Protection of the Holy Virgin Church

Santa Rosa, California

Protection of the Holy Virgin Church

Founded 1936

Diocese: Diocese of the West

Deanery: Pacific Central Deanery


90 Mountain View Ave
Santa Rosa, California 95407

Office: 707-584-9491

Parish Contacts

V. Rev. Lawrence Margitich
90 Mountain View Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95407-8201
Home: 707-584-9491
V. Rev. John Schettig
Associate Priest
10400 Cherry Ridge Rd
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Home: 707-829-2861
V. Rev. Michael Margitich
Retired, Attached
204 Presidential Cir
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Home: 707-473-0314
Dn. Jeremiah Crawford
10408 Cherry Ridge Rd
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Home: 707-861-9974
Dn. Nicholas Carr
440 Derby Ln
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Home: 707-588-8753

Lay Leadership

Nicolas Custer
Choir Director
Gloria Collins and Ron Parmenas Davis
Church School Coordinators


General Location
The Church is located at 90 Mountain View Ave, on the southern edge of Santa Rosa, just east of the US 101 Freeway.

Heading south on US 101
Exit at Todd Rd and proceed over the freeway to Santa Rosa Ave.  Turn right on Santa Rosa Ave to Mountain View Ave (just beyond Friedman Brothers Hardware).  Turn left on Mountain View Ave.

Heading north on US 101
Exit on Santa Rosa Ave and proceed north to Mountain View Ave (just before Friedman Brothers Hardware).  Turn right on Mountain View Ave.  The Church is on the right with both a small white wood-framed chapel with bell tower and blue cupola (Protection of the Holy Virgin Chapel) near the front of the property and a new and much larger cruciform concrete and masonry temple with copper dome (St Seraphim of Sarov Church) behind.

Schedule of Services

5:00 PM Vespers or Vigil.
Saturday Evening

10:00 AM Divine Liturgy, Church School (11:30 AM).
Sunday Morning

9:40 AM Hours.
Sunday Morning

6:00 PM Vespers.
Wednesday Evening

3:30 PM Catechism during Advent and Great Lent.

6:15 PM Vigil.
Eves of Great Feasts

9:00 AM Divine Liturgy.
Mornings of Great Feasts

6:15 PM Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts followed by Lenten Meal and Talk.
Wednesday Evenings in Great Lent

Confessions are heard following Vespers or Vigil, or by appointment.

Parish Background

The idea of establishing an Orthodox Church in the Santa Rosa area began to take shape in the early 1930’s as increasing numbers of Russians were moving north from San Francisco into the small town and rural life of Sonoma County. There were also Orthodox of other nationalities, notably Greeks and Serbs who were part of this movement. These Russians, who came to make up the bulk of the parish, were mostly persons displaced by the Communist Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent turmoil of Russian life.

The movement to build a church was fueled by a group of about twenty families. Under the leadership of Fr. Michael Pelzig, who arrived in Santa Rosa in 1936, the movement to get parish life underway gained momentum. Monies had been collected for the purpose of building a church as early as October 1934. But it was in February 1936, on land donated for the purpose that building began. The temple was rough finished by April 1936.

In 1950 the first church hall was built, which in 1968 was replaced by a second and a third again in 2011. The Rectory was built in 1954. By the early 1990’s the parish had grown enough to necessitate the building of a new church to accommodate the larger congregation. The construction of the new church of St. Seraphim of Sarov was completed in 1996. The magnificent new temple is adorned with numerous icons and fresco paintings.

The parish today is a microcosm of Orthodoxy in America, with her members coming from many different ethnic traditions: Greek, Arabic, Romanian, Serbian, Macedonian, Eritrean, and Americans from all walks of life. The parish has also been blessed with many converts, who find in the one Holy Apostolic Church the fullness and purity of the Christian faith.