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To Get to Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church, take Avenue P to 18th Street. One Block past the church is a parking lot with limited parking.
Also walking distance from the King’s Highway station on the B,Q (BMT) Lines, walk East on King’s Highway to East 18th Street, then turn Left. Half block to Avenue P and the church is on the South-West Corner of the intersection of Ave. P and 18th Street.
By Rene J. Cote III
It was a nice day when my friend Gus Savaros took me on a tour of his Church for the purpose of photographing different parts of the church and its organizations to be used on the new Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church of Brooklyn website.
It was pointed out to me that the doors were open for the public to come in and feel welcome. I then looked around the campus and noted that all the doors were open. This impressed me as being a part of the mission of the church. To be a part of this community meant to live with an open heart, inviting the Holy Spirit into myself.
As I crossed the threshold, the darkness in the church was only broken by the candle light and the sun streaming in through the glorious stained glass pieces along the walls and open doors.
On the walls and just about everywhere I looked were the devotions in icon form – some of which had to be very old, and at that moment I realized that these icons were brought here from all around the world, by members of the church.
The representations of the Three Hierarchs were in cloth, behind glass, in paintings, and even a sculpture of the nativity were visible all around. The love for the lord and the glory given to us by the holy spirit was rushing in and I could feel something stirring in the dim surroundings.
I was then taken by Gus to the altar of the church. I could see the painting of the procession of angels above the magnificent wood carved centerpiece at the front of the hall. As I turned around, I looked back in the direction from which I came, and saw that wood cross and the image of Jesus bathed in light. I felt that the spirit of The Lord was strong in this place.
In the short time I was in the room, I observed that the icons and images that surrounded me were placed with love by the parish. The devotions and candles were just a small sign that the church was alive and vital.
The sound of children playing caught my attention. Gus invited me further into the church, and past the altar to a door that led to where the sounds were coming from.
Down some stairs we went, to a hallway where boys and girls were gathering for a meal. I could hear the children talking in many languages, some familiar to me, and they were sounds of happiness. Gus spoke with some of them, taking their pictures, and greeting the kitchen staff. Everyone we met smiled wide when they saw us. It didn’t matter that they did not know me. I was struck by the friendliness – there was no fear of strangers. Gus pointed out that this was a school, and the room we were in had recently gotten the ceiling worked on.
From there, we entered the gymnasium, and still more smiles and friendly chat by staffers. It was explained to me that this gymnasium was for large gatherings, and that different language mass was held in these places, ever inviting to newcomers and long-time members alike.
From the gym we walked down the hall (indicated by a young man in a school uniform shirt) toward a large dining room. Another restaurant style kitchen was here, and from these kitchens it was explained, were made countless free meals to be given to unfortunate people and families in need.
I noticed a wonderful wood inlay under my feet, and remarked what a nice dance floor it would make! Gus explained that social events as well as weddings were held in this room. It looked like you could have quite an event; chairs were stacked against the wall, ready for the next meal, mass or dance or christening, bar mitzvah or birthday party!
I then was led up some stairs and back outside, where I found myself at the front of the school. Again I observed that the doors were open. This was a great place from which to see the church and school, the flags flying, and the sun shining on this scene – ‘This community has its heart in this place,’ I thought to myself. The sound of children playing was still in my ears, and as we left this holy place, I thanked my good friend for sharing the experience with me. I think about going back one day to meet Gus’s preacher, who was not there, but his presence felt just the same.
By Costantinos (Gus) Savaros
A history of the Parishioners and Founders of the Three Hierarchs Church of Brooklyn, New York is helpful to understand how the community thinks and functions.
At the end of the 1800’’s and the beginning of the 1900’s many Greek Orthodox (G.O.) migrated to the United States and settled in New York City. Soon there after they relocated to Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island and there started to build New Greek Orthodox Churches and communities.
The downtown area of Brooklyn had two G.O. churches while the southern part of the borough had none. There were many Greek Orthodox families in this area and thus there was a need for new church. This brought about the creation of the Three Hierarch Church. The process to achieve the present status of the Three Hierarchs Church and community was a long and difficult task and the founding families should be congratulated on a task well done.
Consider some of the achievements of the G.O. during this period and since the turn of the 19th century. Those Greek Immigrants willingly and lovingly became American’s. They fought in WWI, WWII, Korea, Viet Nam and served whenever called upon by the country. They grew to love and adopt the U.S. as their own mother country.
The G.O. worked very hard, had families and brought into this country, children who were achievers. These children became priest, politicians, artist, bankers, lawyers, and scientist. They became leaders in all areas. Many of these young people moved on to all parts of the United States, always brings with them the culture and high standards given to them as children of Greek Orthodox.
Today, you can see the names of the founding families scribed on our glass stained windows and in the historical records of the church. Look at our current roster and you will see the names of their children and their children’s children. The list could easily start with our first priest the beloved Father Michalopoulos and go on and on. Many of the original group has children active and participating in the church activities. Many have relocated to build new Orthodox Communities in other parts of the state and the country.
The Three Hierarchs Church has become a national leader in the Orthodox Faith, Christianity and Education by opening its doors to welcome all new immigrants to the United States whatever their national origin with open arms and a sincere desire to support their needs and the use of their own language during services while providing the young with proper schooling in English at its own facility.
The Three Hierarchs Church has establish good relations with all faiths and supports and shows appreciation for all municipal employees and organizations.
At the Three Hierarchs G.O. Church in Brooklyn, N.Y.,
“Our roots are strong, our mission is clear and, as such our future is bright.” All are invited to visit and to witness our achievements!