The Coptic Orthodox Church
St. Mark the Apostle, founder of the Coptic Church
The Coptic Church or the Church of Alexandria is called "Sees of St. Mark"; one of the earliest four sees: Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome.
The Copts are proud of the apostolicity of their Church, whose founder is St. Mark; one of the seventy Apostles (Mk 10:10), and one of the four Evangelists. He is regarded by the Coptic hierarchy as the first of their unbroken 117 patriarchs, and also the first of a stream of Egyptian martyrs.
This apostolicity was not only furnished on grounds of its foundation but rather by the persistence of the Church in observing the same faith received by the Apostle and his successors, the Holy Fathers.
The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is the largest Christian Church in Egypt and Northeast Africa.
The Coptic Orthodox Church belongs to the Oriental Orthodox family of Churches, which has been a distinct Christian body since the schism following the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, when it took a different position over Christology from that of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. The precise Christological differences that caused the split with the Coptic Christians are still disputed, highly technical, and mainly concerned with the nature of Christ. The foundational roots of the Coptic Church are based in Egypt, but it has a worldwide following.
Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern US
His Holiness Pope Shenouda III is the 116 Successor of St. Mark the Evangelist. His Holiness' era is marked by a remarkable growth in the number of Coptic churches abroad. To address the needs of these churches, His Holiness felt the urgency to establish dioceses abroad. Thus the first Coptic Orthodox Diocese to be established in the United States is the Diocese of the Southern United States in 1993. H.H. Pope Shenouda III appointed His Grace Bishop Youssef to oversee this Diocese.
There are currently 54 priests serving the 39 churches and 35 Coptic communities located in the Diocese.
The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States is composed of the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas