Groungbreaking Photos - 08/13/13

Nicholasville, KY [St. Athanasius Orthodox Church]--  Over 150 people gathered on Saturday, August 10th, for the groundbreaking ceremony at St. Athanasius Orthodox Church's new property in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

“This event has been a long time in coming,” said Fr. Justin Patterson, pastor of St. Athanasius.

For the past 11 years, since its founding as an OCA mission, St. Athanasius has met in a storefront shopping center in Nicholasville.

"Our location has been effective in helping us grow from those early days," Fr. Justin said. "However, the parish always understood, that at some point we would need to develop our own facility to continue and expand the work we are already doing and hope to do in the future. Part of the Orthodox Christian faith is developing a physical space that tells everybody, 'Here we are. This is the Church.'"

His Grace, Bishop Mark (Maymon) of Baltimore presided at the invitation of the locum tenens of the Diocese of the South of the Orthodox Church in America.  During Bishop Mark's remarks, he challenged the faithful of St. Athanasius not to be too enamored with the work of their hands.

"Never forget," His Grace said,"that the church is not stones and mortar. The church is made up of the people of God.”
He encouraged everyone to be “living stones” of the church in Nicholasville.

Local Orthodox Christians from St. Athanasius' sister communities in the Lexington area also attended.  Fr George Wilson of Panagia Pantovasilissa Greek Orthodox Church, Fr. Thomas Gallaway of St. Andrew Antiochian Orthodox Church, and Deacon Jeremiah Davis, attached to Holy Cross Monastery (ROCOR) in West Virginia, served the groundbreaking ceremony with His Grace and the community of St. Athanasius.  State and local officials were also present to congratulate the parish on the groundbreaking.  

The service ended with the burning of the mortgage on the property, which is now paid off in full.  
"Our people worked hard to pay off that debt, to save for building the church, and to engage a good architect," Fr. Justin said.
The building committee and parish council worked with Lexington architect Tom Smith, a parishioner at the local Greek Orthodox church, to develop cost-effective plans that could be implemented in phases to meet the church's growth needs for the next 25 years.

The first phase of construction will be an 8,000sf building with a walk-out basement. Final general contractor selection will take place in September. Second phase will include the final temple and renovating of first phase construction to serve as a parish hall and education facility.  Construction on the first phase is expected to begin in early October.   Updates on the building project can be found on the parish website at

Site plan:

Mortgage Burning with (L to R) Fr. Justin Patterson, Rick Gideon, the parish lay leader and Nicholasville resident, Patrick Mooney of Lexington, Deacon Jeremiah Davis of West Virginia, and Christopher Naughton, parish treasurer and resident of Wilmore.
State Rep. Bob Damron addresses the guests
Bishop Mark (Maymon) of Baltimore (in klobuk) leads local clergy and laity on a procession over the footprint of the new church building.
Preparing to turn the ground. L to R: Deacon Jeremiah Davis of West Virigina, Fr. George Wilson, Pastor of Panagia Pantovasilissa Greek Orthodox Church in Lexington, Fr. Justin Patterson, Pastor of St. Athanasius Orthodox Church, Bishop Mark (Maymon), and Fr. Thomas Gallaway of St. Andrew's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Lexington with other members of the St. Athanasius Parish.
St. Athanasius Youth Group, representing the future of the parish, participating in turning the earth.
Bishop Mark presides with local clergy and laity.