A Growing Community
The development of the Greek Orthodox community of Grand Rapids followed a pattern similar to that of others in the United States. These settlers left Greece for a better life early in the twentieth century.
The first mention of Greeks in Grand Rapids was a full-page article in the Grand Rapids Press on March 1, 1913 which stated that they were businessmen of stature and their accomplishments deserved the respect of other city residents.
The first religious “home” for Greek Orthodox in Grand Rapids was St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Parish House where a visiting priest held services. Woodman Hall on Bostwick Avenue was the home of the Orthodox Greeks in the 1920s. It was in 1925 that the 26 Greek families elected a church council and by 1928 purchased a house at 1000 Cherry Street, SE, remodeled it and received a charter from the state an ecclesiastical corporation.
The upstairs was used as a Greek school during the afternoons. By 1955, the new Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church community had grown substantially and they began to look for a new location.
The Current Church Location
The New facility property was moved from downtown Grand Rapids to a site about a mile east of the Ransom site with adequate parking, location for a large community center, on a well-wooded lot that has been used for church picnics. A total community involvement occurs several times a year when everyone pitches in and prepares for the Grand Rapids Arts Festival the first weekend of June as well as several community dinners during the year as fundraisers, and our Yassou! Festival.
In 1979, a cultural organization was created, Hellenic Horizons, which combined the activities of several other establishments to provide a cultural link to other communities, culminating in the writing of a major grant to the National Endowment for the Humanities. The exhibition that came as a result of this grant was a history of Greeks in Grand Rapids and gave our community nation-wide exposure.
Holy Trinity has continued to develop both as a community because many new families have joined the church as members and also to provide such activities as Vacation Bible School in conjunction with the other Orthodox communities in Grand Rapids, adult Greek school, activities for senior citizens, church-sponsored excursions, youth sport events, and other activities all in the glory of God.
The mission of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church is to be a spiritual home to all who enter; to be a Christ-like community active in Worship, Fellowship, Service and Witness; and through participation in the sacraments, to come into union with God.
The vision of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church is to create a welcoming and vibrant Orthodox parish dedicated to serving the changing needs of our parishioners and the greater community.