On Friday, November 24, St. Martin of Tours Mission in Montgomery, AL, celebrated its patronal feast day. The mission’s rector, Priest Elias Crowder, celebrated Divine Liturgy. Afterwards, parishioners and guests enjoyed a festal meal and Christian fellowship.
Several people from nearby ROCOR missions were in attendance, and some even assisted in the altar and on kliros. Reader Justinian Burnett of St. John Cassian Mission in Bessemer, AL, presented gifts on behalf of their community. Fr. Elias remarked: "The three most recent ROCOR missions founded in Alabama all have ‘Western’ saints as their patrons. I do not believe this is coincidental: I cannot help but to think that these missions exist, largely, because of these ‘Western’ saints, who continue to intercede for their cultural and familial posterity, that they might return to the Holy Orthodox Church."
Archpriest John Townsend, dean of the Georgia, Alabama & Mississippi Deanery, sent greetings to the rector and parishioners, which read, in part: "…May God bless you and grant you the grace and power to proclaim His saving Gospel in Montgomery, through the prayers of your Heavenly patron, the Holy Hierarch Martin of Tours. What a great example of the life in Christ and what a great preacher of that life! I pray that this first patronal feast will be the beginning of many more, and that God will allow you to bring many to salvation…"