St. Basil the Great Orthodox Church (OCA)
Parish Background

In 1903, a group of immigrants from Eastern Europe came together in Simpson, PA to establish St Basil the Great Russian Orthodox Church. Under the leadership of Priest Arseny Chahovtzoff (later Archbishop Arseny), a building committee was established to oversee construction of a temple. The edifice was completed in 1904, and then consecrated by St Tikhon (of Moscow) in January 1905.  The first pastor assigned to the parish after completing the temple was Priest Alexis Bohovlsousky. At various times in its history, the parish has been  affiliated with the Russian Metropolia, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, and the Russian Patriarchal Diocese.

Desiring to worship in English, and to follow the Revised Julian Calendar, a group of parishioners  from St Basil the Great Russian Orthodox Church began a new mission under the auspices of the Orthodox Church of America.  The mission met for services at the Grattan Singer Social Hall for nearly two decades. In 1998, under the leadership of Priest Leo Poore, construction began on a new temple on Lord Avenue in Simpson. In 2000, the new building was consecrated by Achbishop Herman of Philadelphia. In continuity with their sister parish from which they came, the people chose St Basil the Great as their patron saint.

St Basil the Great Orthodox Church continues to offer the ancient Christian faith to the people of Lackawanna, Wayne and Susquehanna Counties. Our parish today is a multi-ethnic, pan-Orthodox, convert-friendly community. Come and worship the Risen Lord with us.


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