THE STORY OF OUR PARISH
Over a period of 20 to 30 years the possibility of starting a Parish in Kingston area was discussed. At all times it was felt that the size of the Parish would be too small to warrant its existence. For years the Greeks Orthodox Christians in this area traveled to Newburgh and Poughkeepsie for Church Services, parishes which some of our original Greek Orthodox settlers of Kingston helped to form.
In the summer of 1959 a conference between Mrs. Jennie Chafouleas and Mr. Stephen Larios re-examined the possibility of creating a Parish in Kingston. Mrs. Chafouleas called a meeting at her home in September 1959 of 10 or 12 interested persons. At this meeting it was decided to form a committee to investigate the number of potential parishioners and the problems that could be involved in the formation of a Parish.
This work was carried on by a few individuals and culminated in a series of general meetings, resulting in a non-profit religious corporation, formed March 29, 1960. Chris J. Larios, who was chairman of the original committee, was elected President of the Board of Trustees and the following were the trustees: George Kakoullis, Vice President; George Georgallis, Secretary; Sarantos Matthews, Treasurer; George Maouris, Charles Athans, John Trataros, James Evangelou, George Kotzias, William Frangis, Peter Kouvarides and Michael Philip.
This was followed by the lengthy procedure of obtaining an Ecclesiastical Charter from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, the formation of a building committee and various fund raising programs. In May 1960, our parish council president, sensing the need for assistance in expediting the request for an Ecclesiastical Charter; wrote to His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, explaining the need for a Greek Orthodox Community in Kingston. Two weeks later, the parish received a beautiful letter from His All Holiness giving his blessing for establishing our Parish of Saint George Kingston.
The original census revealed the interest of over 140 adults and 73 children. In the beginning, church services were held at the Episcopal Church with Reverend Athanasios Chamberas from the Kimisis Parish of Poughkeepsie celebrating the Divine Liturgy on Saturdays. Clergy that were sent to Kingston from the Archdiocese held Holy Week and Easter Services. After much discussion with the Archdiocese, the Reverend Nicholas Katsoulis was assigned as our first Parish Priest.
Through the efforts of the Hellenic Women's Club and the Kingston Community, sufficient funds were raised for the construction of our church building. Ground-breaking ceremonies for the present Church structure were held on Palm Sunday 1964, and the first Divine Liturgy in the new structure was celebrated on Christmas Day, 1964. Saint George Church of Kingston was consecrated on on April 24, 1966 by Bishop Silas.