St. George Greek Orthodox Church began as a dream in 1940. On December 9, 1948, 53 members were present at a General Assembly and elected the first Parish Council, thus officially inaugurating the beginning of the St. George community. Finally, on March 25, 1951, the mortgage was fully paid, just four years since the beginning of construction. Monies for the Huntington parish were contributed by the faithful of Ashland, Kentucky; Ironton & Portsmouth, Ohio; Charleston, Whitesville, Beckley, Logan, Williamson, Dorothy and Parkersburg, West Virginia. The cost of the facilities totaled more than $100,000.00. Some mortgaged their homes to help fulfill their dreams of an Orthodox church in their community.
Since the early years of our community, our parish has been active in the Huntington community. The Ladies Philoptochos Society over the years had adopted and raised two orphans, visited and taken food and clothing to veterans and patients at various hospitals in the Huntington area, met returning World War II veterans at the railroad station, and since then has donated thousands of dollars and tons of clothing to needy people and organizations here and overseas.
In recent years, the St. George community has supported a variety of organizations in Huntington, not to mention the Diocesan, Archdiocesan, and international ministries of our faith. Parishioners of St. George serve many Huntington organizations. In addition, our annual Greek Festival, monthly Gyro sales, and semi-annual Grecian Dinners give us the opportunity to share our food, cultural and spiritual heritage with the community at large.
We believe that our efforts these past few years have made our founders quite proud that we have maintained and continued the great tradition of this Orthodox Christian community. Our parish continues to serve Orthodox faithful of Portsmouth, Ohio; Ashland, Kentucky; Williamson and Logan, West Virginia, as well as the Greek community in Huntington. Our congregation is made up of native-born Greek people, converts to Orthodoxy, and other Eastern Orthodox Christians of Albanian, Russian, Lebanese, Syrian, and Ethiopian descent.
What is Greek Orthodoxy?
Our Church is called the "Greek Church" because Greek was the first language of the ancient Christian Church from which our Faith was transmitted. The New Testament was written in Greek and the early writings of Christ's followers were in the Greek language. The word "Greek" is not used to describe just the Orthodox Christian peoples of Greece and other Greek speaking people. Rather, it is used to describe the Christians who originated from the Greek speaking early Christian Church and which used Greek thought to find appropriate expressions of the Orthodox Faith. "Orthodox" is also used to describe our Church. The word "Orthodox" is derived from two short Greek words, orthos, meaning correct, and doxa, meaning belief or glory. Thus, we used the word "Orthodox'' to indicate our conviction that we believe and worship God correctly. We emphasize Apostolic tradition, continuity and conservatism over a 2,000 year history. The Orthodox Church today is a communion of self governing Churches, each administratively independent of the other, but united by a common faith and spirituality. Their underlying unity is based on identity of doctrines, sacramental life and worship, which distinguishes Orthodox Christianity. All recognize the spiritual preeminence of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople who is acknowledged as primus inter pares, first among equals. All share full communion with one another. In addition to the four ancient Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem with their several geographic and ecclesiastical subdivisions, there are also many independent or autocephalous Orthodox Christian Churches. These include the Churches of Russia, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Finland, Albania and Sinai. Smaller autonomous Orthodox Churches and missions can be found on every continent throughout the world.