Our humble Beginnings
Our church started as a prayer meeting of just four Orthodox believers. Around late 1986, three of the Orthodox Christians happened to meet at a local Marthoma prayer meeting held by the late Mr. C.S. Abraham. Following this meeting, we met our fourth member, and began having monthly prayer meetings. The prayer meetings were open to other Malayalee Christians in the area.
Later, we learned of the existence of an Orthodox clergy, namely Rev. Fr. Michael Hatcher, the late, but then Deacon, Rev. Fr. James Pike, and Mr. Robert Pike, now Deacon Gabriel Pike, all from Spokane, Washington. Subsequently, we contacted Rev. Fr. Michael, all three spiritual leaders came in the spring of 1988 and conducted the First Holy Communion Service for us in the chapel of the St. Thomas Moore Catholic Church, Lynnwood, WA.
Since 1988 these three dedicated spiritual leaders blessed us with the Holy Communion Service every 4-6 weeks. We would like to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of these spiritual leaders to our Lord’s service. They had young families and full time jobs in Spokane, and often, their families accompanied them to the services. The first few times, we were only able to thank them by providing them lunch and reimbursing their mileage expense. We are both eternally bonded and indebted to these three families.
A few months to a year following our contacts with the Spokane spiritual leaders, the late H.G. Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios of the American Diocese visited us for the first time. Since that time up until the arrival of H.G. Mathews Mar Barnabas, Makarios Thirumeni made a few more visits and conducted Holy Communion services for us. We were also visited by H. G. Zachariah Mar Nicholovos Thirumeni
H.G. Makarios Thirumeni with Sunday School Kids
Nicholovos Thirumeni during one of his visits
Bastyr University was home to our worship services from 1989 -1996. Our longing for a Holy Qurbana in Malayalam was satisfied by visiting and resident priests. Two of those priests are now Metropolitans in Kerala State (H.G. Dr. Zachariah Mar Theophilos; and H.G. Dr. Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos, Niranam Diocese).
Parishoners with H.G. Dr. Yuhanon Mar Chrisostomos
Other visiting Rev. Fathers and Cor-Episcopos are as follows: Late Very Rev. Cor-Episcopos Thomas P. Mundukuzhy, Syracuse/Albany; Very Rev. Cor-Episcopos Kurian Thottupuram, Chicago; Rev. Fr. Joseph Kalapurayil, California; Rev. Fr. Philip Abraham, Los Angeles; Rev. Fr. George Daniel, Florida; Rev. Fr. John Geevarghese, Arkansas; Rev. Fr. Alexander Kurian.
Church Building Fund
Our nomadic existence was a constant source of concern to us. Our collective sense of need for our own place of worship prompted the start of a modest “Building Fund” in 1991. Even though we were a small group and were strangers in a strange land and culture, there was a common thread that held us united. This thread was of course the very rich Orthodox tradition of our Holy Fathers, which undoubtedly gave us the impetus, not only to continue with the building fund, but to more than double it.
The very first donation towards the Church building fund
The late H.G. Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios appointed Fr. James Pike as the Vicar of our Church in 1996. During this period there was a slow but steady increase in membership and, we found a new home for ourselves at St. James Episcopal Church in Kent, WA.
Our church was registered with the State of Washington on October 14,1997 and recognized as a non-profit organization in June 2000.
By 2004, Rev. Fr. James’ health was deteriorating; and we were once again dependent upon guest priests from various parts of North America to provide Holy Communion services. It was at this time, that Rev. Fr. T. U. Jacob came to us. His arrival was very timely and this further reaffirmed the truth that the Lord knows our needs, has a plan in place, and provides accordingly.
1996 & 2004
St Thomas Orthodox Church, Renton
By the abundant grace and mercy of God, intercession of St Thomas and generosity of our community of both local and out of state we were able to fulfil our dream of having our own place of worship. Our church was consecrated by H G Alexios Mar Eusebius on May 27th 2011.
Rev. Fr. T. U. Jacob served as our Vicar from 2004 till late August 2018. During his tenure we had regular church services, retreats, youth ministry, Sunday school, monthly prayer meetings and family conference.
Our church has been a source of blessing to all who participate, we are continuing to thrive and flourish. We welcome you to experience and celebrate divine liturgy with us when you are in the area.