The History of StMarkDC

StMarkDC aims to maintain the spirit and tradition founded by Saint Mark the Evangelist 2000 years ago when he consecrated an altar for God in Egypt.

The Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Church of Washington DC (StMarkDC) was originally established in 1976. The original Coptic community that settled in the area, including DC, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, and parts of Pennsylvania, totaled about 80 families. Although small in number and geographically dispersed, the community was strong and dedicated to establishing a permanent Coptic Church in the DC Metro area which was eventually accomplished at our first church site in Vienna, Virginia just 12 miles outside of the nation’s capital. From our first days, our core values of Mission, Discipleship, and Worship have been front and center.

The congregation quickly outgrew our original building with more and more new church members electing to join from the local community. Add to that, the influx of Copts arriving from abroad, relocating from other parts of the United States, and the boom of first-generation children being born and it was just a matter of time before facilities and space would become an issue in our humble first building. Initially, the church contracted Sunday School classrooms and overflow space from another church nearby, and began shifting large congregational gatherings off-site to hotels and meeting halls until in 1992 when a 2.5acre lot was identified for sale in Fairfax County which would become the new home of St Mark DC!

Over the course of 20 years since the initial move to our current home on Braddock Road, the church has grown in members, services, ministries, and has become a cornerstone in both the Coptic and Fairfax communities. We are a local church with global impact. Locally, we invite all to join us in worship throughout the week, to participate in numerous meetings (kids, youth, grads, families, couples + so many more) or engage with us socially at any of our community volunteering events. Globally, we coordinate mission and volunteer trips all over the globe bringing aid, hope, and resources to the poorest of the poor and have pioneered the first online sermon repository (Orthodox Sermons) which has reached over 13 million people worldwide including in areas where Christianity is not accepted.

In 2017, we once again outgrew our building and a need to expand our sanctuary and Sunday School classrooms was identified. By the grace of God and many faithful servants, this expansion project was completed in spring 2019.

StMarkDC Sanctuary before 2019 Expansion Project

In all its services and activities, our church aims to provide a safe environment for all members while maintaining the traditional customs and rites of the Coptic Church which we hold to be truth. We pray that everyone that walks through our doors, or interacts with us online, would be able to connect with us, to belong to the body of believers, and ultimately to grow in fervent love for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.