On Saturday, June 14, St. John the Baptist (GOA) parish in Euless, Texas formally opened their beautiful new temple. Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver presided over the Thyranixia – the Opening of the Doors – after which the parish celebrated the first liturgy in their new Byzantine-style cruciform basilica.
The building is among the best and most traditional-looking new churches in this country. Presvytera Mirela Tudora, wife of the parish’s priest, Fr. Vasile Tudora, was the architect on the project.
The cruciform basilica has a 30 foot wide dome, the apex of which sits 65 feet over the crossing. The iconostasis, altar, and cathedra are modeled on Byzantine precedents and are carved in Syrian limestone. The barrel-vaulted nave is flanked by groin-vaulted side aisles. The floor is travertine tile, with inlay work in the transepts and side aisles. The church also has a colonnaded exo-narthex, or porch.
Presvytera Mirela goes into further detail on the particulars of the building and the “Byzantine Style” in this article.
The Platytera in the apse and the iconostasis were painted by Vladimir Grygorenko. Grygorenko, who also designed the iconostasis, has been commissioned to finish the lower aspect of the sanctuary apse. In time, the parish plans to commission him to complete all of the iconography within the church.
This is a beautiful church, headed by a priest who, as the picture below suggests, understands the importance of beautiful, traditional liturgical arts. Hopefully, this church is indicative of a trend toward more and more traditional-looking churches in this country; which will some day reach its fullest development in not only traditional-looking, but traditionally-built churches — masonry structures which will stand witness to the timeless faith of Orthodoxy in this nation for centuries.