The founding of the Orthodox Christian Church of the Holy Transfiguration began in 1967. Negotiations with the Metropolia (Metropolitan Ireney) to become an English speaking parish under its jurisdiction, were started on July 12, 1967.
The first Divine Liturgy was held on February 18, 1968 at the West Nyack Fire Hall in West Nyack, New York. In Attendance was the Very Rev. John Nehrebecki as celebrant, and Fr. Deacon John Townsend. Fr. Townsend was ordained to the Holy Priesthood the following week and became our first presbyter. Besides the founders of the parish bein in present, many faithful of other Orthodox parishes came to this joyous event. Seminarians from St. Vladimir's Seminary sang the responses for the Liturgy.
A total of six founders and their families--Alexander & Eftihia Colman, William & Chardella (Maria) Colman, Katherine Hajworonsky, Nicholas & Fay Lassios (Rev. Nicholas), Christina Sloboda, and Dr. Terry Terzakis--started the parish. Five were of Greek descent, the sixth of Czechoslovakian heritage. This small group rented the West Nyack Fire Hall as a place for Divine Services for approximately one year. Paschal Services for the first year were held at the Clarkstown Hall Courtroom. The choir consisted of some of the parishioners along with Sister (now Mother) Victoria, Sister Edith Raphael, and other sisters. During this period, Saturday Evening Vespers were usually held in the homes of parishioners.
From the West Nyack Fire Hall, we relocated to the Rockland State Hospital Library wing of the Roman Catholic Chapel. At this location, the library furniture had to be moved and replaced before and after each service. This had to be done in order to make room for the parish's portable iconostasis, which was constructed by Nicholas Lassios. Mr. Lassios, now fallen asleep in the Lord, later became a priest of the Greek Archdiocese. The iconostasis, altar table, stands, icons, etc., were all stored in an adjacent room made available by Monsignor Cox, Vicar of the Rockland County Roman Catholic Diocese.
During our use of the Rockland State Hospital facility, Sunday Divine Liturgies were made available to the hospital's Orthodox patients. On one Saturday each month, a Liturgy was held after which an Agape Meal was served to the patients. Parishioners would escort patients to and from these services. Other parishes were involved in this special ministry as well. People from Christ the Savior Church in Paramus, New Jersey, St. John the Baptist Church in Spring Valley, and Ss. Constantine & Helen's Church in West Nyack were also involved.
In the Summer of 1970, we rented and relocated to the Old Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church, which was built 1856. In July 1976, we purchased this church, which is our present home. Many major and minor repairs had to be made on the structure.
The name of the church was selected by the Founders under the advice and recommendation of Fr. John Nehrebecki.
Priests assigned to the church:
- July 2000-present: Fr. Joseph (Hoffman)
- Fr. Alvian Smirensky
- Fr. Thomas Edwards
- June 1994-April 2000: Fr. Herman Schick
- Fr. Paul Lasar
- August 1992-January 1994: Fr. Mark Maholick
- August 1989-August 1992: Fr. Alexey Karlgut
- Decmeber 1984-August 1989: Fr. John Lickwar
- September 1983-December 1984: Fr. Michael Mihalick
- May? 1979-September 1983: Fr. Stephen Belonick
- Fr. Edwards
- Fr. Ian McKenna
- Fr. John Townsend