Sts. Constantine and Helen Serbian Orthodox Church
|Saints Constantine and Helen Serbian Orthodox Church|
Saints Constantine and Helen Serbian Orthodox Church
|Previous denomination||Russian Orthodoxy|
|Consecrated||3 June 1896|
|Parish||Saints Constantine and Helen Parish|
|Metropolis||Metropolitanate of Libertyville-Chicago|
|Diocese||Diocese of New Gracanica - Midwestern America|
|Synod||Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church|
The Saints Constantine and Helen Serbian Orthodox Church (Serbian: Цара Константина и Јелене Српске православне цркве) is a Serbian Orthodox church located in Galveston, Texas, USA. It is a parish of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of New Gracanica - Midwestern America.
The eastern orthodox community had existed in the port city of Galveston since 1861 as the parish of Saints Constantine and Helen. By the late 1800s a group of Serbs, Greeks, and Russians appealed to the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Tsar Nicholas II for a church. The Tsar approved the establishment of a church and in 1895 construction began. The building was finished in 1896 and consecration took place on the feast day of Saint Constantine and Saint Helen. Tsar Nicholas II also personally donated icons for the Iconostasis, a gospel book, and a number of sacred vessels. The first priest assigned to the new church was Archimandrite Theoclitos (Triantafilides). Services were originally held in Greek, Russian and Serbian; however, in 1933 the Greek members of the church voted create a "daughter parish" of Sts. Constantine and Helen and operate it under the Greek Orthodox Church, naming their new church Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church.
Saints Constantine and Helen Serbian Orthodox Church was the first Serbian Orthodox church in the state and its parish is the oldest Orthodox parish in Texas. The church also holds the distinction of being the second oldest Serbian Orthodox church in the United States.
Galveston native, Metropolitan Bishop Christopher Kovacevich of the Metropolitanate of Libertyville-Chicago, was born and raised as a member of Saints Constantine and Helen church. As an adult and Metropolitan, he would frequently return to the city and preside at church weddings and baptisms.
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- Turner, Bronwyn (2010-08-22). "Island native, Serbian Orthodox Church leader dies". Galveston County Daily News. Retrieved 2011-02-25.