Ten-Year Celebration: St. Archangel Michael Parish in Huntsville, Alabama

 

 

This past November 2012, St. Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Parish celebrated its 10th year with a Slava service following the Divine Liturgy. Fr. Milorad Loncar was present for the festivities and served the Slava together with Fr. Gregory Schultz, the parish priest.

 

Back in the early 1970’s, the only Orthodox Church in Huntsville was a small Greek Church. At that time, a number of non-Greek Orthodox Christians had moved to the Huntsville area and having come from Serbian and Russian ancestry, felt that Huntsville needed another Orthodox Church to better meet their needs. The Serbian Church granted them a charter in 2002 and at first held services in various locations temporarily. Then, in 2007 a small building was purchased for use by the church. After quite a bit of renovation and remodeling, St. Michael’s began holding services in its new location at 4319 Spartacus Drive near downtown Huntsville.

 

Several visiting priests served the church until 2010 when the priest on loan was transferred to another church in Mississippi. At that time Bishop Longin appointed Fr. Gregory Schultz (formerly of St. Andrew Mission in Madison, Wisconsin) to serve as the parish priest. Since 2010, the parish has continued to grow and currently has about 75 members.

 

Alabama is in the heart of the so-called “Bible Belt” with a strong Protestant influence. However, St. Michael’s has seen a fairly steady influx of visitors who are interested in learning more about the Orthodox Church. These visitors have talked about how they are growing tired of the direction they see some of their churches going in recent years—with an emphasis upon “contemporary” worship where church services often become more like places of entertainment featuring movie presentations, rock music and light shows.

 

St. Michael’s offers Divine Services, Bible Study and Spiritual Chat groups, Catechumen classes, guest lecturers, and has established an Orthodox lending library. For more information, go to www.easternorthodoxchurch.org.

 

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