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Beltsville, MD: Holy Apostles Church opens $27K Matching Grant to move toward Church Groundbreaking

On Pentecost, Holy Apostles Church in Beltsville, MD opened a $27,000 matching grant, to move toward the groundbreaking for the building of their parish hall. The parish hall is needed for the parish to be able to move out of their current office park location, where they have been worshipping since 2002. Once built, they can worship in the dining hall of the new building while they continue the restoration and renovation of the lovely historic chapel, which was given to the parish in 2009, along with two acres of beautiful land.

Every dollar contributed will be matched up to $27,000. The match appeal closes on the parish’s patronal feast weekend ‒ July 16, 2023.

Checks can be made out to Holy Apostles Orthodox Church (memo "Building Fund") and sent to:

Holy Apostles Orthodox Church
P.O. Box 594
Beltsville, MD 20704

Or visit their website www.holyapostlesorthodoxchurch.org for ways to donate online.

The History of the Parish

From the time of the founding of Holy Apostles in July of 2001, we have prayed for the Lord to give us a permanent parish home. Holy Apostles began in a little house in Beltsville, the house where Fr. George grew up. Father’s mother died in June 2001, and his brother generously agreed to allow our new parish to use the house for about a year, when he decided it was time to sell their childhood home. Then, we looked for a new parish home, and Father found our current humble location in the office park in Beltsville. We moved there in 2002.

We prayed fervently for a place to plant the Lord’s vineyard in Beltsville, a permanent parish home. We asked the Lord for a beautiful church and parish hall where we could work out our salvation and share our holy Faith, fulfilling the Lord’s instruction to go and teach all nations.

In 2008, the historic St. Joseph Chapel came to our attention. It was owned by the Christian Brothers, a teaching order in the Roman Catholic church. The church was built in 1880 by a childhood and lifelong friend of President Ulysses S. Grant, Admiral Daniel Ammen. The church had been boarded up for 50 years. Because the building was on the National Historic Register, it couldn’t be torn down. The Christian Brothers were looking for a new owner. After looking at many potential properties, Father George and matushka Deborah went to the Christian Brothers’ property to see if it might be a good permanent location for the parish. Upon first laying eyes on the property, they were overwhelmed by the beauty of the church and land. They both wept and felt a great longing for this to be the much sought for home. They wondered how much the property and church would cost. They asked the question, "Will they give it to us?" Another piece of land nearby was for sale for $4.25 million.

It seemed like an impossible thing to ask – that this wondrous church home might be given to us. But still, we placed our hope in God – "By my God shall I leap over a wall" (Psalm 17:29).

We invited Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral; +2022) of blessed memory to come and see the place.

In September of 2008, on the occasion of his visit to our little parish, we took Metropolitan Hilarion to see the historic St. Joseph Church, along with the two acres of beautiful, serene land: a perfect location for our parish’s permanent home. We did not yet know whether the church would be ours, but we were fervently praying for it, if it be the Lord’s will. The Metropolitan walked contemplatively around the beautiful old church. He said, "Don't worry. God will build the church. I am praying that God will grant it to the parish. It would be a wondrous occurrence.”

On June 3, 2009, the parishioners of Holy Apostles witnessed a pure miracle. It would be just as our Metropolitan had prayed: A wondrous gift was given to us: the beautiful brick country church situated on two acres of land in Beltsville.

We immediately began the necessary restoration of the chapel, applying for and receiving approximately $400,000 in grant money available from the county. To this day we continue the restoration work on our lovely old church. However, after we complete the restoration and renovation of the beautiful old church, without bathrooms, kitchen, Sunday School rooms, and all of the things necessary for parish life, we could not move there. We would not be able to get an occupancy permit. We realized that we need a parish hall.

Over the course of the next eight years, in addition to restoration work on the chapel, we initiated our search for an architect. We interviewed 12 architects during that time. In 2017, we hired world-famous architect Andrew Gould to design our future parish hall. He designed a surpassingly beautiful building, which is in the same spirit as the historic chapel gifted to our parish. This was a necessity according to the rules of historic preservation. We couldn’t just put up an ugly steel building on the property next to the historic church. Since we hired Andrew Gould and he designed the parish hall, we have had weekly meetings with our local architects and engineers, and have now hired our general contractor. We are now ready to begin building our parish hall.

The land work will be done first, and we are launching this matching grant fundraiser in hopes of raising the money to move towards the groundbreaking.

To move us as close as possible to the goal of groundbreaking, the first $27,000 of all contributions to the Building Fund between June 3 and our celebration of the parish feast on July 16 will be matched dollar-for-dollar. We hope to raise $54,000 or more for the future groundbreaking by July 16th.

We have adopted the myrrh-streaming Hawaiian-Iveron icon of our Most Holy Theotokos as the protectress of our future parish hall, which is dedicated her. On May 23 of this year, we had a visitation from the holy icon. At the prayer service at our office park church, the Mother of God’s holy icon streamed myrrh abundantly, soaking the analogion cover with the fragrant myrrh.

Then the wonderworking icon was brought to our historic property, where the icon streamed myrrh abundantly again.

The holy icon was touched to the four markers in the ground, which mark the borders of the future parish hall, along with the Cross marking the front door of the building. Then the icon was brought across the future courtyard garden to our chapel and as the icon was touched to the front door, so much myrrh began to stream that two of the women used their headscarves to soak up the myrrh.

The Lord said "Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, so send I you" (John 20:21). And again, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…" (Matthew 28:19). The Greek root of the word apostle means "sent." After the miracle of Pentecost, the apostles went out into all the world, as it says in the prokeimenon for the Holy Apostles: “Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world" (Psalm 18:4). Our holy Orthodox Faith has come to Beltsville, MD, and we, too, are sent by the Lord.

It is the hope and prayer of the people of Holy Apostles, to establish our parish in its new home in Beltsville, Maryland, from which the parish can continue to thrive and grow, in its soul-saving mission. Once our new parish hall is built, we can move out of our rented office park space. We can move to our paradise in Beltsville, worshiping in the dining hall while we continue the restoration and renovation of the beautiful historic chapel which was given to the parish in 2009.

We are asking you, the friends of our little parish, to prayerfully consider contributing towards our matching grant. We ask you to join us in our missionary work, so we can break ground and build the Lord’s church in Beltsville, Maryland. Pray for us, and consider generously contributing towards the building of the parish hall. "May the Lord bless everyone who will contribute to the building of the new parish hall, and the growth of Christ’s vineyard, in Beltsville, MD." – Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (2021).


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Eastern American Diocese | Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia