2001-2009 Early History of Parish & Chapel Gift
/ New Parish Hall / 2001-2009 Early Parish & Chapel History
A Wondrous Gift is Given, June 3, 2009

The wonderful news has probably traveled to most of you, that the Lord has given our parish a beautiful temple, the historic St. Joseph's cemetery church. The church had been boarded up for 30 years. The church and land, about 2 acres, has been given to us by the Christian Brothers, as an outright gift. It will be our task to restore and renovate the building, which will need to be done before we can occupy it. With the Lord's help we will need to raise $1,000,000.00 to cover the costs of the restoration/renovation. Additional funds will be needed for the beautification of the church, and to build a parish hall (we estimate another $1,000,000.00.)  We have begun fund-raising efforts, and welcome any ideas or suggestions for ways to raise the funds. To all of our brothers and sisters in Christ, please keep us in your prayers as we begin this process.

More information is available in our 2009 brochure, 'A Pure Miracle', the text of which can be viewed below. You can also download the brochure in PDF format here:

About Us - A Brief Parish History


Holy Apostles Orthodox Church

Beltsville, Maryland


“Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.”

Who we are *

Our parish was founded in 2001 with the purpose of bringing the Gospel and Divine Services of the Russian Orthodox Church to the people of America in the English language. We are part of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, under the protection of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York.

We began our parish life in a little house in the woods, our paradise at the beginning. A year later, we moved to our present location, a 1200 square foot office park space. We have done all that we can to create a place where the golden light of Orthodoxy can shine forth. All along, we have prayed that the Lord will give us a permanent parish home.

In September of 2008, when Metropolitan Hilarion visited us, we showed him the St. Joseph’s church. We did not yet know whether the church would be ours, but we were fervently praying for it, if it be the Lord’s will. The Metropolitan walked contemplatively around the beautiful old church. He said, "Don't worry, God will build the church. I am praying that God will grant it to the parish. It would be a wondrous occurrence.”

Our little flock now [this was in 2009] consists of about 50 souls, made up of lifelong Orthodox Christians and converts, people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. St. John Maximovitch said that the purpose of the Russian diaspora was to spread the holy Orthodox Faith throughout the world. We desire to follow in the footsteps of the Holy Apostles, who, after receiving the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, went out from their native Israel to bring the Christian Faith to the ends of the world.

* For a more complete history of the founding and early years of our parish, see  A Garden of Blessings.

A Pure Miracle - The Gift of the Historic St. Joseph Chapel


On June 3, 2009, through the Lord’s mercy, the parishioners of Holy Apostles witnessed a pure miracle in the wondrous gift which was given to us: a beautiful brick country church situated on two acres of land in Beltsville. The historic St. Joseph’s church is a disused Catholic cemetery chapel, built in 1880 in the American Queen Anne Revival style.

The church was built by Admiral Daniel Ammen, a childhood friend of President Ulysses S. Grant, who saved Grant’s life in a near drowning when they were boys. He donated the church to the Christian Brothers in 1880. Admiral Ammen died in 1898 on the day of Saints Peter & Paul, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

The church is situated on a hill; the grounds are serene, with many lovely old, stately trees. The property is bordered by a cemetery. The Christian Brothers donated the church and land to our parish in return for our promise to restore the chapel, which has fallen into disrepair, having been boarded up for about 30 years.

Restoring the Historic St. Joseph’s Chapel and Building our Parish Hall

An in-depth study of the church has been completed by an historic restoration consultant. The projected cost of the historic restoration and renovation of the church is approximately $1,000,000.00. In addition, we estimate the cost of beautifying the church and building the parish hall to be another $1,000,000.00. Our total initial fund-raising goal is therefore $2,000,000.00. Though this is a large amount of money, it is equal to the cost of four mid- priced homes in the DC area.

It may seem an impossible task from a worldly point of view, but we Christians are not of this world, and our Lord Jesus Christ says, “Fear not, little flock, for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom…”

Our little flock has faith in the Lord’s promise. We put our trust in God and look to Him for help each step of the way in this path that He has laid before us. We also ask for your help. Please make a generous donation. Help us to establish His Church, and our church home, in Beltsville, Maryland.St. John of San Francisco says, “The construction of a church is a sacrifice to God...but most of all it is a gift of your love, your zeal... Those alms we give in the name of God are received by God Himself. Spiritually, our alms are laid up in the treasuries of heaven, God's treasuries... At each Liturgy, those who contributed to the building of the church are commemorated. In building churches here on earth, we create for ourselves eternal habitations in heaven.”

Views of the Historic Chapel and Campus

(16 images)

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Become a Church Builder!


From 'St John of Shanghai and San Francisco, Zealous Builder of Churches'

Everywhere he went he either oversaw the building of churches or supported the same with his attention and prayers... He wrote about the godly work of building churches: 

"In building churches here on earth, we create for ourselves eternal habitations in heaven."


Read the full article here...

Become a Church Builder!
Become a Church Builder!
Become a Church Builder!

General Fund Contributions

Historic Chapel Restoration

Since 2009 we have been restoring our beautiful chapel, gifted to our parish that year by the Christian Brothers.

To date, we have received and administered grants of approximately $400,000 so far, and continue to apply for the grants as they become available.

View Our Visual History

A Digital Slide Show


Building Project Report



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Holy Apostles Orthodox Church, in Beltsville, Maryland, is a parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), Eastern American Diocese, founded with the purpose of bringing the Gospel and Divine Services of the Russian Orthodox Church to the people of America in the English language. We invite you to come to any of the Divine Services or events at our mission church. In 2009 we were gifted a beautiful, historic chapel and two-acre campus by the Christian Brothers. Our vision is to establish the parish in its new home, from where the parish can continue to thrive and grow as a living icon of Orthodox missions in America.

EPISTLE BOOK, published by Holy Apostles Orthodox Church


The only Orthodox Epistle Book using the KJV text.

Includes the Acts and the Epistles, arranged for liturgical use according to Russian Orthodox practice. An appendix features all relevant prokeimena and readings for the whole year. Rubrics, introductory notes and monthly calendar for the Church Year are also included. Hardbound with full color dust cover, 632 pages. Published by Holy Apostles Orthodox Church and St Polycarp Press.

Full info and links to order on this special page.

St Romanos the Melodist Society


The St. Romanos the Melodist Society produces and publishes English language music of the Russian Orthodox Church.


The St. Romanos website is the online extension of A Church Singer's Companion, a project started in 1998 with the blessing of Metropolitan (then Archbishop) Laurus. Inspired by the Russian Sputnik Psalomshchika, the Companion is envisioned to contain the music necessary for every service a parish choir might need to sing, while staying simple enough so that any parish choir can sing it.

The St. Romanos Society produces music in both printed and recorded formats, and conducts seminars and workshops on the proper performance of that music. The Society is a sodality of Holy Apostles Orthodox Church, Beltsville, Maryland.

To get started looking at music, proceed to the Church Singer's Companion and begin familiarizing yourself with the content. You'll find there are a few more challenging settings mixed in, marked “difficult” or “very difficult”. Audio or video examples accompany some of the music. In addition, the Introduction provides valuable advice about proper church singing and related topics.

Detailed Reviews and Endorsements by clergy and choral professionals are provided for your consideration.