OCTOBER 15, 2013 - His Grace Alexios Mar Eusebius, Metropolitan of the Diocese of South-West America formally appointed Rev. Fr. John Abraham (Teji) as the first Vicar of St. James Orthodox Mission Church.
OCTOBER 20, 2013 - The first Holy Qurbana was conducted on October 20, 2013 at the Fun Asia (now Luxor) Banquet Hall in Carrollton, TX.
JULY 2014 - Rev. Fr. Christopher Mathew began serving as Vicar.
OCTOBER 2014 - The parish relocated to Cambridge Office Park II, a more centrally-located building in Dallas, TX.
JULY 2018 - The parish moved to Park Plaza Tower in Dallas, TX.
SEPTEMBER 1, 2018 - Rev. Fr. Binu Mathews began serving as Vicar.
Rev. Fr. Binu Mathews
Vicar & President
John Mathew Diocesan Representative
Malankara Association Representative
The St. James Orthodox Mission Church is a fellowship of Orthodox believers. Our purpose is to attain spiritual nourishment by partaking in the sacramental life of the Church and to reflect the light of Christ to the surrounding communities through the practices of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic faith.
Rev. Fr. Binu Mathews grew up in Houston, TX with St. Thomas Orthodox Cathedral as his home parish. Binu Achen was one of few deacons in North America who started serving at a very young age, having been ordained as Reader in 1999 by His Grace Mathews Mar Barnabas. He was then appointed as the Houston area Youth Minister, which he served as through 2002. He was also the first National Treasurer of MGOCSM from 2001 through 2004.
After completing his Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Houston, he went on to St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary and later transferred to St. Tikohn's Orthodox Theological Seminary. He completed the Master of Divinity program and was the first of our deacons (in North America) to graduate from St. Tikohn's. From there he went on to pursue his M.A. in Counseling from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX.
In 2010, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Grace Alexios Mar Eusebius, who then appointed him as Assistant Vicar of St. Paul’s Orthodox Church. In July 2011 he was appointed as Vicar and served through August 2018. The interim Metropolitan of the Diocese of Southwest America, His Grace Zachariah Mar Aprem, appointed him as Vicar of St. James Orthodox Mission Church in September of 2018.
Binu Achen previously served as the Assistant Director of the Southwest Diocese Counseling Department, under the leadership of Rev. Fr. John Kunnathusseril, and has held numerous workshops and pre-marital counseling sessions for young couples in both the Dallas and Houston areas.
Vocationally, Binu Achen is a Hospice Chaplain and feels truly blessed to always be serving those within and outside of our community.
Binu Achen resides in Allen, TX with his wife Jessica and their four children: Sarai, Lucas, Levi, and Silas.
USE OF ENGLISH
The Malankara Church, which has its roots in Kerala, India, primarily uses Malayalam (native language) and Syriac (liturgical language) for worship. As the Church grew outside of India, it became paramount that the full liturgical services be translated into the English language in order to serve a larger population of believers. The Holy Qurbana (Eucharist) was translated into English in the early 1980s. In the last five years, many of the feast day liturgies of the Church such as Easter, Christmas, and Good Friday have been translated into English as well. As a result, the beautiful liturgical services of the Syriac tradition have become available to the English-speaking members of the Church. This has allowed the Church to share its Faith with the community at large. The St. James Orthodox Mission Church is the first church established by Southwest Diocese to solely use English in all its worship services.
A BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF THE MALANKARA ORTHODOX SYRIAN CHURCH
The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, also known as the Indian Orthodox Church, is an apostolic church that traces its roots to the evangelical work of St. Thomas the Apostle in AD 52. Tradition teaches us that St. Thomas sailed to the Malabar Coast, by way of spice traders, in an area known as ‘Maliankara’, and later this name was shortened to ‘Malankara’. Thus the name of the church of India came to be known as the Malankara Church to remember the place where St. Thomas first came to evangelize India. Through St. Thomas’ work many Indians in the southern parts of India came to believe in Jesus Christ and be baptized. Through the centuries the Church in India had good relations with sister churches within the Roman Empire and the Persian Empire. This allowed the Indian Church to proclaim and profess the same faith and doctrines of the church as a whole.
The faith of the Indian Orthodox Church is in accordance with the Nicene Creed. It believes in the Holy Trinity, that is one God, subsisting in three persons; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Church believes in the mystery of the Incarnation. That is, the Only begotten Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, took to Himself a body and became man, through the Virgin Mary. Jesus Christ is the One Incarnate Nature of God the Word, without intermixture, confusion, mingling, change and
transformation. The Church further confesses in the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, who conquered death and sin for mankind, and reconciled man with God. The Church believes in the Holy Spirit, as the third person in the Holy Trinity. He is the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father, and is equal with the Father and the Son.
The Indian Orthodox Church believes that the Holy Sacraments are tangible signs designated by Jesus Christ to proclaim divine grace, which He gave for our sanctification. The seven main Sacraments of the Church are: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Confession, the Priesthood, Anointing of the Sick, and Marriage. Holy Sacraments are offered by the Bishops and the Priests, and only confirmed Orthodox faithful can receive the Sacraments.
The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, is an active member of the World Council of Churches (www.oikoumene.org/en), and currently has churches and dioceses around the world. The concentration of the church is in India, but has a presence in North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Australia. The head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian is the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, and His Holiness Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II is the current Catholicos. We currently have two dioceses in North America: the Northeast American Diocese headquartered in New York (www.neamericandiocese.org), and the Diocese of South-West America headquartered in Houston (www.ds-wa.org).