Our Roots: The Vine and the Branches
St. John the Theologian Orthodox Christian Church in Jackson, Missouri is an expression of the evangelism and outreach efforts of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Our Church traces its roots in unbroken apostolic succession to first century Antioch, the city in which the disciples of Jesus Christ were first called “Christians” (Acts 11:26). We intend to minister to the needs of all Orthodox Christian regardless of jurisdictional affiliation (Greek, Russian, Serbian, Romanian, Lebanese, etc.) We also intend to bring Orthodox Christianity to the American people in the language most easily understood by them. Here is a summary of who we are canonically.
Our Orthodox Christian Faith
The Christian Church is based in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, who has come in to the world as a man for our salvation. This is the foundational belief of every true Christian. “Orthodox” means right teaching or right worship, and we understand our Orthodox Christian faith to be the full and right revelation of God's desire for us to believe in Him, know Him, abide in Him and receive eternal life from Him. The clearest and most concise explanation of our faith can be found in the ancient Nicene Creed.
The Orthodox Christian Church
Sometimes called the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Church is the first Christian Church, the Church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ and described in the pages of the New Testament. Her history can be traced in unbroken continuity all the way back to Christ and His Twelve Apostles. For twenty centuries, she has continued in her undiminished and unaltered faith and practice. Today her apostolic doctrine, worship and structure remain intact. The Orthodox Church maintains that the Church is living Body of Jesus Christ.
The Great Church of Antioch
The Church of Antioch was established by the Apostles Paul and Barnabas in 42 A.D., with St. Peter serving for the next eight years as its first prelate. The Church of Antioch is one of the five ancient Patriarchates of the Christian Church, along with Constantinople, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Rome. Many of the great saints of the Church, including St. Ignatius and St. John Chrysostom, came from Antioch. The Patriarchate has endured despite centuries of oppression, and today shepherds over half a million Christians in Syria, Lebanon, and other countries in the Middle East along with communities throughout the Americas, Australia, and Europe. The Church is led by His Beatitude Ignatius IV, Patriarch of Antioch and the all East.
The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America is in full communion with our brothers and sisters in various other Orthodox Christian jurisdictions, such as the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Orthodox Church in America, and are all affiliated through SCOBA (Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the Americas). Together we work to nurture the Orthodox Christians of this land, immigrants and native-born, the children of Orthodox parents and converts, and to bring America to the ancient Orthodox Christian Faith.
His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH
Metropolitan Joseph has served the Archdiocese over the course of almost twenty years as Bishop of the diocese of Los Angeles and the West, as well as the Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Eagle River and the Pacific Northwest. In July 2014, the Holy Synod of Antioch, elected Archbishop Joseph as Metropolitan of all North America.
His Grace Bishop ANTHONY
Our Archdiocese currently includes nine dioceses across the continent, overseen by nine bishops in addition to Metropolitan PHILIP. Each of our bishops works in concert with our Metropolitan to guide and grow our parishes. His grace, Bishop ANTHONY oversees the diocese of Toledo and the Midwest. He is the bishop watching over our mission endeavors here in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Fr. Daniel Morton
In the fall of 2003 he and his wife became part of the exploratory group that helped established the Antiochian Orthodox Christian church in the state of Missouri, All Saints of North America. He was ordained as deacon on January 6, 2007 and then to the holy priesthood on December 30, 2007. Father Daniel is the priest in charge of the mission in Jackson. This is the second church he and Presbytera Laura have helped establish. The two of them have been married 39 years. They have two children and two grandsons.