Fulfilling a Dream
As a congregation grows numerically it typically initiates a building program, eagerly anticipating the construction of its new temple. Such an endeavor has been taken on by St. Barbara Orthodox Christian Church. Although the parish has consistently made the most of its all-purpose facility, it now looks forward to the day when a traditional structure, permanently dedicated for worship, is consecrated and ready for use.
The new design and site plan described herein, fulfill a dream long shared by both Church members and His Eminence Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas (of blessed memory), founding hierarch of the Diocese of the South. His Eminence who reposed in August, 2011, was a faithful visionary who helped with the community’s establishment.
The following is a brief look at St. Barbara’s past, a tribute to the parish’s founding fathers and mothers in Christ, as well as a description of the community’s current building program entered into for the glory of God.
A Bit of Parish History
In 1979 Church members began meeting in South Ft. Worth, in a small room of a dental lab, which was generously provided by a parishioner and her husband who owned the facility. Members quickly converted the facility into a small chapel, which served the community for some time.
In May of 1984 the group took an important step, purchasing a sixteen hundred square foot building in Southwest Ft. Worth on Dan Danciger Road. Parishioners then took on the difficult task of renovation. For twenty-two years the former Montessori school served the congregation well, providing space for weekly worship, baptisms, marriages, funerals, lectures, liturgical concerts, education classes and festivals. The community’s first onion dome, currently displayed in the fellowship hall, was fashioned by local craftsmen and commissioned by a leading member of the congregation.
After paying off the mortgage in September of 2001, in November of that same year Church members took a bold step purchasing three acres of vacant land at 5201 Altamesa Boulevard. In 2003 they engaged the services of a local Architect, Mr. Bob Knoblock, and began the work of designing a suitable all-purpose building with an eye toward future development. The congregation moved into the new facility in December of 2006. Upon blessing the new building, Archbishop Dmitri congratulated the group. Furthermore, he encouraged those present not to get too comfortable, but to move toward the eventual construction of a traditional Orthodox Church.
The community never forgot the challenge issued by His Eminence. In November of 2016 St. Barbara’s engaged the services of Mr. Michael Hoffer of Hahnfeld, Hoffer and Stafford, to help design a new home for the parish. The initial plan was completed in early 2018, blessed by His Eminence Archbishop Alexander of Dallas and the South, and approved on April 22, 2018 at a Special Parish Meeting. The journey continues, however, with the exciting task of securing support for the project.
Remembering our Blessed Founders
At this time, Church members express sincere appreciation to those who helped bring the parish to this point in history. The faithful are thankful for current members and friends, for their efforts to facilitate growth and a sense of community within the congregation, and for their generous offerings of time, talent and resources.
Parishioners are profoundly grateful to Archbishop Dmitri and to Archbishop Alexander, as well as to Metropolitan Tikhon, Archbishop Nikon, and to Diocesan Council members who were very supportive over the years, and generous with their sage advice.
And finally, St. Barbara parishioners are thankful for our beloved and blessed founders, many, “who have gone to their rest before us.” Forty years ago, they had a vision, a dream for Orthodox Christians in the Ft. Worth area. The current membership strongly desires to bring that dream to fruition with the construction of a new Church, and with the establishment of future missions in North Texas. With the following thoughts in mind, the faithful gladly enter into the labors of their predecessors.