The Holy Orthodox Catholic
Apostolic American Church
(Orthodox American Church)

The Orthodox Church derives from the Mother Church of Jerusalem founded by Jesus Christ. It is the original Christian Church as it was set up in the early years of Christendom before the year 300A.D.. In the course of its history in the Byzantine Empire it developed into five Patriarchates: Antioch, Jerusalem, Constantinople, Alexandria and Rome. In the 11th century long simmering conflicts between Constantinople and Rome led to a complete rupture.

The Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople missionized sections of Eastern Europe and Russia and in the latter nation established the Russian Orthodox Church. After some centuries the Russian Orthodox Church missionized Alaska (17th century), and from there went into the west coast of America. In the first decade of the 20th century it established a church in New York City. In 1927-28 the Russian Orthodox Church in the United States mandated the formation of a purely independent Orthodox Church for Americans. From this original impetus there evolved the Holy Orthodox Church in America. This Church dedicated itself to research and the translation of various service books of local Orthodox churches and to the promulgation of a better understanding of Orthodox Christian mysticism.
In 1949 one of the bishops of the Holy Orthodox Church in America, Archbishop James Toombs, because of the questions raised as to the canonicity (but not the validity) of this said Church (independent Orthodox Church for Americans), addressed Archbishop Vitaly of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia with a view to entering into full ecclesiastical communion with the Russian Church. This culminated in the consecration of Archbishop James by the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on July 12, 1951 and his appointment as head of the American Orthodox Mission.

In 1955 Archbishop James informed the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia that he now planned to take an independent course to continue missionary work as an Orthodox Bishop of an independent American Church. This resulted in 1959 in Archbishop James disassociating himself from the Russian synod of Bishops and forming The Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic American Church (Orthodox American Church).


Archbishop James Toombs