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Parish History

Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church, 418 W. Jefferson Blvd., 1926 - 1956On September 12, 1926, the first Divine Liturgy in St. Andrew's Greek Orthodox Church of South Bend was held. It was in the renovated St. Paul's German Evangelical Lutheran Church, located at 418 West Jefferson Boulevard and South William Street. The founding of St. Andrew's was accomplished by the faithful diligent efforts of the forty-five Greek immigrant families who had settled in South Bend, Indiana.

The corner stone of a brick building, attached to the south side of the church, was laid on October 14, 1929. This building provided space for Sunday school classes and a Greek language class, named "Pythagoras." The lower level, the "Ahepa Hall," served as a meeting room for the Ahepans as well as a social hall for the parish. Soon, thereafter, the chapel, named Panagia, and the vestry were constructed abutting the east wall of the church. All three buildings were now inter-connected and easily accessible from within.

Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church, 760 S. Michigan St., 1956 - 1978As the years passed, the need for a larger church was evident, and this need was met with the purchase of the Grace Methodist Church at 760 South Michigan Street and Tutt Street. As before, the edifice was renovated to meet Orthodox requirements. The first Divine Liturgy in the second home of St. Andrew's was held on Sunday June 24, 1956. During the life of the church at this location, the Bishop Philotheos Library was started.

Because of the continuing growth of the congregation, the need for yet larger quarters became apparent. In the mid-1970's the decision to build a new house of worship was made. The ultimate dream was realized - to have a completely new facility!

Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox, at its current locationA building committee was formed and the site on North Ironwood Road was purchased. The facility would be built in two phases - Phase I, a structure featuring a large hall, full kitchen, classrooms, library and offices; Phase II, the sanctuary. Detroit architect, Mr. Thomas Strat, was chosen to design Phase I. Ground breaking took place in July 1977, and construction began. On Sunday, May 13, 1978, the doors to the Phase I structure were opened, and the hall, named The Good Samaritan Cultural Center, served as the sanctuary for five and one-half years.

During the years following, a fervent effort was made by all parishioners to complete the task and realize the dream. After endless committee meetings, and with renewed determination and many major fund-raising projects, plans for Phase II, the sanctuary, forged ahead.

Groundbreaking ceremonies took place on Sunday, April 3, 1983, and construction began on the new house of worship with the architectural firm of LeRoy Troyer and Associates of Mishawaka. Eight months later, on Sunday, December 4, 1983, the ceremony of opening the doors - "Thiranixia" - took place.

Church services were held in the stark environment of the cement floor and folding chairs. Gradually the church began to take shape with the installation of carpeting, pews, and the Iconostasis. Other furnishings acquired were the stained glass windows, baptismal font, Bishop's throne, chanter's stand and other altar items. It was a great joy for the parishioners to admire the addition of each new item as it was acquired and installed.