As you navigate this website we invite you to learn more about Orthodox Christianity, our missionary efforts to establish an Orthodox Christian church in the Joplin area, and the people involved in these efforts. We also hope that you will come and join us at Divine Liturgy, that you too may experience the words of the psalmist David and, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8)
About The Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant. It is orthodox, but not Jewish. It is catholic, but not Roman. It isn’t non-denominational, it’s pre-denominational. It has believed, taught, preserved, defended, and died for the Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost 2,000 years ago.
Our Bishop: The Right Reverend Paul
Bishop Paul was born in 1953 to Nicholas and Georgia Gassios, natives of Castanea, Greece. He, his parents, and his sister Agatha lived in Detroit until their move to the suburbs in 1973. As an infant, he was baptized with the name Apostolos, in honor of the holy Apostle Paul, at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, Detroit, MI—his home parish for the first 28 years of his life. He graduated from Detroit’s Cooley High School, where he was a member of the National Honor Society, in 1971, after which he enrolled in Wayne State University as a history and psychology major. After his graduation in 1976, he worked with emotionally and physically abused children. He furthered his education at Wayne State, from which he received a Master of Social Work degree in 1980, and continued to work in his chosen field… Continue reading »
Our Priest: Fr. Michael Kuzara
Fr. Michael has been a convert to the Orthodox Christian faith for 25 years, and an ordained priest of the Orthodox Church of America (OCA) for 12 years. He has served as a civilian Chaplain at Fort Leonard Wood in Rolla, MO, and was attached to the altar of The Nativity of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church in Madison, IL, before moving to the Joplin area with his wife Barbara, in 2011. Fr. Michael and Mat. Barbara have been married for 32 years, have three adult daughters, and lived and worked in the St. Louis area for all their adult lives until moving to Joplin.
We are an apostolic expression of the early Christian Church whose mission is to go forth into all the world bringing the fullness of faith by means of preaching the gospel and traditions of the Ancient Christian Church.
We are primarily a church of converts who have found a renewal of our faith through the fullness of the faith that has always existed since the day of Pentecost, based on the salvific work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As is the case with most of us, our faith needs shoe leather so we can walk as Jesus walks. The Orthodox Church has given us the ability to express the heavenly here on earth. By means of the Divine Liturgy and the other Mysteries (Sacraments), grace is received by the believers to incorporate the life of Jesus in our daily actions.
Our goal is to evangelize the Joplin area through exposing people to the living Word of the Ancient Christian Church, providing the history and teaching of the early church fathers as they were first taught by the Apostles, based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. In the eyes of the Lord, what is true has always been true, and unchanging. What was pertinent for the Ancient Church is still true today. We do not need to reinvent our faith, but only live it. Our prayer is to bless freely and generously all who come with a thirst for the Truth. We invite you to “come and see that the Lord is good” so by the grace of God you may be fed as the early church was fed and be nurtured by his unceasing love.