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OCMC News - Celebrating 10 Years Since the Dedication of OCMC's Headquarters!

by Niko Birbilis (Posted 5/22/2019)

OCMC News - Celebrating 10 Years Since the Dedication of OCMC
On May 21, 2009, the Orthodox Christian Mission Center celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the opening of Archbishop Anastasios and Archbishop Demetrios Missionary Training Center. Over the last 10-year hundreds of Faithful from across the country have visited the Mission Center to receive training before going into the world to share the Gospel. Thank you for making the dream of this facility a reality and supporting the ministries it makes possible.

This past Tuesday, OCMC was thrilled to celebrate our 10-year-anniversary since the dedication of our current missionary training and administration building! May 21, 2009 marked a great day, not only for us at OCMC, but for Orthodoxy around the world.

The roots of OCMC go all the way back to Athens, Greece in the 1950s, and to the influence of two young theologians: Fr. Deacon Anastasios Yannoulatos and Fr. Deacon Demetrios Trakatellis. Deacon Anastasios would eventually go on to become His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, and Deacon Demetrios would soon go on to become His Eminence Archbishop Geron Demetrios of America.

Inspired by the missionary fervor and vision of these brilliant young men, the Mission Center would begin as a committee of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (GOA) of America. As it continued to grow and develop, however, the GOA's mission center soon moved to its own location in St. Augustine, Florida, and Fr. Dimitrios Couchell (now His Grace Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos) was appointed as its first Executive Director. In 1987, the mission center sent the first short-term mission team to Kenya, and these teams would continue into the present day as some of the most fruitful ministries of the mission center.

By 1994 the GOA graciously handed its mission center over to become the pan-Orthodox mission center, representing the combined missionary efforts of all Orthodox jurisdictions in the US. At this point, it was finally labeled the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC).

Fr. Martin Ritsi took over as Executive Director in 1998, and by the late 2000s, OCMC was already involved in thirty countries around the world. OCMC continued growing, and soon it was time to expand to a new location. It was at this point that, due to many incredibly generous supporters, OCMC was able to construct its current home: the Archbishop Anastasios and Archbishop Demetrios Training and Administration Building. This new OCMC headquarters building was dedicated on May 21, 2009. Since then, it has increasingly been the source of countless ministries, striving to carry out Christ’s great commission and spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

In the past 10 years since the dedication, OCMC has sent a total of 1181 team members on 159 mission teams to 18 different countries. This past year alone, OCMC:

  • Has continued to support 375 indigenous clergy worldwide through the SAMP program
  • Has continued to support 23 long-term missionaries
  • Provided medical care to 1199 people
  • Reached 815 children
  • Catechized 1400 people
  • Sent 4 healthcare and counseling teams
  • Built a church in Indonesia
  • Carried out 7 projects for students and orphans

We’ve had a wonderfully exciting and fruitful history, and we thank you all for walking this journey with us. With your support, we are enabling countless people around the world to know the Gospel of Christ and to experience His love. Please continue to keep our work in your prayers, to volunteer your time and talents on our mission trips, and to donate to our ministries. Now we look forward to all that the next 10 years will bring!

Contact Information


220 Mason Manatee Way
St. Augustine, FL
United States
(904) 829-5132

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(904) 829-1635


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Prayer for Missions

God of truth and love: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Hear our prayer for those who do not know You. That they may come to a saving knowledge of the truth, and that Your Name may be praised among all peoples of the world. Sustain, inspire, and enlighten Your servants who bring them the Gospel. Bring fresh vigor to wavering faith; sustain our faith when it is still fragile. Continually renew missionary zeal in ourselves and in the Church, and raise up new missionaries who will follow You to the ends of the world. Make us witnesses to Your goodness full of love, full of strength, and full of faith for Your glory and the salvation of the entire world. Through the prayers of all the missionary saints, Have mercy on us and save us. Amen.
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