About Saint Anthony’s

In 2007 there was no Orthodox church between Charlotte, N.C., and Columbia S.C., a distance of two hours or more. The Diocese of the South, seeking to reach out to Orthodox Christians in the area, as well as spread Orthodoxy in the community, selected Rock Hill as a midpoint between the two, and in need of an Orthodox presence. In 2008 Fr. Paul Coates, a graduate of St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary, moved with his family to the area to begin the mission. Through tireless work in the fields of Christ, the mission was fully established in 2010, with weekend services.

Beginning in a Roman Catholic spiritual center known as “The Oratory,” The Rock Hill Mission grew. Contributions came from Nativity of the Holy Virgin in Charlotte, and even the Knights of Columbus of the Oratory, who granted use of a building on Long Meadow road. God’s grace provided the message, the people, and the temple, and the Rock Hill Mission became St. Anthony the Great Orthodox Church in 2012, named by His Eminence Archbishop Nikon, Bishop of Boston, Locum tenens of the Diocese of the South at the time.

We have continued laboring in God’s fields; the property on Long Meadow road was purchased from the Knights of Columbus in 2012 and expanded through the purchase of the neighboring property in 2018. Both were paid off in 2022. We have received spiritual guidance from a number of priests; Fr. Paul Coates, Fr. Mikel Bock, and currently Fr. Joseph Wesseler. We have worked to adorn our temple, and to plan for future building projects. We provide regular classes on Scripture, church history, and for our children and catechumens. We strive to make regular charitable contributions to our community, and seek always and in all things to give Christ reign over our future while praising Him for the work He has done in our past. By God’s grace we have grown, and continue to grow, and will continue to grow, and we eagerly await the work God will ask of us next.