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Orthodox Christians now meet at Danforth Chapel

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080202/LIFESTYLE/802020316 Orthodox Christians now meet at Danforth Chapel By LA TONYA FRELIX
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2008
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      Orthodox Christians now meet at Danforth Chapel

      "It was and still is difficult but we don't make it every Sunday," he
      said. "We very much enjoy going and being part of this because we
      have a pretty small congregation and we're close-knit."

      Orthodox Christian is not very prevalent in the South, but in the
      Northeast and Alaska there are many Orthodox Christians. The Orthodox
      Christian Church has existed continuously in the Middle East and
      Greece from the time of the Apostles and is the faith of the majority
      of Christians in those countries, the Balkans and Russia.

      For that reason and the number of Orthodox Christian students
      attending the University of Southern Mississippi, Christ the Saviour
      Orthodox Christian Church has begun a monthly service on the school's
      campus in Danforth Chapel. The first service was held Jan. 24.

      Alford isn't alone - there are at least four other families in
      Hattiesburg who make the weekly drive to McComb for service.

      "We've got a good number of people here who drive to McComb and there
      are a number of students at the university that are Orthodox," said
      the Rev. Matthew Jackson (OCA). "It seemed like a natural places
      since the people are there."

      Orthodox students at Southern Miss formed an Orthodox Christian group
      that Alford serves as academic sponsor for and he gives the credit
      for the monthly meeting to the group and Jackson.

      "Really what we're having are services for the student group because
      they really initiated a lot of this," he said.

      For that initiative, Alford is pleased.

      "A lot of people from the community came and it was nice," he said.

      The McComb mission began from a need as members of the parish were
      driving to Clinton, the nearest town with an Orthodox parish, Jackson said.

      "They requested to have service here because the group kept growing,"
      he said. "For two years, the McComb mission didn't have a priest,"
      Jackson said.

      The parish's philosophy is to faithfully share the fullness of the
      Gospel of Jesus Christ with all who are seeking. "We strive to be
      true to the deposit of the Faith that has been handed down to us from
      the time of the Apostles, with no changes, additions or concessions.
      Our mission in South Mississippi is to stand as a witness to the
      fullness of the Faith in Jesus Christ," Jackson said.

      Hattiesburg having a parish will depend on the response, Jackson
      said. The McComb parish has 35 members and a steady stream of
      inquiries and visitors.

      Alford said he will continue to drive to McComb when his family can
      make the journey but the establishment of a Hattiesburg parish is a
      desire for convenience and participation. With the drive and some
      weekday services, participating in every event was often impossible.
      Alford said the inconvenience for him was more of a challenge for
      others who couldn't drive the distance or didn't have a car.

      "We are Orthodox and felt like it was the right thing to do to drive
      to McComb but for others it might be harder to drive," he said.
      "We're looking forward to something bigger as time goes on."
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