hen I was assigned my first parish in Atlanta at the latter part of 1996 we moved to the famed South with no actual place to go. The Serbian parish had only been founded three years prior to that and it was still taking baby steps. The first service was on Christmas (Old Calendar) at a Presbyterian Church. It was our last service there. The problem was, we still hadn’t figured out where we were going next.
While I searched for a place I attended the Greek Church in Marietta for Sunday Liturgy together with a Serbian parishioner who happened to be married to a Greek man. They were very welcoming, the Greeks. I managed to find a place for our services in Midtown Atlanta but it wouldn’t be available until February which was fine but there was a little issue of Theophany and the blessing of holy water to be used for my visits with my new parishioners. The Marietta Greeks came to our aid. Theophany happened to fall on a Sunday that year and as they had their service in their church upstairs we served liturgy in the hall below and blessed the waters.
Above is a picture of the Greek church as we found it that year. As it turned out, the Marietta Greeks were also in the beginning stages of their own parish. I think it was in 1989 that it was founded. Currently the building above is their parish fellowship center but at that time it was used as their church while the lower level was the hall. The Serbs ended up renting that small hall on numerous occasions for various events over the next few years. In fact, our firstborn child was baptized in the temporary church upstairs.
It gave me such joy to find a beautiful Greek Church as we drove through Marietta last week on our way visiting friends. They had just started construction when I moved (in fact, I served at the groundbreaking). Unfortunately, since we were only passing by unannounced we found no one to let us in. But just as we did back in ’96, we made ourselves at home this time as well.
Here are some photos: