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, around 20 people are generally in attendance when we celebrate the Divine Liturgy, creating a very friendly atmosphere.
We have been regularly holding services 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.
At present, we are the only Orthodox church on the Darling Downs. 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 practised today.
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 was also appointed Rector (‘Parish Priest’) in August 2017.
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 , Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Snapchat, and Academia. 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 Outside Russia.
Our ruling bishop is Metropolitan Hilarion (who is both First Hierarch of ROCOR and Archbishop of Australia & New Zealand); he is assisted by Bishop George of Canberra, the administrator of our diocese. 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.
Our Parish Council
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. This feastday is celebrated on January 20, the day after we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus Christ. (Though at our Mission, for practical reasons, this is often transferred to the following weekend).
Our Mission worships at the historic All Saints’ Anglican Church, 26 Arthur St, East Toowoomba.