About Us

St. Anna Orthodox Christian Church is a mission of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America under the care of His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, His Grace Bishop NICHOLAS, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast, the Reverend Father Andrew Short. This new mission is seeking to live out the historical, liturgical and sacramental roots of Christianity as preserved for over 2,000 years by the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church.

The Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, although obscure in many parts of Tennessee and the US, is the second largest Christian Church in the world with over 300 Million members. The Orthodox Christian Church has experienced slow growth in many parts of the US because many of its members initially came to the United States as political and religious refugees from middle-eastern and eastern European countries and therefore continued to worship in their native languages.  Over the past 3 decades thousands of English-speaking Americans have become Orthodox Christians because of the pure Christian doctrine and unbroken apostolic succession from New Testament Christian Church.

Members of St. Anna began meeting together several years ago but in November 2018 the mission was given the name St. Anna Orthodox Christian Church and formally granted “Mission” status by His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH. There are several Eastern Orthodox Churches in middle-Tennessee (Clarksville, Nashville, Murfreesboro and Franklin) and now St. Anna Orthodox Christian Church in Columbia, TN! Welcome!!

What is the Orthodox Church?

The Orthodox Church is the Church founded by Jesus Christ and described throughout the New Testament. All other Christian Churches and sects can be traced back historically to it. The word Orthodox literally means “straight teaching” or “straight worship,” being derived from two Greek words: orthos, “straight,” and doxa, “teach­ing” or “worship.” As the encroachments of false teaching and division multiplied in early Christian times, threatening to obscure the identity and purity of the Church, the term “Orthodox” quite logically came to be applied to it. The Orthodox Church carefully guards the truth against all error and schism, both to protect its flock and to glorify Christ, whose Body the Church is.

An astonishing number of religious groups today claim to be the successors of the early Church. A “yardstick for truth” is needed by which to compare what the Church originally believed and practiced with what these groups proclaim. Certainly we all have the God-given right to believe whatever we desire and to participate in whatever religious association we choose. But it is also just good sense to be acquainted with the options before we make our final choices.

It is our hope this will help introduce readers to the Christianity espoused by the Apostles of Jesus Christ and instituted by them. This is the yard­stick for truth by which our choices in regard to Chris­tianity need to be evaluated.

To find out more about what we believe click HERE to read more.

Our Clergy:

Our Priest is Father Andrew Short

Father Andrew and his family have been Orthodox Christians since 1995 and he was ordained as an Orthodox Deacon in December 2018 and attached to St. Anna by His Grace Bishop NICHOLAS at that time. He was then ordained to the Holy Priesthood in May 2021. He and his wife, Khouria Belinda are the parents of 5 grown daughters.

You may contact Father Andrew directly at: FrAndrewShort@gmail.com

 Our Patron Saint – St. Anna, Holy Righteous Ancestor of God

St. Anna was the daughter of Matthan the priest, who was of the tribe of Levi, whose family came from Bethlehem. St. Anna lived with her husband, Joachim, at Nazareth in Galilee. They were childless into their old age and grieved over this. They had to endure derision and scorn, since at that time childlessness was considered a disgrace. They never complained, but fervently prayed to God, humbly trusting in Him.

During a great feast, the gifts that Joachim took to the Temple as an offering to God were not accepted by the priest, who considered that a childless man was not worthy to offer sacrifice to God. This pained Joachim, and he decided to settle in solitude in a desolate place. When St. Anna learned what humiliation her husband had endured, she sorrowfully entreated God with prayer and fasting to grant her a child. In his solitude, the righteous Joachim also asked God for a child.

The prayer of the saintly couple was heard. An angel told them that a daughter would be born to them, Who would be blessed above all other women. The angel also told them that She would remain a virgin, would be dedicated to the Lord and live in the Temple, and would give birth to the Savior. Obeying the instructions of the heavenly messenger, Ss. Joachim and Anna met at the Golden Gate in Jerusalem. Then, as God promised, a daughter was born to them, and they named her Mary. Mary, (the Theotokos – “the Mother of God”) became the Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ the Son of God, and consequently, St. Anna is the Grandmother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

St. Joachim died a few years later at the age of 80 after Mary went to live in the Temple. St. Anna died at the age of 70, two years after her husband. Ss. Joachim and Anna are often invoked by couples trying to have children.

The falling asleep (Dormition) of St. Anna is commemorated every year on July 25.