A Brief History

Although Orthodox Christians established parishes in North Dakota in the early twentieth century, the history of the establishment of Orthodoxy in Fargo is more recent.  In 1988, the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America began supporting a small group of Orthodox in Fargo, who wished to have services, and formed a mission in Fargo, North Dakota. For many years, the Antiochian Archdiocese, a direct spiritual descendent of the Church in Antioch, where the followers of Christ were first called Christians (Acts 11:26), supported the mission of the Orthodox believers in Fargo both financially and through supplying clergy on short-term temporary bases for the purpose of offering services and education in the Orthodox faith. Except for when a full time priest had been assigned for a few months in 1988, the mission was served several times a year, when a priest in the region could provide services.

The original name of the mission was All Saints Orthodox Christian Mission, sometimes referred to as All Saints Orthodox Church. In 2004, a local family incorporated itself under the name of All Saints Orthodox Church and purchased a building in which the Antiochian mission could hold services and classes when priests visited. On August 1, 2007, Fr. Oliver Herbel was allowed to be on loan from the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) to the Antiochian Archdiocese in order to serve the local Antiochian mission as her pastor.

In the fall of 2007, the family informed our mission parish that it never had had the intention of donating the building to the Antiochian Archdiocese and that the family desired to make a different use of the building. After initially meeting in an unoccupied house owned by a friend of one of our parishioners, we were invited to meet at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Saturday mornings in return for a modest gift in thanks.

In October of 2008, Fr. Luke Meyer, the chancellor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fargo informed us that Bishop Aquila was willing to allow us to use the chapel in the pastoral center. This provided us with an opportunity to worship on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings on a regular basis.

In the fall of 2009, the faithful petitioned Archbishop Job of the OCA, seeking to be received as a mission parish in the OCA. His Eminence accepted the request and to make a clean shift, renamed us Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, indicating that St. Nicholas was to remain our patron saint. This allowed the parish to enter into the same jurisdiction (OCA) as its priest.

For over seven years Fr. Oliver Herbel served our mission and we have grown. In September of 2014 we purchased a small church building and now have a place of our own in which to worship. On December 14, 2014, Fr. Oliver began serving full time as a chaplain for the 119th Wing of the North Dakota Air National Guard.

Fr. William Rettig was appointed by His Grace, Bishop Paul, to serve as priest-in-charge following his graduation from St. Vladimir’s Seminary. Fr. William, along with his wife Jillian began serving full time in Fargo on July 31, 2016.

We humbly ask that St. Nicholas pray for us as we move forward and continue to build a parish that glorifies our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Please feel free to visit at any time!


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