Our Congregation Today
We are an Orthodox Christian congregation living the ancient, biblical faith of the New Testament Church; a part of the same Church that was founded by Christ, preached by His apostles, and carried on by their successors, through the centuries, to us today.
At this point, approximately 15-20 people are generally in attendance when we celebrate the Divine Liturgy, creating a very friendly atmosphere. All people of good will are welcome to our services, and we particularly welcome Orthodox Christians who live in Toowoomba and the Darling Downs, and people who want to find out more about how original Christianity is practiced today.
All of our services are celebrated in the English language.
Our Rector is Fr Andrew Smith. Born and raised in Brisbane, he started searching for truth and for God’s religion in high school, and ultimately found Orthodox Christianity and was received into the Church in November 2002.
Ordained to the diaconate in 2012 and to the priesthood in 2014, he was assigned to Holy Annunciation Orthodox Church, where he also serves to this day.
It has been Fr Andrew’s joy to serve the community in Toowoomba since 2015, and he was made the inaugural rector of St John the Baptist Orthodox Mission in March 2017.
Fr Andrew authored ‘Discover the Church: The Whats and Whys of Orthodox Christianity‘ (2012) and ‘Every Day the Lord Added‘ (2013). Visible on social media, Fr Andrew can be found on Facebook (link) and on Snapchat (‘frandrewsmith’). He has served as sys-op of OrthodoxWiki since July 2005, and is part of the administrative team of ‘Orthodox Christians of Australia‘, the official Facebook group for the Episcopal Assembly of Oceania. He is married, and he speaks English and basic AUSLAN.
St John’s Orthodox Mission is a part of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand (within the Russian Orthodox Church Ourside Russia). Our ruling bishop is Metropolitan Hilarion (who is both First Hierarch of ROCOR and Archbishop of Australia & New Zealand), and he is assisted by Bishop George of Canberra. Additionally, as part of ROCOR, we are within the Church of Russia, headed by Patriarch Kyril.
For more information, please see the ‘About Orthodoxy’ section of our website.
Services have been held regularly in Toowoomba since 2014, and in March 2017 we were honoured with being made the newest Mission of the Diocese.
For more details, please see the ‘History‘ section of our website.
Our Parish Council
Assisting Fr Andrew to administer our Mission is a small Parish Council, implemented in April 2017. Please keep them in your prayers.
Important administrative documents and policy implementations are included here:
- Child-Safe, Child-Friendly Policy (May 2017)
Our Patron Saint
Our Mission is dedicated to the Forerunner of Christ, St John the Baptist. We celebrate our feastday on January 20, the day after we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus Christ.
Our Mission worships at All Saints’ Anglican Church in East Toowoomba, a historic church.