Many Orthodox churches in America were established to serve the needs of an immigrant population, and to faithfully transmit and preserve the rich cultural heritage, traditions and language of a specific nation of origin. We at Holy Cross, however, are a diverse American community of ordinary people from many different ethnic and cultural groups, and our services are entirely in English.
We are a very warm and open community and we welcome all visitors.
On September 14, 2005, the day the Church commemorates the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, a small group of families from Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point, NC met to discuss the need for a new Orthodox Mission church in the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point area with all-English services, and prayerfully decided to work diligently to establish such a mission. The first Divine Liturgy was held at Saint Matthew's Episcopal Church in Kernersville, NC on March 12, 2006.
In May 2006, the Mission learned that it was given the name of Holy Cross, commemorating the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (the first day the founders all met). Later in May, we joyfully learned that Father Christopher Foley was assigned to our church. Father Christopher came to us directly from St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary after graduating that year.
Our Bishop at that time, Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory, first visited our parish on September 22, 2006. His preaching, pastoral care and guidance were inspiring and a great blessing to us at this early stage of our mission.
Looking for a more permanent home, we leased an unused Fellowship Hall at Christ Presbyterian Church in High Point, renovated it, painted it, installed carpeting and an iconostas, and on December 24, 2006 we celebrated our first Divine Liturgy in our new home. We were happy and grateful to God for our first home for many years!
The Presbyterian church from whom we had been leasing closed, and eventually the property was sold, and we have found a new temporary home that is even more spacious than our old one! We are leasing the entire first floor of a Methodist church between Walkertown and Winston-Salem. We do not expect to need this temporary "Tabernacle in the Wilderness" for long, because we are building a new church!
Our parish was established to be a beacon of Holy Orthodoxy, offering English-language services to all people of all origins in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina. God has blessed this mission! From an initial group of 25 people, we have grown to 100+ people attending Divine Liturgy. We provide classes for inquirers and catechumens, and have baptized and chrismated many dozens of new members of the faithful since our founding. Our flourishing church school and youth group have helped our children grow in fellowship, service, and love of their faith. We continue to see new folks arrive and engage in all areas of parish life. By the grace of God, “... the Lord added to their number day by day” (Acts 2:47).
As the parish has grown, the need for space became increasingly pressing, which was a blessing but also a persistent inconvenience during both worship and fellowship hour. We agreed as a parish that we need to build a new church building. But where?
We have faithful parishioners all across the triad, and we all wrestled with locating in one of the major cities of the Triad versus finding a location central in the Triad. We did research, talked together, prayed together, and finally all agreed to find a central location that would accomodate all of us as well as possible, and be available to people all across the Triad.
This is why we parishioners voted unanimously to purchase land and build our church in Kernersville, in an excellent central Triad location, where it can continue to grow and have a wider impact. His Eminence Archbishop Nikon blessed the property soon thereafter. Through personal donations, fundraising efforts and assistance from the Diocese, the land has been fully paid off. We then mounted a successful Capital Campaign, we have collected more than a million dollars in our building fund, and at last we have actually broken ground to prepare for building our new church!