/ About / About the Parish
Parish Vision, Mission, History
/ About / About the Parish
Vision and Mission Statement

Vision Statement

Saint Michael’s will strive to be an exemplary Orthodox Christian Community which worships the Most Holy Trinity, and is devoted to receiving, celebrating, and sharing Jesus Christ, His love, and His teachings.

Mission Statement

Saint Michael's mission is:

  • To receive the Grace of the Most Holy Trinity through our participation in the Sacramental Life of the Church, our personal commitment to God and our pursuit of Holiness.
  • To celebrate God’s love through Orthodox Christian worship, fellowship, and witness.
  • To share God’s love through charity, evangelism, and Orthodox Christian education.

We have assembled an outline of the Biblical basis of our mission and vision statements.

About the Parish
While the roots of our parish are "Slavic," today we are a very diverse, American group.  We live up to being a "melting-pot" with those who have converted to Orthodox Christianity and also those who are immigrants or children of immigrants from different parts of the world  - Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Eritrea, etc. 
Presently, by God's Grace, we are growing rapidly. Many are discovering the ancient and Apostolic roots of the Orthodox Christian faith.  Please click on "About Orthodox" to learn more.  Read on for a little more history about St. Michael's. 
A little history:
In 1913, a small group of Orthodox Christian immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian area of Europe, Russia and Ukraine met to consider forming a Russian Orthodox parish in Wilmington.

In 1915, a larger group under the guidance of Fr. John Zloben purchased a row house at 431 South Claymont Street in Wilmington's Southbridge neighborhood and converted it into a house of worship. Growth increased in 1921 when a Russian Orthodox community in Pennsgrove, NJ closed and religious articles were acquired. Further growth permitted the addition at the site in 1930 of a priest's living quarters as well as church school facilities.

In 1950, under the spiritual leadership of the beloved Archpriest Basil Anziferoff, the rowhouse chapel at 431 S. Claymont Street was torn down and replaced with a brand-new church edifice.

In 1962, six acres of farmland on Kirkwood Highway were acquired from the Zabenko family. By this time, most of the parishioners were moving from the Southbridge area to the suburbs. In anticipation that a new house of worship would be built on the Kirkwood Highway property, a rectory for the priest was purchased in 1975 in nearby Newark.

Under the spiritual leadership of Father Joseph Chupeck, the community of St. Michael the Archangel built its present structure. To obtain funds to construct the new church on Kirkwood Highway, the Southbridge site was sold in 1978 and ground was broken in that same year. Through the generosity of McCrery Funeral Homes, the funeral memorial chapel was used for the parish's worship services while the present house of worship was under construction. The new church was completed and dedicated in 1980.

Since the establishment of the Church on Kirkwood Highway, several things were accomplished. A rectory adjacent to the Church was acquired in 1985. A traditional cupola and gold cross, which evoke the style of Orthodox churches in the Carpatho-Russian regions of Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine, from which many of the parish's original members stemmed, were added to the Church in 1990. The iconostasis was completed in 1996, and in the same year the Church was consecrated with the placing of the Holy Relics in the Altar by Metropolitan HERMAN (then the Bishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania).  
On the strength of this growth, our parish undertook a major building program to construct a large social hall with kitchen and handicapped-accessible restrooms. Currently the parish is engaging in an iconography project and looking to expand parking.  

Parish life includes a full cycle of church services throughout the year, educational opportunities (Sunday School & Adult Education / Catechism - "Foundations")  and various ministry services, such as: Altar servers, choir, chanters / readers, community outreach (Family Promise, Good Samaritan, and other charitable activites), young adult campus ministry (OCF), prosphora bakers, coffee hour hosting, service duties, church cleaning, church council, library, bookstore, and building and grounds maintenance.

May the Lord lead and guide us!  Come and see!

St. Michael's Church Choir - 1930
St. Michael's Church Choir - 1930
St. Michael's Church Choir - 1930
St. Michael's Parish Council - 1930
St. Michael's Parish Council - 1930
St. Michael's Parish Council - 1930
Past Rector Fr. Benjamin Basalyga, later Bishop Benjamin of Pittsburgh and Bishop of Japan
Past Rector Fr. Benjamin Basalyga, later Bishop Benjamin of Pittsburgh and Bishop of Japan
Past Rector Fr. Benjamin Basalyga, later Bishop Benjamin of Pittsburgh and Bishop of Japan
A Look Ahead

This Week's Schedule

Tuesday, July 16th

Weekday Vespers & Fellowship

at 6:00 p.m.


Friday, July 19th

Women's Fellowship

at 7:00 p.m. at the Whalen's home


Saturday, July 20th

Great Vespers

at 5:00 p.m.


followed by



Sunday, July 21st


at 8:00 a.m.

Divine Liturgy &

Blessing of Vehicles

at 9:00 a.m.


followed by



Important Dates

Thursday, August 1st

Dormition Fast Begins


Tuesday, August 6th

Great Feast: The Transfiguration of our Lord


The Mission of The Orthodox Church in America, the local autocephalous Orthodox Christian Church, is to be faithful in fulfilling the commandment of Christ to “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

Learn More >

St. Michael's is part of the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania, which is presided over by The Most Reverend Mark (Maymon), Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania. Our mission is bringing the joy of Christ's resurrection to those who have never heard the Good News, and to strengthen and encourage the faithful who reside within Wilmington and the local area. 

More Information >


The Holy Scripture is a collection of books written over multiple centuries by those inspired by God to do so. It is the primary witness to the Orthodox Christian faith, within Holy Tradition and often described as its highest point. It was written by the prophets and apostles in human language, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and collected, edited, and canonized by the Church.

Daily Readings >


Holiness or sainthood is a gift (charisma) given by God to man, through the Holy Spirit. Man's effort to become a participant in the life of divine holiness is indispensable, but sanctification itself is the work of the Holy Trinity, especially through the sanctifying power of Jesus Christ, who was incarnate, suffered crucifixion, and rose from the dead, in order to lead us to the life of holiness, through the communion with the Holy Spirit.

Today's Saints >


St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church
Wilmington, Delaware