by Nikolaos Moraitis, PhD.
Everything began in 1945, when the first Greek immigrants, in particular, bought a plot of land in this place that is our Church today, which was built with great effort and sacrifices by our ancestors who were among the first immigrants to the region and they felt strongly that for the salvation of their souls they needed to create a spiritual and religious place.
What follows is a detailed description of the founding of our parish based on a historical document which was translated into English.
The History of the Greek Orthodox Community of Vallejo, California
The Vallejo Community of California was founded in January 1945. It’s first President was Mr. George Bardakos, Treasurer Mr. Kyriakos Ioakimidis and Secretary Mr. Ioannis Athanasiou.
In 1945, the Parish Council of this community invited all Parishioners from this Parish and other communities for a General Assembly to discuss some community issues. This took place, October 9th at 7:00pm at Golden State Building (3rd Floor), Georgia Street. One of the most important issues was the following:
The Parish Council of this community received from three contractors the bids for building our church.
Therefore, they agreed that all Parishioners be invited to express, each one of them, individually, freely and unbiased, if they were actually predisposed and determined, to proceed to the construction of a dignified Greek Holy Church.
They invited everyone, men, women and children, with the same belief, with a total Christian duty, and with a final and exclusive sacred purpose; their long time mission of building a Greek Orthodox Church.
In December 1945, new Parish elections were held, during which Mr. John Kouliams was elected President. In April, Archimandrite Germanos Papapanagiotou was appointed as the Parish Priest. They decided that Divine Services would take place every fortnight, in one of the rooms of the Sabbath Church.
In September 1947, Rev. John Petropoulos, Doctor of Theology, was appointed as the new Priest. Upon taking up his duties and in close cooperation with the Board of Directors and President G. Bardakos, they prepared a plan for building a Church on a site purchased by the Community, on October 1945 at 1224 Alabama Street for $3000. The draft of the church was presented by President Mr. Ioannou Kouliams, which was taken into consideration by the Engineer, who approved the final Plan. On the 21st of April 1945, the lowest bidder was announced, Mr. J Bryant, for $26,450.00.
On May 17th, that same year, that was, almost a month later, the work began. On Sunday, May 31st, and right after the Divine Liturgy, their priest with the Parish Council and the congregation sanctified the foundations.
They all glorified the Church! They glorified and thanked God to come down on them and helped them for the completion of their church, the blessing of Orthodoxy, a dream they all had for so many years.
The blessing of the foundation stone took place on Sunday, August 1st