History of our Parish
History of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Ambridge PA
(taken from the June 1984 Consecration Album)
The founders of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Ambridge had very little--they were immigrants who faced the difficulties of making their way in a strange new country. From their native Greece and surrounding islands they were able to bring few material possessions. One possession they did carry with them was spiritual in nature and that was their faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ and their love of His Holy Orthodox Church. This faith and love gave them strength to overcome the obstacles of building a new life and on October 8, 1916, they established the Holy Trinity parish of Ambridge.
Initially, Church services were conducted in the Russian Church hall with Father Germanos. Within three short years a building was built at 300 Maplewood Avenue. In 1919, the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Ambridge was consecrated by the Most Reverend Archbishop of Rodostolou Alexander. The Rev. Father Demetrios Ragos was the first priest, and the men of the church who served on the first Board of Trustees were:
Vasilios Anastasopoulos. President
Constantine Pournaras. Vice President
Nicholas Skangos. Secretary
Vasilios Tsacalis. Treasurer
In March. 1974, the General Assembly (with parish council president A. Leonard Kayafas) gave the go-ahead for the building of a new church, badly needed to meet the demands of an ever-growing parish. The church of 1919 sat 135: the church of today seats almost 400! Approximately 300 families compose the parish roster.
A very extensive three-year Building Fund Pledge Program (Challenge Fund] was initiated in April 1977 to help finance the newly proposed church. Under the guidance of Father John, a building committee was formed and worked many long hours with the architect (James Pappas) to help design the church to fulfill the needs of the parish. Co-chairman Louis Pappan and Michael Jamis worked with a committee of 15, many of whom also served on the church council.
On May 29. 1978, the ground-breaking ceremonies took place. His Grace Bishop Anthimos as celebrant, placed the Holy Icon of the Holy Trinity on the spot of the new church. It was a glorious moment and tears filled the eyes of young and old alike. And they all came to break the ground-from the oldest (Louis Nellas) to the youngest (15 month old Valerie Sickles) members from the church in hopeful anticipation of the building to come. A gold shovel tie tack stick pin was given as a memento to all present.
On October 19, 1979 (60 years after the original church opened), Holy Trinity parish moved to a new location and the goal of a 25 year building program finally became a reality. His Grace Maximos of Pittsburgh and Metropolitan Barnabos of Greece officially opened (Thyranoixia) the Church. With Rev. John Kiramarios and parish council president Louis Peronis, a new date became a part of this church's history.
The first Divine Liturgy was held on October 21, 1979 with His Grace Bishop Maximos celebrating and Rev. Constantine Volaitis assisting.
Holy Ascension; Third Finding of the Precious Head of St. John the Baptist; Therapon the Hieromartyr, Bishop of Cyprus; Memory of the Finding of the Holy Icon of Saint Demetrios the Great-Martyr and Myrrh-Streamer in Syria; Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne