Russian Holy Fathers Church
Vladimir B. Morosov
The otherwise unassuming Russian Holy Fathers Church is smaller than other churches on the block, but makes its mark with a blue onion dome topped by a golden cross. The rise of the Soviet Union and its hostility towards the Russian Orthodox Church prompted North American religious leaders to split from Russian leadership and establish an autonomous jurisdiction. In response, religious leaders loyal to the Patriarchate of Russia founded the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and established new parishes, of which Holy Fathers Church was the first. Founded in 1928 and originally located on Fifth Avenue between 128th and 129th Streets, the Russian Holy Fathers Church moved to a converted space on West 153rd Street in the late 1930s. By 1966, under the leadership of Protopriest Alexander Krasnoumov, the congregation had raised funds to construct its own building, remaining on West 153rd Street a block from its original location.