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St. Paul EOC has a rather unique history, which has both old and new aspects to it.  Most of our people have actually been together in the EOC for many years.  Holy Trinity EOC, the original Indianapolis parish, reaches back to the 1970’s.  In 2001, however, the clergy of Holy Trinity decided to leave the EOC and join the Orthodox Church in America, and the majority of people followed them.  A smaller group desired to remain Evangelical Orthodox and Bp. Jerold Gliege put Fr. Joshua Beecham forward for discernment as our priest, and eventually, with the “Amen!” of the people, Bp. Jerold officially blessed him as priest of the parish, which began to take as its name St. Paul the Apostle Evangelical Orthodox Church.  


We began our communion together meeting in one of the member’s homes, then in January 2002 we rented the chapel at the University of Indianapolis for a year. After a few interim months at the U of I art gallery and at a conference room at the Ramada Inn, in March of 2003 we began sharing a traditional church building that is owned by a Seventh Day Adventist church. They met there on Saturdays and we used it on Sundays and Wednesdays, and sometimes on other days. Even though we had "setup" down to an art, it was still quite a process to behold. The building's worship space, while very nice, was also very plain, an intentional aspect of Seventh Day Adventist tradition. For our purposes, however, because we take a much more visible, tangible, and physical approach to worship, we transformed the space each Sunday to take on that character. 

During the time we were at the Seventh-Day Adventist building we were growing and saving our dollars, then in December of 2007, we purchased our first church building in Greenwood, Indiana. We spent a couple of months doing renovations and held our first worship service there on February 17th, 2008.  On November 9th, 2008, our senior priest, Fr. Joshua, was consecrated as a bishop in a glorious ceremony in the midst of the Liturgy of Divine Worship. 


In 2018 we were approached by the City of Greenwood, who had received FEMA grant money to buy up flood plain properties, and asked if we would sell our property to them.  After prayer, conversation, and reflection we asked the city officials to make an offer, which they did, and which we accepted.  Arrangements were made to store our belongings at First Baptist Church of Greenwood, and eventually to rent part of their basement for services until we could find another property to purchase.  What we thought would take a few months took two years, but finally, in God’s timing, we purchased our current building.


The current building at 2001 E. Pleasant Run Parkway S. Dr., Indianapolis was purchased in May of 2020 from Christ’s Open Door Baptist Church, who had owned it since the 1970’s.  Even though some major renovation projects would need to be done, mostly to fit our own worship tradition, the property had been well taken care of in many ways and was basically move-in ready.  A portable altar was set up initially while the new alter area was being created, then when the renovations were far enough along to do so, the new altar area was unveiled.


We have two priests, in addition to Bp. Joshua.  Fr. Steve Walker had taken a long sabbatical and was restored to active priesthood in 2006, and in 2012 a Quaker pastor, Lee Crum, whom God had been drawing into a deeper orthodox apostolic faith, with his wife, Ruth Ann, came and joined us to be trained as an EOC priest.  After a year and a half of training and serving as a deacon for a while, Lee was ordained as a priest in 2014, taking the name of Fr. Leo of Catania.  In 2017 Bp. Joshua handed over most of the day-to-day pastoral work to Fr. Leo and partially retired, still continuing as overseer and mentor and being involved in extra-local episcopal duties.  Fr. Leo quickly took his increased duties to heart and placed his own pastoral stamp of quiet and gentle, faithful service on the parish, becoming so well versed in presiding in the services that it seems he has always been in our tradition.

On Sunday mornings at 9:30 we gather to hear the Word of God and enter into Eucharist together, followed by a time of snacks and fellowship and education time.  On Wednesday nights we gather at 7 PM to pray for the concerns on our hearts and study together through various forms.  We have regular planning retreats, Parish Council meetings, women’s and men’s groups, senior and youth groups, a rich blend of music, and we work hard to be a living community that shares the joys and struggles of our lives together.  We will use any excuse to have a celebration, a chance to gather, to love one another, to pitch in food and feast on the goodness and glory of the Lord, which He has so graciously lavished upon us.  We are also involved in a number of ways in helping the poor and neglected of our community.  The clergy are also working at building relationships with other area pastors and priests to break down walls and work toward the restoration of a unified Christian witness rooted in the fullness of Apostolic Faith. 


It almost seems like a cliché, but the best way to wrap up this little walk through history is simply to say that God is good.  We have been given a multitude of treasures, both old and new.  All good things have been gathered together and reconciled in Christ, and that reconciliation is the ministry that has been entrusted to us, to gather together in unity all people and all good things in the church and in the world to the glory of God.  We would be blessed if you would come and make your home with us.

bp. Joshua Beecham (bishop)

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St Paul the Apostle Evangelical Orthodox Church
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