grew and found a home at its current location—a truly inviting and lovely place of worship, centrally located and easily accessible from the entire greater Rochester area. The parish has become an icon of Christian Orthodox unity, where people from diverse ethnic heritages and cultural roots gather together as the “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.”

Parishioners represent a wide diversity of backgrounds — “cradle-born” Christian Orthodox, converts from a multitude of religious traditions, and those seeking Christ and His Church. Many faithful have been added to the Body of Christ through the faithful witness of St. John’s parish, and for this great blessing and joy we offer thanks to God. At St. John’s, we celebrate the uniquely precious gift that each woman, man, and child is within our family of faith. We strive to be a community of love: for God and for one another. By the grace of God, we work to faithfully be “the Church” in the midst of our unworthiness. We know that we are sinners. We know, also, that our parish is the haven of those who repent and the salvation of those who contritely seek God’s forgiveness. God has been merciful, gracious and good to us, for in this holy house, we have seen the True Light!

In this holy house, the fullness of the Christian Orthodox Faith is opened to us. We hope and pray that the Holy Spirit will lead others into the fullness of Christ and His Holy Church through an encounter with Orthodox Christianity at Saint John’s parish. We welcome all—Orthodox Christians and seekers—to journey with us.