About St. Bartholomew Orthodox Church

The Orthodox Church is the one Church founded by Jesus Christ and his apostles, begun at the day of Pentecost with the descent of the Holy Spirit in the year 33 A.D. It is also known (especially in the contemporary West) as the Eastern Orthodox Church or the Orthodox Church. It may also be called the Orthodox Catholic Church, the Orthodox Christian Church, the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, or simply the Church.

Almost two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth and founded the Church, through His Apostles and disciples, for the salvation of man. In the years which followed, the Apostles spread the Church and its teachings and founded many churches, all united in faith, worship, and the partaking of the Mysteries (or as they are called in the West, the Sacraments) of the Holy Church. The churches founded by the Apostles themselves include the Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Rome and Constantinople. The Church of Alexandria was founded by St. Mark, the Church of Antioch by St Paul, the Church of Jerusalem by Ss. Peter and James, the Church of Rome by Ss. Peter and Paul, and Church of Constantinople by St Andrew. Those founded in later years through the missionary activity of the first churches were the Churches of Sinai, Russia, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, and many others.

Each church has always had independent administration, but, with the exception of the Church of Rome, which finally separated from the others in the year 1054, are united in faith, doctrine, Apostolic tradition, sacraments, liturgies, and services. Together they constitute what is called the “Orthodox Church”, literally meaning “right teaching” or “right worship”, derived from two Greek words: orthos, “right,” and doxa, “teaching” or “worship.”

The Orthodox Church historically stands in direct continuity with the earliest Christian communities founded in regions of the Eastern Mediterranean by the apostles of the Lord Jesus (courtesy OrthodoxWiki).

About the Western Rite

We are a Western Rite parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) under the Omophor of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, and Vicar General Mark Rowe. As such, we are a part of the canonical jurisdictions of the Orthodox Church. While many of us are familiar with the Eastern Rite Liturgy, we celebrate the Western Rite Liturgy of St Gregory the Great, which is the most ancient form available. As a result of discovering the ancient faith, many of our parishioners have come from various Protestant, Anglican, and Catholic backgrounds.

The Western Rite is a liturgical tradition in the Church, which lives out the fullness of our Orthodox faith, in all our beliefs, dogmas, and spirituality. Since the first century, Orthodoxy has thrived in different cultures with different rites. The Western Rite is the pure expression of Orthodoxy as it has been passed down to us in Rome and Western Europe. Thus, the Western Rite Liturgy of St. Gregory has produced hundreds of Orthodox Christian saints, including Sts. Benedict, Patrick, Columba, Martin of Tours, Leo the Great, Augustine, and on and on. Therefore, it is a fact, beyond any questioning, that for the majority of the life of Orthodox Christianity, the liturgies, theologies, and practices of Western Europe have been an integral expression of the Church. 

The Western Rite today

Secondly, the Western Rite has grown slowly but steadily, and has especially flourished in the last couple of decades. It has been blessed and promoted by Sts. John Maximovitch, Tikhon of Moscow, Philaret of Moscow, Raphael of Brooklyn, and Nicholas of Japan. Thirdly, it has been approved of and embraced by modern patriarchs in Constantinople, Moscow, Antioch, and Romania, as well as local church hierarchs, such as Metropolitans Hilarion, Philip Saliba and Anthony Bashir. Lastly, it has further been supported by big names in theological circles, such as Vladimir Lossky and many more. (Courtesy of pravmir.com). In conclusion, the Western Rite and Eastern Rite are both fully Orthodox expressions of the one apostolic and Orthodox Church.

Please visit us on Saturday evening and/or Sunday morning.

Our doors and our hearts are open to all who will come. All are welcome!

Worshipping at:

St. Bartholomew Orthodox Church
846 Oak St.
Chattanooga, TN



5:30 p.m.Vespers


10:00 a.m. – Matins

10:30 a.m. – Liturgy

Fellowship, food & beverages after service. 


Metropolitan Hilarion
His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion,

First Hierarch of the

Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

Our Vicar General,

the Very Reverend Mark Rowe

Rev. Fr. David E. Prestridge, S. Th. M.

Rector, St. Bartholomew Orthodox Church