The Dormition of the Virgin Mary Church was founded by Russian Orthodox people from Galicia, émigrés from a Carpathian Mountain region of present-day southern Poland and western Ukraine. Finding no Orthodox parish in Binghamton, and experiencing tensions within Byzantine Rite Uniate parishes that they visited, a handful of these émigrés met to form a new Orthodox parish.
These new settlers in America appealed to the Orthodox Church of their homeland, and the church was founded as a mission parish of the Patriarchate of Moscow, and as such was initially supported by the Russian government. The first service was held on Pascha by Fr. Elias Barna in a home of a parish member on March 22, 1915.
Land for the new church and cemetery was purchased in September 1915 and construction was completed in October 1916.
Helping the new emigrants arriving in Binghamton to learn English, to become literate, and to have the basic necessities of life was a large part of the ministry of the parish in those early years.
In 1927, the Church decided to re-incorporate to prevent the property on Baxter St from being claimed by the Bolsheviks during the Revolution.
The liturgical, educational and social aspects of Church Life have continued to grow. The latter half of the 20th century was especially fruitful in this regard, and the first two decades of the 21st century included a faithful liturgical practice with a matchless choral delivery.
For a comprehensive history of the parish, we recommend the book 1915-1990: Dormition of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church, Binghamton, New York. It may be found in the church library.
Today we are a diverse congregation of both members born and raised in the Orthodox faith as well as converts. We are a parish of the Orthodox Church in America; our services are in English. The Church most recently has been blessed with a new priest who began his ministry with us in June of 2023. We invite you most cordially to visit and worship with us.