About our faith

The Holy Orthodox Church is the Church founded by Jesus Christ and described throughout the New Testament. All other Christian Churches and sects can be traced back historically to it. The word Orthodox literally means “straight teaching” or “straight worship,” being derived from two Greek words: orthos, “straight,” and doxa, “teaching” or “worship.” As the encroachments of false teaching and division multiplied in early Christian times, threatening to obscure the identity and purity of the Church, the term “Orthodox” quite logically came to be applied to it. The Orthodox Church carefully guards the truth against all error and schism, both to protect its flock and to glorify Christ, whose Body the Church is.

St. James the Apostle Orthodox Church of Taneytown, MD is a congregation of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. We are the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Christian Church whose roots trace directly back to first century Antioch, the city in which the disciples of Jesus Christ were first called “Christians” (Acts 11:26). The Orthodox Church is the oldest and second largest Christian group in the world. We are called by God our creator to worship and follow Him, and to proclaim to the world His message of love, peace, and salvation.

 

God loves all mankind and desires that all human beings should believe in Him, know Him, abide in Him, and receive eternal life from Him. To accomplish this, God Himself came into the world as a man, Jesus Christ, becoming man that we might become like God.

The Antiochian Archdiocese, under the leadership of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, sees itself on a mission to bring America to the ancient Orthodox Christian Faith. We join our brothers and sisters in the various Orthodox Christian jurisdictions — Greek, Orthodox Church in America, Romanian, Ukrainian, and more — in this endeavor. In less than 20 years the Archdiocese has doubled in size to well over 200 churches and missions throughout the United States and Canada.

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