In late 1989, a small group of perhaps five families recognized their common desire for a Greek Orthodox Church in the Port Charlotte area. Organization commenced soon after and the inquiries to other families in the area caused the remarkable progress of celebrating Easter of 1990 at the Port Charlotte Civic Association building, Fr. Stephanos Vlahapoulos officiating.
In May of 1990, Fr. Nicholas Triantifilou, acting as Vicar of the Atlanta Diocese visited and gave us guidance in formal organization within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America. Fr. Christos Matos was temporarily assigned for weekend services and we started operations as the Holy Trinity Chapel. We quickly had Acolytes, a choir and a Philoptohos Society. In October of 1990 our permanently assigned Priest, Very Reverend Panteleimon Eliou arrived and assumed leadership of our Church Community. We finished 1990 with approximately 31 Pledged family units. We had our first Grecian Festival in October 1990 in Laishley Park in Punta Gorda, a town just south of Port Charlotte. It was a modest success.
Throughout 1991 we gained membership, finishing 1991 with approximately 50 Pledged family units. We introduced a full range of religious services, including a waterfront Epiphany Service, we had numerous modest social affairs which were successful socially and financially. We made available Sunday School Catechism, Greek Language School, and Religious Instruction Classes for those that cared to participate.
We became incorporated as the Greek Orthodox Church of Charlotte County, Florida, in March of 1991, and had our Parish Council elections immediately thereafter. In May we were honored by a visit from His Grace Bishop Phillip of the Atlanta Diocese who confirmed our elected Parish Council who had a term through November 1992. Our Building Fund grew to the point that we began seeking the cash toward the purchase of a future building site.
The year 1992 opened with an optimistic note with another touching waterfront Epiphany service, concurrent with a Baptism Service. The Real Estate Committee continued the search for a suitable building, or building site, cumulating in an offer to purchase the site at what is now our current location of 24411 Rampart Boulevard, in Deep Creek. The site is 5.7 acres ideally located and large enough for future growth. The property had a 38 by 48 foot structure, a 16 by 36 foot pole barn with a concrete floor, and a 30 by 45 foot pole barn with a dirt floor. In addition, there was a suitable well and, with a Special Exception, was Zoned to allow a Church on property. Options were obtained indicating the feasibility of modifications of the structures to allow future multi-purpose use as Sanctuary, classrooms, offices, and meeting rooms.
By the Grace of God, negotiations resulted in the September 24, 1992 purchase of the property. Architect Thomas Huff of Punta Gorda, Florida was retained to prepare designs utilizing the existing buildings to the maximum and application for permits for those alterations was made in January of 1993. Construction commenced soon thereafter, involving most of the members in volunteer labor, completing the church structure in September of 1993. This one building was used for all purposes. In December of 1993 consideration of modifications of the second building to provide separate meeting rooms and office commenced. In February of 1994, the dirt floor of the second building was paved and plans commissioned for development of building modifications, resulting in completion of the Educations Building by February 1995. Again, Parish volunteers completed this with extraordinarily fine work. Later in 1995, the additions to what we call the Kitchen Building were added, allowing for a very efficient cooking and serving space to augment our Annual Festivals, which are held on the grounds. Those festivals began in 1993.
In 1997, Fr. Eliou retired with failing health and was temporarily replaced by Fr. John Glaros who also retired a year later because of poor health. In 1998 Fr. Demetrios Kavouras was assigned to our Parish. At the end of the year 2001, we have progressed to the point where we again retained an Architect, Mr. Brian Rommel of Punta Gorda, to design and prepare plans for a larger Community Center to accommodate our growing Parish. We now have approximately 85 Pledged family units.
In January of 2005, we had planned to have a ground breaking ceremony for the New Community Center. Hurricane Charlie had a direct hit on our community. It looked like a war zone. The next three hurricanes continued to damage Florida. By November, we were much improved but we are still living in a disaster.
On March 4th, 2006 we had His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios conduct a groundbreaking ceremony for our Community Center. We are short of funds and long on optimism that we will be able to solicit enough support to afford this center which will continue to make our parish grow.
In May,2006 Rev. Fr. Arthur Kontinos became our interim pastor.
On September 1st, 2009, Rev. Fr. Ioannis Krokos was assigned to became our Parish Priest.
The Holy Apostle Thaddaeus; The Holy Martyr Bassa and Her Sons: Theognis, Agapius, and Pistus; Afterfeast of the Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary; Athanasios Patelaros, Patriarch of Constantinople