We are so glad you want to get to know us!
Who We Are
St. Anthony's Orthodox Church is an Orthodox Christian community of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, under the care of Bishop Thomas of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic.
We strive to bear witness to the Orthodox Faith by living and preserving the Word of God as taught by Christ and preached by the Apostles through the Mysteries of the Church and to share it with others in love, fellowship, and charitable works.
We envision a diverse ever-growing parish community united in love, prayer, the Orthodox Faith, active participation in the Mysteries of the Church, and a spirited desire to mutually support those in and around the church community.
Up until April 25th, 1948, Syrian Orthodox Christians in the area of Butler attended services at nearby Orthodox churches of other cultures. On that date, however, the Syrian Orthodox Church Association was created with the intention of starting a church in Butler, PA.
Ten years later, Metropolitan Antony (Bashir) gave his blessing for a church to be started in Butler with the name of Saint Anthony. On June 18th, 1961, ground broke at the church's current location and meetings and gatherings began to be held in the hall of the building while members continued to attend other local churches for services.
On July 12th, 1970, Father James Deep served the first Divine Liturgy at the current location of Saint Anthony's. Over the next few years, the parish built a home at the south end of the church and Metropolitan Philip consecrated the sanctuary.
Since then, Father Patrick Reardon, Father Gregory Long, and Father Bogdan Bucur have served the evergrowing and diverse community of St. Anthony which is made up of both converts and life-long Orthodox Christians as well as Syrians, Greeks, Slavs, and parishioners of other ethnicities and backgrounds.
On Pentecost of 2020, Father Martin Johnson was ordained and appointed to pastor our flock.
Patron saints are the saints that church communities are named after. Communities develop unique and personal relationships with their patrons, causing them to become special protectors, guides, and role models for the community.
The patron saint of our community is Saint Anthony the Great, the fourth-century "father of monasticism." While his figure is usually associated with the monastic life, all of us can in fact learn from him.
His icon to the left pictures Saint Anthony holding a scroll inscribed with his own words which help and inspire us in our attempt to train ourselves as disciples of Jesus Christ:
"I saw the snares of the devil all over the earth, and I said, 'How can one possibly avoid them?'
And I heard a voice saying, 'Humility'!"
Click here for a summary of the Life of Saint Anthony the Great.
Our Patron Saint
Our priest/pastor is Father Martin Johnson, Jr. (pictured here together with his family and our former pastor, Father Bogdan Bucur).
After completing his service in the U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps, Father Martin converted to Eastern Orthodoxy and began serving our parish following his ordination to the Holy Diaconate in 2018. In 2020, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood and became the part-time pastor of our parish.
Father Martin is married to prolific Orthodox author and editor Khouria Melinda Johnson with whom he is the proud father of their daughter Majesta. He holds a Doctorate of Ministry in Practical Theology (Eastern Orthodoxy) from Barry University. He also holds a Masters of Divinity, and a Masters in Theology and Philosophy from Bryn Athyn College, as well as an MS in Business Management from Colorado Technical University.
Father is the Chief Operating Officer of the Neighborhood Resilience Project. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of St. Tikhon Orthodox Theological Seminary and is the Dean of Formation for the Antiochian House of Studies.
To learn more about Father Martin, click here.
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