Parish Timeline

A Timeline of St. Thomas Orthodox Church

1905
Fr. Nicola Yanney performs first baptisms in Sioux City of the Syrian Diocese of the Russian Church.

1916
A Syrian Benevolent Society is founded in Sioux City.  These societies were social clubs aimed at the establishment of a local Orthodox church and—in the case of St. Thomas—the establishment of a parish cemetery.  Thereafter, a church building was purchased on 6th and Iowa Streets.  Just a few years later (in 1918), the Benevolent Society relocated to 8th and Iowa.

1927-28
A cemetery bearing the parish name is established next to Graceland Cemetery. Shortly thereafter, the St. Thomas Ladies Club is established.

1930
After years of part-time spiritual care, Fr. Michael Yanney is assigned as our first pastor.  He serves the community for no less than 33 years—the longest tenure of any priest to date.

1940
St. Thomas becomes the first Orthodox parish in the Archdiocese—possibly in all of American Orthodoxy—to establish an English-language choir.

1952
The current church building was dedicated (11th and Jones).

1980
Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Church closed its doors.  The addition of several families of Slavic heritage transformed St. Thomas into a pan-Orthodox Church.

1984
The parish adopts a new constitution.  This new document greatly expanded the role of women within the life of the church.  Women are allowed to serve on the parish council for the first time in nearly seven decades.  Futhermore, the constitution dictates that the president of the Ladies Club is an ex officio member of the parish council with full voting privileges.

1996
The formerly white walls of the church interior became filled with beautiful, Byzantine icons.  Although most of the icons would be completed within the next decade, some work is left to be done.

2012 – Present
Long-neglected maintenance items were addressed in record time. Several renovations were made to make the facilities more accommodating to children and young parents including a full renovation of the nursery, the addition of a play area in the parish hall and a complete remodel of the nursery. Other repairs to the parish facilities will be completed before our Centennial celebration in September. A plan to renovate the iconography on the east wall behind our altar is also in the works. Perhaps most importantly, the people of St. Thomas have continued to celebrate and share the gospel of Christ to their community.