Welcome to the St. Thomas Malankara Orthodox Church, Oklahoma website. We are a parish under the American Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of India. Our present diocesan bishop is His Grace Mathews Mar Barnabas and assistant bishop is His Grace Zacharias Mar Nicholovos. The Orthodox Church of India is an ancient Church, which was established in kerala, India, in 52 A.D by the Apostle St. Thomas, one of the twelve disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Orthodox Church of India is under the leadership of the Catholicos of the East with its headquarters at Devalokam, Kottayam, Kerala, India.
The Indian Orthodox Church (also known as the Malankara Orthodox Church, Orthodox Church of the East, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Orthodox Syrian church of the East) is a prominent member of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, which include the Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian and the Syrian orthodox churches.
The spiritual supreme head of the Indian Orthodox Church is the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, whose seat is at Kottayam, Kerala, India. The Church has dioceses and churches in most parts of India as well as in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Western Europe, Persian Gulf nations, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. The official title of the head of the Church is the Catholicos of the East on the Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas and the Malankara Metropolitan. The present Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan is H.H Mar Baselios Mar Thoma Didymos 1, who was enthroned on October 31, 2005 at Parumala Church by the Holy Synod amidst the Holy Eucharist
The Church, though modern in its vision and outlook, keeps the traditional oriental Orthodox faith and liturgy. It accepts the first three Ecumenical Synods. The Liturgy now in use is the translation of the liturgy adopted from the Syriac Orthodox church of the Antiochian since their relationship started in 17th century. Today the church uses liturgy in Syriac, Malayalam, Hindi, and English.
The Church has a Theological seminary at Kottayam, kerala, which was established in 1815 after the conquest of the Kingdom of Kochi and the destruction of the center of Christian learning from the earlier centuries at angamaly by Sultan Tipu. Another seminary is situated at Nagpur, Maharashtra. The latter was established fairly recently in the latter part of the 20th century.
The Orthodox Church in this country owes its origin to the devotion of so many immigrants from India. In the great wave of immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries, Orthodox Christians came to United States of America in search of opportunity. Like the first Apostles, they carried with them a precious heritage and gift. To the New World they brought the ancient faith of the Orthodox Church.
Christians of the Eastern Churches call themselves Orthodox. This description comes to us from the fifth century and has two meanings, which are closely related. The first definition means true teaching. The Orthodox Church believes that she has maintained and handed down the Christian faith, free from error and distortion from the days of the Apostles. The second definition, which is actually the more preferred, means true praise. To bless, praise, and glorify God the Father, Son and the Holy Spiritis the fundamental purpose of the Church. All her activities, even her doctrinal formulations, are directed toward this goal.
This parish started as a congregation in October 1981 consisting of eight family members. In 1984, the congregation was incorporated in the State of Oklahoma. By the Grace of God we purchased the property at 620 N. Rockwell in 1989 and the Church was built in 1992. Our parish celebrated its 25th anniversary on July 4th and 5th, 2006. We were blessed to have our Catholicose H.H Mar Baselios Mar Thoma Didymos 1 with us for the Jubilee celebrations. Now the Church consists of 45 family members.
It has been a long cherished dream to use our Church website as a resource and informative page for the parishioners and those that visit our site. On behalf of the vicar, Fr. Cherian M. Kunnel, Managing Committee, spiritual organizations and the parishioners, it is with great pleasure that we invite all the faithful to our website.
We hope you will find this website to be valuable resource when researching the Orthodox Church on the Internet for personal study, scholastic use, and/or perhaps from curiosity about the One Holy catholic and Apostolic Church. We hope and pray that this website will be a blessing for all those who visit us.