Early in 1993 during a "chance" meeting of three Orthodox Christians, an idea was born. As residents of Daytona, the three discussed the need and feasibility of establishing an English-speaking Orthodox Church to serve all ethnic backgrounds in the Daytona area. After contacting many of their friends and associates in the local area, the founders contacted the Missions and Evangelism Department of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese. With the help of this department the first organizational meeting of the mission station was held in March of 1993.
On March 21, the day of the Feast of the Adoration of the Holy Cross, the group held their first Liturgical service at the home of one of the founders. Through the tireless efforts and sacrificial giving of this small group as well as the many others who joined them, Holy Cross Eastern Orthodox Mission became a reality.
In November of the same year, Father David Randolph of Eustis was appointed Priest in charge of the provisional mission. Under the capable leadership of Father David and the commitment of all the people, the growing group was able to reach the status of a full-fledged Mission-Church under the charter of the Archdiocese by Christmas. Regular service times were established and one of the educational rooms at Prince of Peace Catholic Church served as a temporary place of worship. A building fund was started and regular Bible study sessions were conducted.
In April of 1995, Father Michael Byars was appointed by the Archdiocese as the new priest of the mission. By July the mission rented a small place in South Daytona. Due to continuing growth of the group, it was necessary to move to a much larger space in the same building after the first year. In August of 1996, the group suffered what could have been a great tragedy when their rented space was destroyed by fire. Because of their wonderful faith and determination, the group rallied together to become even stronger continuing to meet and grow while their burned out location was renovated.
Holy Cross purchased an existing church building at 1531 Center Avenue in Holly Hill in January of 1997. After extensive renovations the first worship service was held at the new location in July. His Grace Bishop Antoun Khouri dedicated the building in January of 1998 providing a wonderful boost to the young mission. Since that time, the facilities of Holy Cross have continued to be improved. In May of 2005 the congregation purchased nearly 5 acres of land with an old building on Fleming Avenue in Ormond Beach. During the pending sale of their Center St. location on the eve of September the 14th ( the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross) 2006, the parish held their first Divine Liturgy at their new property. The sale of the former property was finalized on September 23rd. The move to and the renovation of the new property began.
While there is much work still to be done, a major part of the renovation has been successfully accomplished, resulting in a totally transformed facility for worship and fellowship for Holy Cross with ample room for continued growth. Today, while our growth and success are discernible in the continuing improvement of our facilities and growth in number of our congregation, it is the growth in the faith and commitment of the people of Holy Cross that is the most important facet of our ministry. This is seen and felt in the warm fellowship of our activities; in the devotion of our people to worship services; in the success of our Tuesday evening Orthodox Bible study group; and in our continuously growing pastoral outreach. The dedication of our people is a witness to our faith in God and our devotion to the Holy Orthodox faith. Each person contributes his or her unique gifts to the work of the Church. Some put in many hours doing the busy work of the parish. Others serve in the choir and chant. Others give cheerfully of their material and financial possessions. Some work very hard maintaining the facilities and grounds. All these things we do as a family for the Glory of God. With this kind of commitment and faithfulness the future of Holy Cross is very bright. We reach out to all who seek truth, seek answers, seek peace, seek the love of family, and seek the way to practice the true faith.
Our commitment to a community of love amongst ourselves and all our brothers and sisters of the Orthodox Faith and indeed all of the people of our local communities is our expression of Lord's command to "Love one another as I have loved you".