We are a still a young mission, but we are already a community of roughly 70 people of all ages and ethnicities. Whether you are already Orthodox and looking for a spiritual home or simply exploring, you will be welcome. All services are in English with congregational singing.
St. Andrew’s began in February of 2012 as an outreach ministry of St. Elias in Austin, TX to better minister the spiritual needs of parishioners living in the greater Waco area. Fr. David Barr began coming to Waco on Sunday evenings to lead us in a Bible Study, followed by Little Compline. Dn. Gregory Farmen soon joined him. In March, Fr. David received a blessing from Bishop Basil to serve us communion from the Reserved Sacrament at St. Elias and we began to search for a more formal setting. Fr. John Wells his community at Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit very graciously offered to provide a space for us, a relationship that would last for the next two years. Our numbers grew throughout this journey and it became clear to all that there was a large enough core to establish a new parish. On May 6, Fr. Michael Keiser, Director of Missions and Evangelism for the Antiochian Archdiocese came to visit and Fr. David wrote to Metropolitan PHILIP, of blessed memory, asking for official recognition. We received word on May 11 that we were an official Mission station. On June 20, we received word from Bishop BASIL that our community would be under the prayers and protection of St. Andrew the First-Called Apostle.
Throughout the year that followed, clearly from St. Elias in Austin came north each week to bring us Holy Communion from the morning Liturgy there and to teach us. In this way we were able to build the beginnings of a stable liturgical schedule, with Christian education each Sunday evening, followed by Typika with distribution of the Reserved Sacrament.
It was also a year of joyous firsts: our first baptism, enrollment of our first catechumens, and our first chrismation. We celebrated our first patronal feast day with our first Divine Liturgy as a community on the eve of November 30, 2012. The second Liturgy came a month later we celebrated the Nativity of our Lord. March 3, 2013 was an especially blessed evening as His Grace Bishop BASIL joined us for his first pastoral visit to the mission. For our first Holy Week, with Fr. David’s instruction and encouragement, we gathered in various living rooms to sing the Bridegroom Services of Holy Monday and Tuesday, Holy Wednesday Orthros, and the Passion Gospel service of Holy Thursday as Reader services. On Holy Friday, Fr. Dave Lewis come up from Austin to lead us in the remainder of our Paschal services and festivities. Finally, on June 17, we received word of another important first: Metropolitan PHILIP appointed Fr. John Ballard as our first pastor, effective July 28th, 2013.
Palm Sunday of 2014 marked a new stage in our parish history, our first service at the Estates Drive location which is now home.
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