|Schedule of Services|
|Russian Liturgical Services|
|How to Find Us|
|Our Patron Saint|
Our parish has been truly blessed by the Holy Trinity. We have an abundance of children, a beautiful location in a high-growth area, and a wealth of ministries that complement the Orthodox Worship that is the focus of our lives. We are also blessed with a talented and dedicated senior priest who is aided by a wonderful supporting staff. In addition, we have just completed a new education building, and are making great strides towards realizing our ultimate dream of a new temple. The images below show you our temple as it looks today, and the artist's rendering of the temple we hope to complete in just a few short years.
The new temple is necessary to support our growing church family! On these pages, you will have a chance to get to know our church family. We hope that you enjoy your visit to our Website, and that someday you can come by and worship with us in person. If you get to know us, you will quickly discover that our community is a truly unique and welcoming place full of the Holy Spirit and busy about the Lord's work.
Our Temple Today
Our Temple Tomorrow
Our parish has a vision for the future of our community. Our building plan is an integral part of that vision. We want to provide one of the premier buildings in all of Florida dedicated to the Worship of God. If you would like to learn more about our building program, then we invite you to visit our building project page.
Clergy of St. Stephen Parish
Father Daniel Hickman - Rector
Father John Ealy - Attached Very Reverend
Protodeacon Michael Malanowski
Reader Stephen Malanowski
Parish Council Members
The parish council is one of the most important positions a member of the laity can aspire to in our parish.
Noel Busch, Sr. Warden
Amanda Janik, Treasurer
Marilyn Santos, Secretary
Stephen Gidus, Member
Tara Coucelman, Member
Note: Please contact our parish council members directly using their contact information in our parish directory.
- Altar Servers
- Stephen Malanowski,Coordinator
- Sunday School Program
- Tara Concelman, Coordinator
- Youth Programs
- Marcy Hickman, Coordinator
- Stephen Malanowski, Assistant
- Parish Publications
- Protodeacon Michael Malanowski, Editor in Chief
- Information Technology Ministry
- St. Stephen's Orthodox Christian Gifts
- Evangelism, Greeters
- Stewardship and Annual Giving
- Robert Kindell, Coordinator
- Robert Kindell, Coordinator
- Julie Dimas, Director
Vigil for the Lord's Day -- Saturdays at 5:00 p.m.
Feast Day Services (Holy Days)
Vigil of the eve before -- 6:30 p.m.
Adult Bible Study -- T. B.A.
Russian Liturgical Services
St. Stephen is a parish of the Orthodox Church in America which traces its roots to the Russian Orthodox missionary presence on the North American continent. While most services are conducted in English, the language of the people in the United States, St. Stephen is also pleased to offer services for the Russian immigrant community in Church Slavonic.
Russian Orthodox Divine Liturgy in Church Slavonic - 3rd Saturday of every month at 10 a.m.
Russian Language Confession - 3rd Saturday of every month prior to the Divine Liturgy in Church Slavonic
Russian Coffee Fellowship and Community Meal - 3rd Saturday of every month following the Divine Liturgy in Church Slavonic.
How to Find Us
From I-4 west bound: Exit at #98, Lake Mary Boulevard & Heathrow exit. Turn left at the traffic light at the end of the exit ramp. Cross over the interstate and merge into the right lane. Proceed approximately 1/4 of a mile to the traffic light at Lake Emma Road. Turn right on Lake Emma Road. Continue on Lake Emma for approximately 2 miles. Church will be on the left.
From I-4 east bound: Exit at #94, Longwood exit. Turn right at the end of the exit ramp onto State Road 434. Continue on 434 for approximately 1.5 miles to traffic light at Rangeline Road. Turn left onto Rangeline Road and proceed to the end of the road, approximately 1 mile. Turn right onto Longwood Hills Road. Proceed to the first traffic light (Lake Emma Road) approximately 1/8 of a mile. Turn left onto Lake Emma Road. Church will be on the right about 1/2 mile.
Passing On The Glory - Building For Tomorrow
The Saint Stephen Capital Campaign
Welcome to the Saint Stephen Capital Campaign web page! The Orthodox Church of Saint Stephen the Protomartyr is working towards the construction of a temple at the current church site on Lake Emma Road.
The mission of PASSING ON THE GLORY - BUILDING FOR TOMORROW can be realized only through generous pledges from parishioners and friends like you. These gifts - pledged over the next three to five years - will allow St. Stephen's to move forward with the Conceptual Plan which will be realized in six phases as described below.
Current Church Building (completed in 1989) - The current church building, encompassing 3600 sq. ft., was designed to accommodate Liturgical services, religious education classes, fellowship and social functions until later phases could be completed.
New Temple - Plans are currently being made for the new temple and the rest of our building program.
On September 6, 1969, Fr George Gladky from Miami, FL conducted an organizational meeting for a new parish in the Orlando, FL area. This meeting was held at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Orlando. Present at the meeting were: M/M Timothy Gidus, Mrs. Evelyn Reich, M/M Frank Spicer, M/M Alex Tamny, M/M Steven Kondratick, M/M Max Demianovich, M/M Edward Razook, M/M Theodore Hawranick, and several other families. Fr George Gladky informed the group that this meeting was an official declaration of intent to begin a parish under the Metropolia, and that an official petition was being sent to Metropolitan Ireney, the Diocesan Bishop of the New York-New Jersey Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of North America. Fr Peter Milanovich of St. Nicholas Syrian Orthodox Church was also present at that meeting. Two months later he would disband St. Nicholas and join the newly formed parish. At that meeting $800 was pledged to begin the new Orthodox Church in the Orlando Area for the Metropolia (Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church).
Another meeting was held the following week at the home of Steven Kondratick. The meeting was conducted by Fr George Gladky. Frs Basil Wagoner from West Palm Beach and Michael Karas from Titusville were in attendance. In addition to the priests, thirty people were in attendance. The new parish was listed for the first time in the 1970 Metropolia Yearbook as St. George Eastern Orthodox Church. Until the arrival of Fr Eugene Vansuch in October of 1969 the new parish joined St. Simeon Orthodox Church in Titusville for Sunday Divine Liturgy.
At the end of September that same year, Fr George Galdky received the official document, numbered 8807 and dated September 23, 1969, from the Metropolia Chancery establishing the Parish. It reads as follows: "This is to inform you that His Eminence, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Ireney, by resolution number 3884 dated September 18, 1969, gives his Archpastoral Blessing to the formation of a new parish in Orlando, Florida. By the same resolution, His Eminence appoints the Rev. Fr Eugene Vansuch as Rector of this community."
On October 10, 1969, Fr Eugene Vansuch arrived in Orlando as pastor of St. George. With him he brought the Antimens signed by Metropolitan Ireney. Fr Eugene was a priest of the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church. The Orthodox Church of St. Stephen is that same church and Fr Eugene is its first pastor. Divine Liturgy was first served in the Mount Vernon Hotel in Winter Park, and later, in the Winter Park YMCA and the Maitland National Bank.
In December of 1970 Fr Eugene Vansuch was transferred. Fr Angelo Estrada-Rea was assigned in January of 1971. During his tenure, the parish purchased two pieces of property for future growth. One was located on 15-A south of Rt. 50 in Orlando and the other was on Tuskawilla Rd. in Winter Park.
After Fr Angelo's leaving, the parish would have been without a priest. However, with the help of Fr James Kenna, the Antiochian priest in Fort Lauderdale, Fr John Hamatie of the Syrian Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Toledo, was obtained on a loan basis. He was to temporarily serve St. George until a priest of the Diocese was available. Under his leadership the Syrian and Lebanese ethnic portion of the parish formed a new parish under the Antiochian Diocese of Toledo.
This separation of the newly organized parish, under Bishop Shaheen, from the original OCA St. George Orthodox Church greatly reduced the number of communicants for the OCA parish. This separation also meant that there were now two St. George Orthodox Churches in the Orlando area. The original OCA parish did not have a priest and was served twice a month by Fr George Gladky of Christ the Savior Church in Miami and by Fr John Ealy of St. Nicholas Church in Fort Lauderdale.
In April of 1975 Fr George Gladky asked Fr John Ealy if he would be willing to move to Orlando to serve St. George. To facilitate this move, he and Fr Gladky met with the lay leaders and members of the parish at the home of Fr Peter Milanovich in May of 1975 and it was agreed that Fr. John would relocate to Orlando with the approval of Metropolitan Ireney.
In September of 1975 Fr John Ealy moved with his family to DeBary and began teaching at St Peter's School in DeLand, FL, while preparing for his upcoming assignment to St. George OCA parish. A. small house was purchased in Fern Park to be used as the church. Fr John was assigned in January of 1976 and normal parish life began with greatly reduced membership.
Reconstruction of the small house began immediately after being purchased in order to make it suitable for use as a temple. The first service in the new temple was Vespers, served on January 16, and the first Divine Liturgy was served on January 17, 1976. A. total of 12 persons attended the first Vespers and Divine Liturgy.
In August of 1978, because of the confusion that existed in the Orlando area with two St. George Churches, the Orthodox Church in America parish of St. George changed its name to The Orthodox Church of St. Stephen. In doing so, it retained its original charter and incorporation in the state of Florida and remains the original parish that began in 1969.
In the late 1970's and early 1980's, St. Stephen continued to grow. A. place was needed for fellowship after Liturgy, for Church School, and for choir practice. The worship space was increased by removing a kitchen and bathroom, and a parish hall was constructed in 1980. After the completion of the above projects the parish continued to grow. It was apparent that the current building and grounds would not be adequate for the growing church. It was therefore decided in 1982 that it was necessary to buy a piece of property with more acreage and build a new church. Efforts in all desirable areas met with resistance by the zoning board and by area residents who did not want a church in their neighborhood.
In 1987 the Church was approached to sell its property for development as part of a shopping center being planned on adjoining property. Immediately the search for land began again. After several setbacks a beautiful piece of land consisting of six acres was locatedon Lake Emma Road in Seminole County. This property was to be St. Stephen's new home. After the sale of church property in Fern Park, the Lake Emma Rd. property was purchased and plans were made to build a new temple.
During the period of January 17, 1988 until November 3, 1989, St. Stephen was without a permanent home because the Fern Park property had been sold. During this period the Liturgical Services were held at the FARE office building in Eatonville. On April 9, 1989, fifteen months after the sale of the church building in Fern Park, the Cross was planted and the grounds on Lake Emma Rd. were blessed by Bishop Dmitri.
Construction of the new temple for the Orthodox Church of St. Stephen Protomartyr began in June of 1989. It was completed for use by November 4, 1989, and on the evening of that day, at 6:00 PM, the Sunday Resurrectional Vigil was held. The first Divine Liturgy in our new temple was on November 5, 1989.
With the move into the new temple adult membership increased rapidly. The number of children attending St. Stephen has also increased since the move into the new temple. Church School classes are held every Sunday for approximately forty children. A. summer Church School program is also held for children from ages five to twelve. St. Stephen has a very active youth program. The adult leaders of the parish are active in the Diocesan youth camp each year. Retreats are held each year at St. Stephen for the youth, conducted by the youth under the guidance of parish adults and priests of the Orthodox Church in America. In order to provide space for Church School, two pavilions were constructed for classes during the summer of 1994.
St. Stephen is now preparing to erect new temple for the glory of God. It will be a fitting temple for His people to gather to enter into His Kingdom at the Liturgy of His Church. The capitol fund drive to collect the necessary funds for that purpose is now in progress.
As of August, 2009, St. Stephen has 172 adult members and 85 children. Because of the increase both in membership and attendance at liturgical services, plans are being made for the erection of a new temple. This project should be completed within a few years.
St. Stephen, the Protomartyr and Archdeacon
He was the first one of the seven chosen by the apostles to minister to the poor. He had been educated under the renowned rabbinical teacher, Gamaliel, as was his relative, Saul, who came to be known as the Apostle Paul. Stephen had been trained in the scriptures and now debated the Jews in the temple, with whom he had once studied. He also worked miracles among the people by his prayers, Stephen was slandered by the Jews, who said that he blasphemed against God and Moses.
Stephen stood before them, his face resplendent with light, and his words can be read in the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 7. He spoke of God's works and the transgressions of the Israelites. When he denounced them for the murder of Jesus, they drove him from the city and stoned him. His last words were, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them. Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." His relative, Saul, whom Jesus had not yet converted, stood by, and at a distance the Theotokos and John the Theologian witnessed the first martyrdom for Christianity. She prayed for him. This was said to have happened on the first anniversary of Pentecost. His teacher, Gamaliel, secretly buried him.