Our Parish’s History

You’re here now! So consider yourself part of the family!

St. Justina Coptic Orthodox Church is nestled in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Its establishment in 2003 hoped to serve the Coptic families residing in and near this region, as the area continued to grow both residentially and commercially.

Our small, quaint church–which began with just 35 families–now serves over 250 families and continues to grow as more people join our church family. That is a special characteristic of St. Justina–the welcoming arms of our congregation consider you family here. That’s the general consensus of the congregation (and we actually asked them).

Like all families, our church’s history is not without some struggle. When the church began in 2003, we rented a hall from a nearby Catholic church under Fr. Macarius Shehata. In October of 2003, however, Fr. John Mikhail instead began serving our church–and continues to do so until today. During this time, space limited many of the services we had–to the point where there was only one Sunday School classroom for the entire church to use and hymns classes were held at homes of willing congregation members. However limiting, these inconveniences fashioned a church body full of creativity, service, patience and genuine love for God and each other.

As we outgrew the space and the Catholic church required the use of the hall we rented, we found ourselves faced with the task of finding a new place. Regardless of our search though, there was simply no building or church that was suitable for us. At one point, Bishop Serapion suggested that we use the smaller church building of a nearby Coptic Church–St. John in Covina. However, assimilation into their church congregation–and disappearance of ours–soon became an looming concern our church congregation. Through nothing short of God’s unfailing power, we found an appropriate office building to transform into a church all within the last month of deadline.

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During our 8 year stay in our second location, we expanded our services to accommodate the growing congregation as we grew together in Christ. Blessed with our own space (we finally had separate sunday school classes!), we created meetings for the elderly and for the youth, hymns classes, and family and youth retreats. We celebrated Church feasts, holidays and fellowship as one family at our monthly and holiday park days. We welcomed each New Year together as all the Sunday School classes prepared a performance for that night. Summer meant Summer Camp, evening game nights, retreats and spiritual competitions. Under the stewardship of Father John, we found ourselves outgrowing the building and in need of a move.

Our current–and final–home was purchased in the summer of 2013. Although a recent move, it too has witnessed and welcomed many new families, services and growth. Currently, we are expanding the existing church building until we are able to build a new church on the remaining plot of land. As our church body continues to grow, we hope and pray that God continues to bless us as we fight the good fight in unity.

So, we invite you to come and see. Our family is always in need of new members, and we’d love to have you here!