A quarter-century ago, a small group of Orthodox Christians began meeting for prayer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and then in private homes, community centers, and similar available venues, until it found a permanent home on Wagner Road in Sugarcreek Township in 2000. Granted mission status by the late Bishop Boris of Chicago and the Midwest, and parish status by the late Archbishop Job of Chicago and the Midwest, the community now ministers to almost 200 people in the greater Dayton region.
“Twenty five years ago when we were discussing how to begin a new Church, we didn’t know what should come first: a building or a priest,” remarked Steve Brown, a founding member of the parish. “Twenty five years later we know the answer: it’s the people-they come first; who when led by a wonderful priest, create a beautiful building. May this Church be a blessing to those who now follow us.”
That “wonderful priest” is the Very Rev. Archpriest Ted Bobosh, who was the first permanent priest assigned to the parish, and has been there ever since. Unfortunately, Fr. Ted fell ill during the celebrations, and underwent a successful emergency appendectomy that evening. Fr. Ted is now resting comfortably at home.
In conjunction with the 25th anniversary festivities, the parish has embarked on an extensive iconography project, commissioning renowned iconographer Dmitry Shkolnik to create a series of 20 large icons celebrating the Kenosis of Christ and the life and influence of Saint Paul. An open house to share the new icons with the Dayton community, as well as an exhibition of 350 years of Orthodox iconography from local private collections entitled Transfigured Life and Lives, is planned for the public in late August.
May God grant the community of St. Paul’s many years!