Saint Barnabas Orthodox Church began quite humbly in the middle 1980’s as a “home fellowship” or “house church”. It was part of a group of over 100 “home fellowships” across the country formed by men who had left “Campus Crusade For Christ” in search of the “early church model” of the New Testament.
As these men studied church history they discovered the historic church of the first millennium. Eventually they realized the New Testament Church still existed and it was the Eastern Orthodox Church.
This began a ten-year quest to become identified with this Church, finally leading to the historic reception of Saint Barnabas, along with 2,000 members of the other fellowships, into the canonical Orthodox Church through the Antiochian Patriarchate in 1987. The story of our journey was recounted in the book, “Becoming Orthodox” by Peter Gillquist.
Our Patron Saint
The holy Apostle Barnabas of the Seventy, was born on the island of Cyprus into the family of the tribe of Levi, and named Joseph. He received his education at Jerusalem, being raised with his friend and fellow student Saul (the future Apostle Paul) under Gamaliel, the renowned teacher of the Law. Joseph was devout, frequented the Temple, strictly observed the fasts and avoided youthful distractions. During this time our Lord Jesus Christ began His public ministry. Seeing the Lord and hearing His Divine Words, Joseph believed in Him as the Messiah.
Filled with ardent love for the Savior, he followed Him. The Lord chose him to be one of His Seventy Apostles. The other Apostles called him “Barnabas”, which means “son of encouragement” After the Ascension of the Lord to Heaven, Barnabas sold land belonging to him near Jerusalem and brought the money to the feet of the Apostles, leaving nothing for himself (Acts 4:36-37). He was the sponsor of and frequent companion of Saint Paul in his ministry. We chose Saint Barnabas as our community’s patron, because we are committed to being an encouragement to a world in need of spiritual encouragement.