Our Parish

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St. Paul Church was formed in 1987 by the merger of two small parishes.  One parish consisted of a congregation of people based in Brier who had recently converted to Orthodox Christianity.  The other parish was a small congregation of Orthodox Christians meeting in West Seattle.  It was determined that the newly formed community would be based in Brier, with plans to build a new Church building on the property that we currently occupy.  From 1987 to 1993 the congregation rented space from a St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church in Lynnwood.

In August of 1993, ground was broken for the construction of our current Church building.  On Christmas Eve of 1993, the first worship service was held in the new building.

With the completion of the building, growth in membership accelerated rapidly thereafter.  This growth in membership correlates with the national growth trends in the Orthodox Church.  The official publication of our Archdiocese, The Word, reported that “according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the number of Orthodox Christians in the United States grew by 5.8% a year from 1990-1995, making Orthodoxy proportionally the fastest growing faith in America”.

In February of 1997, under the direction of our pastor, Fr. James Bernstein, St. Paul’s sponsored the growth of a new mission parish in the city of Arlington, WA.  This parish, St. Andrew Orthodox Church, is thriving and is has enlarged their Church building to accommodate their growth in membership.  In 2004, St. Paul’s spearheaded efforts to start another new mission in the community of Snohomish, WA, drawing upon membership from both St. Paul’s and St. Andrews.  Already, this new mission has attracted others from the surrounding communities.  In July of 2005, Fr. David Sommer was assigned as pastor.  Fr. David succeeds the founding priest, Fr. Thomas Davis who departed this life shortly after the founding of the mission.  Prior to that, Fr. Thomas had served as assistant pastor at St. Paul’s.

Fr. James is currently assisted in his ministry by two ordained deacons who also assist as needed in other area Antiochian parishes.  Numerous lay members and service committees work together to carry on the work of the parish.

One of the hallmarks of our parish that has been consistent since our founding is the concept of “community”, where members seek to live near the Church in order to facilitate full involvement in the life of the parish.