St. George Coptic Orthodox Church (Philadelphia)

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Saint George Coptic Orthodox Church of Greater Philadelphia
Coptic Church Norristown PA.jpg
The entrance of St. George Coptic Orthodox Church in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
40°06′53″N 75°20′31″W / 40.1148°N 75.3419°W / 40.1148; -75.3419Coordinates: 40°06′53″N 75°20′31″W / 40.1148°N 75.3419°W / 40.1148; -75.3419
Location Norristown, Pennsylvania
Country  United States
Denomination Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
Website http://www.stgeorgephilly.org
History
Founded 1969
Dedication Saint George
Dedicated 1969
Consecrated October 1994
Architecture
Architectural type church
Style Coptic, Greek Revival
Years built 1863
Administration
Diocese Archdiocese of North America, under the Pope of Alexandria
Clergy
Bishop(s) Pope Theodoros II
Bishop Karas
Priest(s) Fr. Roufail Z. Youssef
Fr. Mina Shaheid

St George Coptic Orthodox Church (Coptic: Ϯⲉⲕ'ⲕⲗⲏⲥⲓⲁ ⳿ⲛⲣⲉⲙ⳿ⲛⲭⲏⲙⲓ ⳿ⲛⲟⲣⲑⲟⲇⲟⲝⲟⲥ ⳿ⲛⲧⲉ ⲫⲏⲉⲑⲟⲩⲁⲃ Ⲅⲉ⳿ⲱⲣⲅⲓⲟⲥ // transliteration: ti.eklyseya en.remenkimi en.orthodoxos ente fi.ethowab Gewargios) is one of the oldest Coptic Orthodox churches established in North America.[1] It is one of over 200 Coptic Orthodox Churches in the US.[2][3]

History[edit]

St. George Coptic Orthodox Church is the first Coptic Orthodox church that was established in Pennsylvania during 1969 [4] and was incorporated in May 1973 [1] with 30 families at the time.[5] Several Coptic Orthodox priests served the congregation in churches of other denominations until 1980, when the Conshohocken building was purchased. Pope Shenouda III assigned Father Samuel Thabet Samuel to head that church in September 1983, and Father Samuel and his wife and two children left Egypt and moved to Roxborough.

The congregation later bought the current building in Norristown, Pennsylvania. The parish was built in 1863 using Greek revival architecture. It was originally a Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.[6] In order for the building to allow for Coptic Orthodox Liturgies, the interior required a partial conversion for that use. The exterior, however, retained its architectural style. The building was consecrated in October 1994, by Pope Shenouda III.[5]

The parish had more than one priest in its history. Fr. Angelos Habib Boghdadi served the parish in its early years, as well as several other Coptic Churches throughout the States, including St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. Fr. Boghdadi is currently the priest of St. George Church in Tampa, Florida.[7]

Formative years[edit]

During the church's formative years in the 1980s, Fr. Samuel Thabet Samuel was the parish priest. He served until 1990 when summoned by Pope Shenouda III to serve St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church of Chicago, Illinois [1], becoming the senior priest. In 1991 Pope Shenouda sent Fr. Roufail Z. Youssef as parish priest. Over 300 Coptic families are served by St. George's Church.[5]

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