St. John of the Ladder Church Accessible

Greenville, South Carolina

St. John of the Ladder Church

Founded 1985

Diocese: Diocese of the South

Deanery: Carolina Deanery


213 Roper Mountain Road Ext
Greenville, South Carolina 29615-4826



Office: 864-299-1140

Parish Contacts


Lay Leadership

Mr. William Wamboldt
Choir Director
Home: 828-322-6970
Dr. Kevin Ayesh
Choir Director
71 Bristol Ln
Hendersonville, NC 28792
Home: 828-693-3411
Matushka Barbara Burch
Church School Coordinator


General Location
St John of the Ladder Orthodox Church is centrally located in the Greater Greenville Area on Roper Mountain Road EXTENSION (between Pelham Road and Roper Mountain Road) near the intersection of I-85 and I-385.

Traveling I-385
Exit at Roper Mountain Road (Exit 37), and turn northeast onto Roper Mountain Road (RIGHT if exiting from the Northbound direction, LEFT if exiting from the Southbound direction). After several hundred meters turn LEFT onto Roper Mountain Road Extension. The church is a half mile on the RIGHT.

Schedule of Services

6:00 PM Vespers.
Saturday Evening

9:30 AM Divine Liturgy.
Sunday Morning

6:00 PM Vespers.
Wednesday Evening

6:00 PM Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.
Wednesday Evenings in Great Lent

For a complete list of upcoming services, please visit the Monthly Calendar on the parish website.

Parish Background

In 1983 no Orthodox Church in the Carolinas celebrated its services in English. Mr Andrew Kuharsky, director of the Greenville Ballet and son of Fr Sergius Kuharsky of New Jersey, began trying to establish a core group for a mission. Fr George Gladky of Florida, Fr John Townsend of Georgia, and Igumen Damian of the Monastery of the Glorious Ascension served Liturgies as they were able (Fr George Gladky celebrated the first Liturgy in Greenville on the Sunday in Lent commemorating St John of the Ladder, hence the name of the mission). In July of 1985, Bishop DMITRI of Dallas and the South assigned Fr Jacob Lee Kulp as the first permanent priest to serve the mission. Fr Jacob and Sharon Kulp arrived with their five children in July 1985. The Mission Church was incorporated on April 15, 1986.

After three years of sacrifice and noble effort, three families remained out of the original six. Fr Jacob was transferred to Nativity of the Theotokos, Charlotte, NC.  In 1992, after a hiatus of seven years, Fr Jacob was assigned to reorganize the Mission in Greenville, SC. On arrival he found a few familiar faces and several new ones: Andrew Kuharsky, Leonid Ivanov and Radu Ivanovich of the original group, had been joined by Sam and Jeanette Hubbard, Stephen and Monya Bock, and William and Margie Wamboldt. Mr Kuharsky had found a meeting space, donated by a private school. The new/old priest arrived to find an Altar and Iconostasis already built!  Soon, Joseph and Grace Prochak, John and Mary Sucin, and Laura Thompson strengthened the mission.

In August of 1995, five families co-signed for a loan to buy St John’s first building.  A former “mill house,” it had been converted for use as a church some twenty years before.  The new property came complete with its own parking lot!  It was then converted for use as an Orthodox Church. The members worked together, not only constructing a raised Altar area and Iconostasis, painting the interior, and repairing the building generally, but (under the direction of a professional hired roofer) removing the old roof entirely and building a new one.

In 1998, because of declining health Fr Jacob sought retirement and in Summer of 1999, Fr Marcus Burch, his wife Barbara, and their two children were assigned by Archbishop DMITRI to St John of the Ladder Mission.  The three years since the arrival of Fr Marcus have marked a time of substantial growth at St John.  Several families who were already Orthodox have moved into the area and joined the church and several non-Orthodox families who already live in the Greenville area have joined the Orthodox faith.  By summer of 2000 we were often exceeding the capacity of the converted mill house and began in earnest a search for new property.  St John’s GO (Growth and Outreach) Team developed the criteria necessary for the new property and presented a plan of action which was accepted with hearty approval at the
mission’s annual meeting in January of 2001.

The search ended in late summer of 2001 when a contract of purchase was signed to buy the former Augusta Road United Methodist Church on the southside of Greenville near the intersection of US 25 and the new ‘Southern Connector (I-185)’.  The purchase was completed on October 31, 2001 and renovation began immediately (and still continues!).  The sanctuary of the building was reconfigured, an altar area and iconstasis were built, icons were commissioned, and much of the interior of the building was painted.

Currently, St John’s has over 40 adult members including many families with children (and children on the way!).  Last Pascha/Easter, over 100 faithful and visitors attended the midnight Divine Liturgy.  We at St John’s have found “mission life” a joyous spiritual discipline.  We are filled with gratitude to God for giving us this opportunity to share His life with one another.