Parish History

In October of 2011, a small group of Orthodox Christians, inquirers, and friends met in Jackson with Fr. Peter Gillquist to discuss starting an Orthodox mission in Jackson, TN. Our numbers were small but Fr. Peter wanted to "strike while the iron was hot!" and let God give the increase (to mix our metaphors). We will always be grateful for the faith which allowed him to see the potential in our unlikely gathering. Soon after, Met. PHILIP gave his blessing to begin planting the mission with the help of Fr. James Mackoul of the missions department and Fr. John Troy Mashburn in Memphis, TN.

Throughout 2012, Fr. James lead bi-monthly services in a classroom of the Evangelical Community Church, teaching catechism and how to read and chant the services. Since 2013, by God's grace, our community has benefited from a beautiful space, generously donated for our use. We prayed regular readers services, and Fr. John and Fr. Don Berge served the Divine Liturgy periodically throughout 2013 and 2014. On April 27, 2014, Bishop Thomas came to visit the mission and begin the process of selecting a patron saint and registering the mission on the Archdiocese website. On August 10, 2014, Bishop Antoun granted us mission status, and we were officially given St. Nicholas as a patron saint. In December of 2014, we celebrated our first patronal feast.

In January of 2015, Fr. Matthew Snowden was assigned as the full time priest for St. Nicholas Orthodox Christian Mission, and with great joy we established regular weekly services and celebrated a full cycle of liturgical services throughout the year. God knows who and what we need and has given life to our parish all along the way. Our little community built a church library, painted and donated icons, taught Sunday school classes, formed a growing choir under Jesse Cox, and a variety of different ministries. We began St. Brigid's Food Pantry, which has expanded into the successful Little Free Pantry. We offer an annual St. Nicholas Festival to our community, and participate in our local International Food festival. Fr. Matthew offers a generous pastoral ministry to our parish and greater community. By God's grace, St. Nicholas is a growing, multi-ethnic community with a rich liturgical life and family bond.

Find a timeline of photos and various news stories about our parish below.

2012: Mission Beginnings

first chrismation in the Jackson Mission , 2012

September 2012: first baptism in the Jackson Mission 

first baptism in the Jackson Mission

2013: Old Humboldt Road

the new building before renovations

before renovations

The first Divine Liturgy in the new building, before renovations 

catechumen's class

renovations in the nave, the altar and iconostasis

renovations to the exterior, the extension to the altar with apse

June 2013: adding the icon to the front of the building

June 2013: The finished iconostasis in the almost finished nave

June 2013: Baptism and Chrismation in the new building

June 2013: the Divine Liturgy

June 2013: the Divine Liturgy

Baptism: July, 2013

July, 2013: Chrismation

August, 2013: Prosfora baking

September, 2013: installing the dome 

St. Nicholas Day party, December 2013: the children gathered around the icon of
St. Nicholas to hear the story of St. Nicholas and the three girls from Shelley Snowden

St. Nicholas Day party, December 2013


Pascha Feast and Egg Hunt, 2014

Pascha Feast and Egg Hunt, 2014

Pascha Feast and Egg Hunt, 2014

Visit from Bishop Thomas, April 27, 2014

Visit from Bishop Thomas, April 27, 2014

Blessing of the students, September 2014

Dec, 2014:  Churching
Dec, 2014: Fr. Don reading to the children about St. Nicholas at our first patronal feast

2015: New Beginnings

Jan, 2015: Fr. Matthew becomes full-time pastor of St. Nicholas
Jackson Sun article

our first celebration of St. Brigid's feast day!

2015: Holy Friday, icon of Christ painted by Gene Snowden

2015: our first Paschal Divine Liturgy!

2015 Pentecost

2015: St. Nicholas Day

2015: St. Nicholas Day

2015: St. Nicholas Day

2015: St. Nicholas Day, story time with Larry Austin

2016: Parish Growth

Ribbon Cutting with the Jackson Chamber of Commerce

Pascha, 2016
Jackson Sun article

July, 2016: Bishop Antoun's Visit to St. Nicholas
Jackson Sun article

Dec, 2016: First St. Nicholas Festival

Dec. 10, 2016: Installation of the Little Free Pantry
WBBJ News Story

Dec. 10, 2016: First St. Nicholas Festival
Jackson Sun


Southern Sojourn, Jan 2017
Feature in Our Jackson Home

St. Nicholas Festival, 2017

Holy Week, 2018

St. Nicholas Day, 2018

St. Nicholas Festival, 2018

The Little Free Pantry has extended the reach of St. Brigid's Pantry

Sep. 29, 2018: First visit with Bishop NICHOLAS

Forgiveness Vespers, 2019

Mar 2019: First hierarchical Divine Liturgy with Bishop NICHOLAS

Agape Vespers, 2019

July 2019: New icons on the royal doors

Sep 2019: Jackson International Food and Art Festival (St. Nicholas Sampler)

Sep 2019: JIFAF, Jackie with the Spanakopita

Sep 2019: JIFAF, Masha with the Pelmeni

St. Nicholas Festival, 2019

Mar 2020: Celebrating 5 years with Fr. Matthew!

Forgiveness Vespers, 2020

Pascha, 2020
Agape Vespers, 2020

Paschal Feast, 2021: Together again!