Our History, Mission & Core Values


Our History

History of SBSS

St. Barnabas and St. Susanna (SBSS) Coptic Orthodox Church of Baltimore was inaugurated with the blessing of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II at the hands of His Grace Bishop Karas on September 5, 2015. 

In the years before the start of the church, God was busy at work in the hearts of the founding members of the church planting seeds for the future.  Their vision was to establish a church that would be focused on serving the future of the church, their children.  As this vision was maturing in their hearts, God was also at work in the heart of Fr. David who was serving as a general priest at the time.  During this time, he was exposed to Coptic communities that had begun praying purely in English, making the richness of the Orthodox faith accessible to all.  In time the path of founding families and Fr. David crossed and found common ground that led to a vision for a church in Baltimore.

Over the course of a year God continued to mature the vision for the community that would include key lessons learned from a great deal of adversity that was faced along the way.  Those lessons would weave their way into the mission, vision, and core values of the community serving as a guide to this community. 

All this and so much more culminated in the opening of the church on September 5th, 2015.

During the first four years, we bounced around from different churches, banquet halls, and hotels to hold services throughout the years.  While this provided many beautiful memories and required us to grow together as a church family, it became challenging to find affordable places.  As we began our search for a permanent home we could not anticipate the blessing God was preparing for us.

After months of searching on September 30th, 2019 we purchased our current church building and after some renovations, we prayed our first liturgy with His Grace Bishop Karas on November 23rd.  Then in 2022, we purchased the adjoining Courtyard and Townhome, which we now call Susanna’s House.  Susanna’s house serves as an ancillary meeting space, Sunday school classes, and as a mission house for missionaries coming to serve in Baltimore.  


Our Mission

We are a community of Orthodox Christians living the Good News of Jesus Christ which transforms people who transform the world.

We aim to live our mission through what we call the 4 ‘Ships’ of SBSS:

Membership —> Fellowship —> Discipleship —> Apostleship


As the Lord told his soon to be disciples ‘come and see’ (John 1:38-41) we invite all to ‘come and see’ our Christ-centered community.


“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35) How we love one another at SBSS is essential to making church an accepting and encouraging home to all.


We take an intentional approach to working on our personal spiritual lives so that we can take steps towards loving God “with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind’ and to ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37 & 39)


In the spirit of the Great Commission we see the spread of the Good News of Jesus Christ as a way of life for our community rather than a specific ministry of the church. We are all called to be a light to those around us ushering them into a relationship with God. By preparing the church to be a place of encouragement and hope it also becomes the place where a transformational encounter with Christ occurs for all who come.


Our Core Values

Walking up a RIDGE to God

“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
~Matthew 7:14


We proclaim the eternal truths of the gospel from the Orthodox Worldview through relevant teaching and meaningful ministries.

“The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations.” ~Psalm 33.11


We endeavor to live and serve with Godly integrity in all that we do.

“The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.” ~Proverbs 11:3


We aim for the spiritual formation of each person through intentional discipleship to become the image of Jesus Christ.

“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.” ~Luke 6:40


We desire to be a blessing to those around us through the offering up of our time, gifts, talents and finances because have received abundantly from God.

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” ~Acts 20:35


We strive to share the joy of Orthodox Christianity through the individual witness of our parishioners, our service to the City of Baltimore and through any door God may lead us through.

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” ~Acts 1:8