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A Timeline of Church History

A  Word About  Church  History !

Scholars estimate there are over 2,600 groups today who lay claims to being the Church, or at least the direct descendants of the Church described in the New Testament Repeat: 2,600 !

But for the first thousand years of her history, the Church was essentially ONE!
Five historic Patriarchal centers: Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Alexandria  and Constantinople, formed a cohesive whole and were in full communion with one another. There were occasional heretical or schismatic groups going their own way, to be sure, but the Church was unifed until the 11th century.
Then, in events culminating in A.D. 1054, the Roman Patriarch pulled away from the other four, pursuing his long-developing claim of universal headship of the Christian Church !

Today, nearly a thousand years later, the other four Patriarchates remain intact, in full communion, maintain that Orthodox Apostolic Faith of the inspired New Testament record.

The history of the Orthodox Church is described herein, from Pentecost to present day.


+  33 A.D. Pentecost  -  The Birthday of the Christian Church.
+  49          Council at Jerusalem (Acts 15) establishes precedent
                   for addressing Church disputes in Council.
                   James presides as Bishop !
+  69          Bishop Ignatius consecrated in Antioch in heart of New
                   Testament era – St. Peter had been the first Bishop there.
                   Other early Bishops include James, Polycarp and Clement.
+  95          Book of Revelation written, probably the last of the New
                   Testament books.
+ 150         St. Justin Martyr describes the liturgical worship of the
                   Church, centered in the Eucharist. Liturgical worship is
                   Rooted in both, the Old and New Testaments
+ 313         The Edict of Milan marks an end to the period of Roman
                   persecution of Christianity, by Emperor Constantine the Great.


+ 325       The Council of Nicea settles the  major heretical challenge
                  to the Christian Faith posed when the heretic Arius asserts
                  Christ was created by the Father. Nicea is the first of Seven
                  Ecumenical (Church-wide) Councils.  
+ 451        Council of Chalcedon affirms apostolic doctrine of two natures
                  in Jesus Christ.
+ 589        A Synod in Toledo, Spain, adds the filiouque to the Nicene Creed
                 (asserting that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son).
                 This error is later adopted by Rome.
+ 787       The era of Ecumenical Councils ends at Nicea; the Seventh Council
                 restores the centuries-old use of icons to the Church.
+ 988       Conversion of Russia begins.
+ 1054     The Great Schism occurs. Two major issues include Rome’s claim to
                 a universal papal supremacy and her addition of the filiouque clause
                 to the Nicene Creed.


+ 1066    Norman conquest of Britain. Orthodox hierarchs are replaced with
                those loyal to Rome.

C R U S A D E  S   (1095  -  1291)

+  1095   The Crusades begun by the Roman Church. The Sack of
                 Constantinople  (1204) adds to the estrangement between
                 East and West.
+  1333   St. Gregory Palamas defends the Orthodox practice of hesychast
                spirituality and the use of the Jesus prayer.
+  1453   Turks overrun Constantinople - Byzantine Empire ends.
+  1517   Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses to the door of the Roman Church
                in Wittenberg, starting the Protestant Reformation.
+  1529   Church of England begins pulling away from Rome.
+  1794   Missionaries arrive on Kodiak Island in Alaska – Orthodoxy
                introduced to North America.
+  1870   Papal Infallibility becomes Roman dogma.
+  1988   One thousand years of Orthodoxy in Russia, as Orthodox Church
                world-wide maintains fullness of the Apostolic Faith.
+  2013   17th  Centennial Anniversary of the Edict of Milan (313 – 2013)
                in the Serbian City of Niš.

First Christian Emperor Constantine the Great was born in Naissus, Serbian City of Niš today. Emperor Constantine the Great, ruled the Western part of the Roman Empire from the 306 to 337 A.D.

With the beginning of the Christianization of the Roman Empire and the establishment of Constantinople, Constantine laid the foundation of the future empire which will last for 1,000 yaers. As the first Christian emperor and founder of the Christian Church, after his death he was canonized (337) while in Eastern Orthodox churches, including our Serbian Orthodox Church, he is regarded as the saint and the Emperor equal to Christ’s Disciple.

The Edict of Milan brought an end to the three centuries long persecution of Christians, return of their seized property and allowed them to profees their religion in public without suffering any consequences for it.

Through the Edict of Milan, which enabled “each one to have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases”, Christianity got a solid  foundation and point from which it could further grow, and thus only several decades
later (380 A.D.) under Emperor Theodosius the Great, it had become a religion of the state.

In our Serbian Orthodox Church we celebrate: "Holy Equal-to the- Apostles Emperor Constantine and (his mother) Helen", on 3rd  of june !


Other stories
20.2.2014., News

Divine Liturgy in Stoke-on-Trent - 16.2.2014.

Have you ever wondered what God is like? In the parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus Christ tells us what God is like, for we see Him in the goodness, the love, the care, the forgiveness of the father in the story. The story of the lost son has been called the most beautiful and meaningful of all the stories of the Gospel. But it is not a story to entertain, it is meant to teach.
3.1.2014., News

Patriarchal Nativity Encyclical 2013

The Serbian Orthodox Church to her spiritual children at Christmas, 2013; IRINEJ By the Grace of God Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Christmas greeting: Peace from God! Christ is Born! “I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord”
2.1.2014., News

Last sermon of a German clergymen

Friedrich Griesendorf, who died in 1958, was a very educated man. He was at one time a court clergymen for the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II. After World War II, he was a pastor in the Eversburg church parish where a camp of Serbian prisoners of war was located. Before retiring, he dedicated these lines to his German parishioners: “Our country lost the war. The English, Americans and Russians won. Maybe they had much better equipment, larger armies, better leadership. In reality, it was an explicit material victory. They took that victory. However, here among us is one nation that won another much more beautiful victory, a victory of soul, a victory of the heart and honesty, a victory of peace and Christian love.
31.12.2013., News

Why do we celebrate Christmas on January 7th?

While most of the Christian world celebrates the Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ on December 25th, members of our Serbian Orthodox Church commemorate this Great and Holy Day on January the 7th each year! The reason for this difference is that, our Church still maintains the old Julian calendar for the designation of its holidays. This Calendar was introduced by Julius Ceasar in 46 B.C. and consisted of 365 days in each year, except the fourth year, leap year, which had 366 days.
13.12.2013., News, Memorial Services

Anniversary of death of Father Valerijan Štrbac

On 18 December 1953 Father Valerijan Štrbac was appointed to serve as the priest for the Serbian community in the north of England. He was instrumental in converting a former Mount Carmel Methodist church in Boothtown, Halifax, to become the very first official Serbian Orthodox Church in the north of England. This building was purchased in a dilapidated state but after much renovation was finally completed and consecrated on 26 September 1954 and became the parish of the Serbian Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity. He continued to work tirelessly for his parish and was deeply involved in all aspects of church life both spiritually and in the community.
5.12.2013., News

What Attracts People?

What attracts people to a Church? A convenient location? YES! An attractive building? YES!
3.12.2013., News

Backslider's Calendar

JANUARY: I hereby resolve to start to Church this year! But I’ll wait until February. Gotta get over the Holidays. They take a lot out of a fellow.
23.11.2013., News

Croats in France to File Suit Against Bob Dylan

Croat association in France has announced it will file a lawsuit against Bob Dylan for making offensive comments about Croats in Rolling Stone magazine. The Council of Croats in France, CRICCF, has decided to file a lawsuit against the US singer and songwriter for making what they call "deeply offensive" comments against Croats.
23.11.2013., News

Jadovno tragedy revealed to Serbs in Leicester

At the Church of Holy Great-Martyr George in Leicester, UK, on 16 November there was a celebration of the Temple Patron’s Day, opening of My Jadovno exhibition and a lecture on the Gospić group of camps. The visitors, most of them descendants of the victims of the criminal regime of the Independent State of Croatia, were faced, some of them for the first time, with all the horrors of the legalised crime conducted in the summer of 1941 in the Gospić group of camps.
10.11.2013., News

Divine Lirurgy in Stoke-on- Trent, 10. nov. 2013

20th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST A great battle: Life versus death (Luke 7:11-16)