About Our Coptic Orthodox Church

The term "Coptic" is derived from the Greek "Aigyptos" meaning "Egyptian". When the Arabs arrived in Egypt in the seventh century, they called the Egyptians "qibt". Thus the Arabic word "qibt" came to mean both "Egyptians" and "Christians".
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Our history

An apostolic Church

The Coptic Church was established in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ by St. Mark the Evangelist in the city of Alexandria around 43 A.D. The church adheres to the Nicene Creed. St. Athanasius (296-373 A.D.), the twentieth Pope of the Coptic Church effectively defended the Doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ’s Divinity at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. His affirmation of the doctrine earned him the title; “Father of Orthodoxy” and St. Athanasius “the Apostolic“.

Coptic Orthodox Dogma

The Coptic Orthodox Church worships the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in the Oneness of Nature. We believe in One God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit three equal Co-Essential and Co-Indwelling Hypostasis (Persons). The Blessed and Holy Trinity is our One God. We Believe that Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten of the Father and Who is One with Him in Essence is the only Savior of the world; we are Miaphysites; There is a difference between the Monophysites who believe in just One Single Nature (Divine) of Lord Jesus Christ and the Miaphysites who believe in One United Nature or One Composite Nature (Divine & Human) of Lord Jesus Christ. We do not believe in just a Single Nature but we do believe in the One Incarnate Nature of the Logos. Less changes have taken place in the Coptic Church than in any other church whether in the ritual or doctrine aspects and that the succession of the Coptic Patriarchs, Bishops, priests and Deacons has been continuous.

“…On one hand, it’s theology is based on nothing outside the scriptures. On the other hand, the doctrines agree in all parts with those of the Early Church i.e. the tradition which has the proper interpretation and application of the teachings of our Lord and the Apostles as understood and practiced by the Christians and the leaders of the Church during the period of the One Universal Church until the division of 451 A.D.”

– Bishop Athanasius of Ben-Swef and Bahnassa (1977)

His Holiness Pope Tawadros II

118th Pope of the Church of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark

He was ordained a bishop on June 15, 1997 by H.H. the Late Pope Shenouda III as a General Bishop assisting H.E. Metropolitan Pakhomious. His Holiness focused on childhood whether it was in the country-wide children’s festival as well when he was in charge of the children’s committee in the Holy Synod. Before assuming the papacy, H.H. wrote twelve books.

His Holiness was enthroned as the 118th Pope of Alexandria and Pope of the See of St. Mark on November 18, 2012 at the Cathedral of St. Reweis in Abbassiya, Cairo. The enthronement was presided by H.E. Metropolitan Pakhomious of Beheira, other metropolitans and bishops of the Coptic church and was attended by many delegates of Christian Churches.

His Grace Bishop Youssef

Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

Listening to the call of the Lord Jesus Christ, His Grace Bishop Youssef entered the monastic life in 1986 at the El-Souryan Monastery. He was ordained into the priesthood in 1988. Then in 1989, he came to the United States under the auspices of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the 117th Pope of the Holy See of St. Mark. He was appointed resident priest to serve the Coptic congregation of St. Mary Church in Dallas/Fort Worth.

On December 16, 1995, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, of thrice blessed memory, enthroned His Grace Bishop Youssef as the first bishop to oversee the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States of America. This was a newly formed diocese comprised of eleven states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. This diocese was confirmed on September 7, 1993, and His Grace Bishop Youssef served it as a general bishop until his enthronement. Historically, he was the first Coptic Orthodox diocesan bishop enthroned in all of North America.

Reverend Father Apakir Ekladios

Reverend Father Apakir Ekladios

Priest of Saint Augustine Coptic Orthodox Church, Augusta

Father Apakir Ekladios is the priest for St. Augustine Coptic Orthodox Church in Augusta, GA. H.G. Bishop Youssef ordained him presbyter on February 9, 2020, with the presence of H.G. Bishop Basil and H.G. Bishop Gregory. Fr. Apakir also serves the community of St. Apanoub Coptic Orthodox Church in Savannah, GA, on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month.
St. Augustine Coptic Orthodox Church is a parish serving the Greater Augusta, GA area and is a member of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States under the auspices of H.G. Bishop Youssef.