Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture

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In the late nineteenth century a wave of immigration brought newcomers from Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern or Arabic countries to the United States. Some of the immigrants adhered to Eastern Orthodox Christianity, that is, to the Christian tradition established much earlier in the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire. Orthodox parishes and congregations greatly helped immigrants to adapt to life in America. The newcomers found their way to Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory between 1890 and 1910. Over the twentieth century several branches of the Eastern Orthodox Communion came to be represented in Oklahoma by congregations of immigrants and their descendants. By the beginning of the twenty-first century the Orthodox churches of Oklahoma had extended their ministries to serve people of varied ethnicities and walks of life.

Oklahoma City's Greek residents, most of whom were Greek Orthodox Christians, established a congregation on September 25, 1914, as the Greek Society of St. George of Oklahoma City. The group purchased land and completed St. George Greek Orthodox Church in 1922. The present church, at 2101 Northwest 145th Street, was completed in May 1984. The architecture of the building is notable for its traditional orthodox styling, with the footprint in the shape of a cross. Each October the parish holds an annual festival to celebrate Greek traditions in America, an event attended by more than ten thousand. St. George is affiliated with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: "St. George Greek Orthodox Church," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.

Dianna Everett

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