On Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th of July, the feast of the Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia, All-Night Vigil was served and Divine Liturgy celebrated in the new Mission of St. Elizabeth the New Martyr in Cullman, AL, for the first time. Clerics of St. Mary of Egypt Church in Atlanta, GA traveled for the services: Archimandrite John (Townsend), Hieromonk Gabriel (Davis), and Deacon Peter Epstein.
Grand Duchess Elizabeth, having been a German Princess, seemed like the perfect match as a patron saint for Cullman, which possesses so much German heritage and history. As one of the mission parishioners stated, "we do not know if we chose her, or if she chose us."
Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the home of an off-grid homestead, nestled in the foothills of Appalachia. The mission holds weekly compline services and monthly to bi-monthly Liturgies.
Parishioners are praying and laboring to establish a parish and skete in rural Cullman. They pray that the local populace who are searching for the true Faith will find Orthodoxy, just as St. Elizabeth did. The city is also known for its agriculture and large homeschooling population, and should be considered for pious Orthodox families looking to settle in small town.