The scorching mid-afternoon August heat wasn’t enough to deter the faithful from attending the official groundbreaking on Sunday, August 3, for the new church home of St. Basil the Great Orthodox Church in St. Louis.
Inspired by traditional Russian architecture, the 4,200 sq.ft. building will be the first Slavic-style Orthodox Church to be built in the St. Louis area in more than 100 years.
Bishop Peter made a special trip from Chicago, arriving at 2 pm to serve a moleben for the Beginning of a Good Work with six priests from local Orthodox parishes along with more than sixty people that included parishioners, friends and well wishers. Church parishioners provided refreshments to ensure everyone kept cool in the 90-degree heat.
In his opening remarks, Bishop Peter encouraged everyone to be prepared for obstacles along the way but to rely on prayer to overcome these because, ultimately, the Church is God’s work and we are but his instruments.
At the conclusion of the service, Bishop Peter turned over the first shovel full of dirt, followed by priests and those attending in a symbolic gesture of laying the foundation of the new church.