Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Potomac, MD is part of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese, a Diocese of the Orthodox Church. Holy Resurrection, formally established in 1958 (50 years on September 21, 2008), actually didn’t begin as a church, but was chartered as an American Carpatho-Russian Youth (ACRY) Chapter. Post-World War II Washington DC was the home to many young people relocating to the area. In May 1948 a group of our faithful, growing up in Carpatho-Russian Orthodox churches predominantly in Pennsylvania and New York, established the ACRY Chapter. From this group a parish called the Orthodox Greek Catholic Congregation was formed with approximately 25 members.
On September 21, 1958, in the Resurrection Chapel of the Washington National Cathedral, the first Divine Liturgy was celebrated. About sixty people attended the first Divine Liturgy and after the service the first parish meeting was held. At this meeting, the parishioners chose the name, Church of the Holy Resurrection, after the chapel where they worshipped. That day and for the following nine years, the Episcopal leaders of the National Cathedral gave a struggling parish a chance and provided chapel facilities to an infant parish at no cost.
In 1965 a house was purchased on 16th St NW, which was then renovated into a church and rectory. The renovation, by and large completed by our dedicated parishioners, took two years to complete and the new church was dedicated in August 1967. Then, in 1976, 2 acres of land was purchased in Potomac, Maryland for a new church building. An architectural committee and a “Brick Fund” raised $10,000 to initiate the construction. In February 1979 in sub-freezing temperatures, and bitter winds, the groundbreaking ceremonies were held and construction of the new church began. The parishioners watched as a beautiful church in the traditional Carpathian-style architecture was built. On September 23, 1980, 225 people gathered for the Blessing of the Cornerstone ceremony.
The first services were held in the newly completed church on Christmas Eve (Julian Calendar), January 6, 1980. The memory of that Christmas Eve’s service, with the snow falling softly and the carolonic bells ringing, will live in the hearts of the parishioners for many years. Since that time Holy Resurrection has continued to thrive.