Brisbane: The Story of the First Greek Orthodox Church

brisbane churchIn 1922, the Greek Community of Brisbane, purchased a property on Russell Street, the present Hellenic House. The Church sub-committee’s vision was to turn this property into a Greek Orthodox Church.

In 1927, with the help of  the Consul General for Greece, Christy Freeleagus, the sub-committee organized a meeting in which it was decided that the church would be built on Charlotte Street.

Metropolitan Christoforous Knitis, during his visit in Brisbane in 1928, ordained Elias Kotiathis from Rhodes as the new Parish Priest. During the same year, the work to erect the building of the Greek Orthodox Church began.

It was decided that the Church would be built in honor of Saint George. Even though it was small, it served the Greek Community of Brisbane for 30 years.

Discussions about a new church began in the 1950’s, when the migration wave increased rapidly. The church of St. George would become increasingly overcrowded, especially during Christmas or Easter when all the believers would gather to celebrate.

On April 22, 1956 a meeting was scheduled in order to come to a decision about the location of the new church. With Metropolitan Theophylaktos as the chairman, the committee decided that if they didn’t find a more suitable location, they would build the church on Browning Street, where they already owned some property.

Eventually a property was found on the corner of Edmondstone Street and Besant Street in South Brisbane. Ron Martin Wilson Architects was in charge of making the plans for the church, which were then approved by the Archdiocese in Sydney and the Brisbane City Council.

On May 4, 1958, the building of the new Church of St George commenced and on April 24, 1960, Archbishop Ezekiel officiated at the consecration of the newly built Church.

Finally, in 2004 the first Greek Orthodox Church in Brisbane celebrated its 75th Anniversary.