Our Parish

Protection of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church was established in 1911 at 17th Avenue and Fillmore Streets in Gary. From 1959 until December 1998, it was located at 505 E. 45th Ave. We are now at home at 8600 Grand Blvd in Merrillville, IN. This move reflects the congregation’s migration to the southern and eastern parts of Lake County and into the Valparaiso area.

Our parish is part of the Diocese of the Midwest of the Orthodox Church in America.

We are always glad to have visitors. Whether you are new to the area or visiting, you are welcome to join us at Divine Liturgy on Sunday mornings at 9:45.

Learn about our parish name and patronal feast

Welcome Father John Russin!

We welcome with open arms Father John, Matushka Catherine, and their children Stephan, Aleksy, Sarah, Madison Elizabeth and Mason Alexander! Father John is now our full-time parish priest at Protection of the Virgin Mary, Merrillville, IN. Father John and his family come to us from Northwest Ohio. Father John has served as priest at parishes in Pennsylvania and West Virginia as well. Father John received his Master of Divinity degree at St. Tikhon Seminary in 1996 and was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in 1997. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Science from Alderson-Broaddus College and is a licensed State Tested Nurse Aide. Prior to being ordained, Father John served as choir director at parishes in Ohio, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, as well as serving as director of the Mission Choir at St. Tikhon while at seminary. Father John has also been active in various deanery and diocesan assignments, including work with Christian education. We are blessed to welcome Father John, Matushka Catherine and their family into our family!

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Contact Info:

If you need to contact Fr. John, his number is 419-308-1628 and his email address is frjohnrussin@gmail.com.

Questions about the PTVM parish? ptvmcalendar@gmail.com <-click here

Fr. John Russin – 419-308-1628


Church: (219) 947-4748

About the Orthodox Church:

The Orthodox Church, also sometimes known as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the Church of the Apostles, founded by Christ Himself as described in the pages of the New Testament.

The word “orthodox” means “right teaching” or “right worship” in Greek, and that is what Orthodoxy is — true to the teachings of Christ and His Apostles and true to the Holy Traditions of the Church as set forth by its Holy Fathers of the seven Ecumenical Councils. As divisions set in among those in the Church (most notably the “Great Schism” of 1054 AD with the Roman church) and factionization and even heresy crept into its beliefs, the Orthodox have held fast to the purity of the original Church.Bishops of the Orthodox Church are in direct succession from Christ’s Apostles and continue to adhere to the teachings of the Church those Apostles guided (St. Paul founded the Church of Antioch; St. Peter and St. James, the Church of Jerusalem; St. Andrew the Church of Constantinople; St. Mark, the Church of Alexandria; St. Peter and St. Paul, the Church of Rome, etc.).

Estimates of the number of worldwide Orthodox Christians range from 250 million to 350 million. Estimates of American members are between one and two million and the Orthodox Church is one of the fastest – growing Christian churches in America, drawing a rising number of converts from Evangelical and other Christian faith traditions.