Our Parish History
History of our Parish
Founded in 1976, Built in 1988, Consecrated in 2007
Over 40 years ago, we not only celebrated the establishment of Kimisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Parish, but also the continuation of the mission of the Greek Orthodox Church and the Hellenic Culture.
As we reflect back to the first moments, we remember the formation of our Parish on July 16, 1976, the groundbreaking ceremony initiated on Sunday, September 21, 1986 and the joyous event of the first Liturgy on December 18, 1988, when the church of Kimisis Tis Theotokou (The Dormition of the Theotokos) finally became a reality. This day marked the history of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Metropolis of New Jersey.
The historical parish of Kimisis Tis Theotokou, for over 40 years, has offered the faithful, Orthodoxy and Hellenism and continues to do so with zealous efforts in order to preserve our beliefs and culture. The Orthodox Church is a vital part of our lives because Orthodoxy is not only a tradition, but a way of life.
It has become the continuation of us and our ancestors through the next generation. The Greek Orthodox Church is a haven to the children of our community and not only enlightens them on our faith, but also raises their respect and admiration for the Hellenic Civilization. Our legacy will continue with them.
Today, we have 400+ families of diverse ages and backgrounds who worship at our Church. Here is a brief list of our milestones:
The Bayshore American Hellenic Association (BAHA) formed by early Greek residents of the Bayshore area of Central New Jersey. Meeting in members’ homes, motels, a real estate office, and the Shore Point Inn, the club was organized for the purpose of attracting Orthodox families, raising funds for a new Church complex, and to provide temporary religious services and a children’s Greek Language school.
Greek Language classes began at the Beer Street School. The first service was celebrated at the Holmdel Motor Inn. The Ladies Auxiliary of BAHA was established.
A delegation formally requested, and was granted recognition and sanctioning from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, for formation of a parish.
- Approval of the Uniform Parish Regulations and Articles of Agreement were approved.
- First Annual Greek Festival was held at Pleasant Valley Farm in Colts Neck.
- Fr. George Prassas was assigned as first Parish Priest
- First Official Liturgy was held at Christ Church, Middletown.
- First General Assembly meeting was held and the name “Kimisis Tis Theotokou” (Dormition of the Virgin Mary) was officially adopted for the Parish.
- Church services and Greek Language classes were held at the Beer Street School in Hazlet until 1988.
The General Assembly approved the purchase of 6.5 acres of property on Hillcrest Road in Holmdel for $64,000 for construction of a Parish Complex. By June, 1979, the mortgage was retired.
- Fr. George H. Dounelis joined as Parish Priest.
- The Ladies Philoptochos Society was established.
▪ Ground-breaking ceremony for the Church and Administration buildings was held with His Excellency Metropolitan Silas officiating.
- Church construction began. During the foundation-blessing ceremony, on a perfectly clear day, a sudden cloud formation occurred in the shape of a miraculous cross over the site.
- Thryranoixia (Door Opening) Ceremony for the Church building was held with His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos and His Excellency Metropolitan Silas officiating.
- BAHA and Mr. & Mrs. Ted Countouroudas become Co-Godparents of the Church.
- The Platytera, donated by the Ladies Philoptochos Society, was installed.
- Church pews were installed
- Kimisis Pre-School Playgroup was formed
- First Annual “Run in Holmdel” was held sponsored by Kimisis
- Annual Greek Festival first held on-site
- Order of AHEPA Chapter 517 formed
- Kimisis G.O.Y.A. wins 1st Place overall at Sights and Sounds
- Iconostasion, Altar Table and Table of Oblations were installed
- Archbishop Spyridon was enthroned
- Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts troops were formed
- Construction of Community Center began
- His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon visited the Parish on Kimisis name day and blesses the Community Center construction.
- Completion of Phase I of Community Center enclosed structure took place. Inside community center finishing work began.
- “Tree of Life” sculpture was installed temporarily in the Church Hall to recognize Community Center donors
- Marble floor wasinstalled at the altar.
- Kimisis G.O.Y.A. wins 2nd Place overall at Sights and Sounds
- Kimisis J.O.Y. reactivated
- Kimisis electronic website created
- His Grace, Bishop George, was elected as New Jersey Diocesan Bishop and Enthroned on April 17, 1999.
- Kimisis G.O.Y.A. won 2nd Place overall at Sights and Sounds
- Temporary Certificate of Occupancy was obtained on June 1, 1999 for the Community Center. Plans are to equip and furnish for use as contributions permits.
- Blessing and Door Opening for Community Center on Kimisis Tis Theotokou Nameday, August 15, 1999, was held following Divine Liturgy.
- Officiated by His Grace, Bishop George of New Jersey, the Tree of Life was relocated to permanent location at entrance to Community Center.
- Plaques in recognition of Building Committee members and donors installed. September, 1999: Sunday and Greek school classes begin in new Community Center.
- December 1999: Community Center Gym wood floor was installed and gym became available for athletic activities in 2000.
- First woman was elected as president of the Parish Council: Bessie Drogaris
- Parish grows to 400 families from throughout the Bayshore area. We have over 210 children, ages 3-12 registered in Sunday school, and many also participate in Pre-School Playgroup, Greek Language Classes, Greek Dance, GOYA, Scouting, Altar Boys, and other youth programs. The long-awaited many more activities occurred for our many youth and adult Parish organizations, such as our Prime Timer Seniors, Ladies Philoptochos, AHEPA, Choir, Kimisis Close-Up Newsletter, Bible Study classes, and other organizations.
- Stewardship Program began
- GOYA takes 1st place at Sights & Sounds for 3rd consecutive year
- Consecration of Kimisis Tis Theotokou
- On Sunday, October 21, 2007 – His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey Chief Celebrant.
- Annual Church Dinner Dance returns, Presbytera Eleni Chakalos is honored
- GOYA Girls Volleyball wins 3rd championship in four years
- Interior Committee receives approval for new chandeliers and etched/stain glass windows
- Chandeliers were installed in Church
- Etched Glass windows installation began
- Annual Greek Festival breaks record for net receipts and revenue
- Town approval for New Parking Lot and new two-story addition in rear of all purpose room was achieved
- Reverend Protopresbyter George H. Dounelis retired
- Very Reverend Archimandrite George Nikas joined Kimisis Tis Theotokou as Parish Priest on October 15, 2013
- YAL Launched (January 11)
- First Kimisis Dancers participation in Metropolis of NJ Folk Dance Festival, Annapolis MD (January 18/19)
- Hope/Joy Re-launched (January 26)
- New Parish Website Launched (February 12)
- Electronic Communications Launched with Email Newsletters (January)
- Renamed Prime Timers as Kali Parea and formed new committee structure (January)
- Frieda Mookas, Church Secretary for over 40 years, retires (March 14, 2014)
Frieda Mookas, Founder
- New online giving funds added for Weekly Candle Offerings as well as Special Offerings for Great Lent and Holy Week
- New Kimisis Journal in progress Instagram account launched (April)
- Father Nikas is Master of Ceremonies at 2015 Clergy Laity Assembly & Philoptochos Convention Grand Banquet (May 11)
- Argyrios Milonas appointed Stewardship Chair for 2016
- Honorees from Kimisis at 2015 Clergy Laity Assembly: Elias Kotsis, Helen Antholis, Connie Mellas, Mary and Michael Loizou
- Retired pastor of Kimisis Tis Theotokou, Rev. George H. Dounelis fell asleep in Our Lord, June 28, 2015. May his memory be eternal
- Very Reverend Archimandrite George Nikas appointed Chancellor of the GOMNJ by His Eminence, Metropolitan Evangelos of NJ as of January 15, 2016
- Reverend Economos Panagiotis Lekkas assigned as Proistamenos of Kimisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church effective January 15, 2016
- Our beloved Choir Director of 25 years, Marie Angelus Devino, fell asleep in Our Lord, March 6, 2016
- 40th Anniversary of Kimisis Gala held at Shadowbrook, October 23, 2016
- AHEPA Pledges $40,000 to remodel Kimisis Kitchen
- Parking Lot project for the south lawn is launched & competed April 2020
- New Kitchen completed by AHEPA April 2020
10th Sunday of Luke
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