founded in 1875 as a parish under the immediate direction of the Episcopal Missionary Bishop of Colorado, The Right Reverend John Franklin Spalding. Morning and Evening Prayer and Liturgy were offered in a room over a shop until the first church buildingwas erected and occupied in 1879. This was a brick structure at Broadway and 13th Avenue. Amuch larger, stone churchwas erected and dedicated in 1889 at Lincoln Street and 12th Avenue. The parish continued in the later structure for nearly 100 years. The third building of St. Mark’s is the present one at South Vine Street and Arkansas Avenue in the Washington Park neighborhood.
Many interesting characters passed through the doors of St. Mark’s in these 124 years. Most interesting was the visit of Archbishop Tikhon (Belavin), who joined in Vespers, preached, and blessed the congregation on the Patronal Feast Day of St. Mark the Evangelist, April 25, 1904. Newspaper accounts of the day record the event in detail, including the fact that Archbishop Tikhon preached
By 1986 it was clear that St. Mark’s no longer belonged in the Episcopal Diocese and would have to find an authentic Catholic and Orthodox jurisdiction to which to be joined. Schisms from the Body of Christ are a dime a dozen. We needed to be made incorporate in the Body of Christ, his one, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. With the leadership of Father John Connely and much teaching by visiting Orthodox clergy, including Bishop Antoun and the Very Reverend Paul W. Schneirla, and the wonderful hospitality of our Metropolitan Philip, St. Mark’s became a parish of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese with the chrismation of the first 96 faithful on October 13, 1991.
Since then St. Mark’s has hosted four Western Rite Conferences, one Homiletics Conference, the ordination of Father Lester Michael Bundy, fostered the founding of seven new parishes and missions in the Southwest Region, and supported Father John in his work as Western Rite Dean for the Central States. St. Mark’s has received the Reverend Deacon Vladimir MacDonald from theRussian Synod and sponsored numerous men for study and ordination as priests, deacons, subdeacons, readers, acolytes and taperbearers. His Grace Bishop Basil has attended all the conferences and done most of the tonsuring to holy Order while providing constant mentoring and encouragement. St. Mark’s continues to catechize, to offer Daily Offices and Masses, to increase its library holdings and its bookstore inventory, and to promote learning, piety, and virtue.
St. Mark’s was involved from the beginning in the Orthodox Studies Program at Regis University in Denver. St. Mark’s maintains the Orthodox Christian Chaplaincy and Fellowship at Denver University whose campus is one-fourth mile from the parish. St. Mark’s maintains a cordial and cooperative relationship with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver and the Roman Archbishop whose offices and new seminary are only one-half mile from the Parish. Most encouraging is the Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood in Denver of which Metropolitan Isaiah and theGreek Archdiocese of Denver are the leading members. We meet in each others’ parishes and maintain a genuine system of support for one another. By the Grace of God, all these programs should provide a means for the increase of the Orthodox faithful, the number of Orthodox parishes, and their influence within the larger society. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.