Welcome to The St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church of Akron , Ohio . Our church was established in September of 1917 by a group of Arabic-speaking Orthodox Christians who came from modern-day Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Jordan. Over the years the parish moved from its original home near downtown Akron, to a home on the West side of Akron, and then to a temporary home East Akron. In 1987 we moved to our present home in suburban Akron : 3204 Ridgewood Road , Akron , Ohio 44321.
TLC Catering, Inc., exclusive caterers at St. George Fellowship Centre and the
New St. George Family Center, invite you to come see our new banquet hall.
Planning a special event, call 330-666-7132 and ask for Joe or Jason.
With great joy and with thanks to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the parishioners of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church marked our 95th Anniversary while officially dedicating our new $2 million Family/Youth Center during the weekend of April 27-29.
On hand for the celebration were honored guests: His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip Saliba, Archbishop of the North American Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese; and His Grace, Bishop Anthony Michaels, Bishop of the Dioceses of Toledo and the Midwest, who was ordained this past December.
Both prelates were present at the Hafli, or traditional Middle East party, on Friday, April 27. They met with the church’s youth members in a Saturday morning event April 28 and spoke at the Grand Banquet Saturday evening. They presided during the Sunday morning Hierarchical Liturgy,
following which they dedicated the Family/Youth Center.
The celebration closed with a Sunday brunch. Several hundred people heard Metropolitan Philip and Bishop Anthony over the weekend.
Metropolitan Philip, who is a native of Lebanon and a U.S. citizen since the early 1960s,
addressed the issues being faced by victims in the year-long Syrian revolt, the plight of Christians throughout the Middle East. He lamented on the inhumanity of “the thousands of women being made widows, the thousands of homes destroyed and the need to provide help for the suffering” in conflicts taking place. In a meeting with the church’s youth and again during the banquet over the weekend, His Eminence spoke out against extremism in any religion.
“Christians, who make up 10 percent of Syria’s population, have long been protected by the current and previous moderate Moslem regimes,” he said. “Now extremists coming from outside are trying to take over, and the Christians are afraid that they will become victimized, as we have seen happen in Iran, Iraq and Egypt. Already there are signs of an exodus of Syrian Christians, and we need to help them.”
Akron St. George Church traces its origins to Antioch, Syria, some 30 years after the resurrection of Christ. That’s where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians. “How did it happen that the split between the eastern and western churches took place?” asked one of the youth during a meeting with the prelates.
Responding, Bishop Anthony explained that for some 1000 years the Christian movement evolved five metropolitan areas – Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Rome and Constantinople – each headed by a Patriarch, all of whom agreed that the head of the church was Jesus Christ. Bishop Anthony explained that the split occurred when the Roman Patriarch or Pope took the position as Head of the Church. The other Patriarchs held to the belief that only Jesus is the head, and today this is the same position of all the 300 million Orthodox Christian throughout the world.
“What can’t all Christians celebrate Easter at the same time?” asked one youth member. Metropolitan answered that this shouldn’t be. “Easter is celebrated in April 90 percent of the time,” he explained. “We should all agree that Easter should fall on, say, the second or third Sunday in April and leave it at that.”
During the weekend, Mimi Hicks, president of the Ladies Society, gave Mahshie a $25,000 check for the Family/Youth Center building fund,
bringing its total donation to $100,000. Singled out with “Beyond the call of duty” awards were David Esber, Family/Youth Center building chairman; Gary Salhany, finance advisor; Mike Pancoe, photographic services; and Bob Snyder, Parish Council President.
Ten church members were inducted into the Order of St. Ignatius, which provides humanitarian services throughout the world:
The Family/Youth Center was built to accommodate the growing parish, which has a very active youth group, which was named the Teen Club of the Year during a recent youth convention with members of parishes from Ohio to Iowa and Kentucky to Wisconsin. The group garnered 52 awards in the areas of oratory, writing, poetry, art and photography.
St. George was founded in Akron in 1917 by Arabic-speaking Christians from the areas known today as Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Jordan. The original parish was located in Downtown Akron and later moved to West Akron on South Hawkins Avenue. When Fr. Mahshie arrived in 1978, he created a plan to build a new facility, and the Hawkins property was sold. The church then met in a renovated warehouse near Downtown Akron for eight years. In 1987, the church moved to its current location on 10 acres. In 1996, the church expanded with a new Sunday school addition. The new $2 million Family/Youth Center marks the third church expansion during Fr. Mahshie’s service. The 24,000 sq ft Family/Youth Center features banquet space convertible to a basketball court, a kitchen, a stage and two assembly areas.
The church serves 200 families and maintains a Sunday school, choir and array of church organizations, Salem said. Its members come from Akron and beyond, such as Massillon and Canton and the Cleveland suburbs
The church is now planning to honor Mahshie next year as he marks his 50th year as a priest, his 50th wedding anniversary to Khouriya Corinne, and his 35th year at Akron St. George.
We have just been blessed with a glorious April 27-29 Weekend Celebration of the 95th Anniversary of our Church and the Dedication of our new Family Center. And it’s time to say thanks.
First and foremost, our thanks to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has guided the path that has brought us to this moment of happiness.
Certainly, our thanks to Metropolitan Philip and Bishop Anthony, who graced us with their inspired presence.
And for sure, thanks to all our St. George Parishioners who by working together have seen the fulfillment of the long-awaited Family Center and then worked together as one to stage all the events that made up our Celebration Weekend. As stated in our commemorative booklet: “If ever there was an event that that encompassed the entire church congregation, then this was it! Going back some ten years when we began dreaming of a Family Center and culminating this weekend, every church organization and virtually every member has been involved in some way. Truly this has been a Team Effort in every sense of the word.”
So thank you, thank you, thank you many times to our Lord, to Metropolitan Philip and Bishop Anthony, and to the entire parish for working together and making this joyous weekend.happen.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit - One God
Fr. Fr. Fr. Louis Mahshie
Fr. John AI-Assaf
Archdeacon Joseph Harb
Subdeacon Khalil Samaria
Elias El Soury, Chanter
David Esber, Chairman of the Family Center Building Committee
Bob Snyder, Chairman of the Parish Council
Mimi Hicks, President of the Ladies Club
Quinn Francisco, 2012 Teen SOYO president
Samer Zawahri & Zahi Kakish, 2012 St. George Young Adult Co- Presidents
Jeff Reale & George Hanna, Youth Advisors
Corinne Mahshie and Jan Kattouf, Sunday School Directors
Kim Shama Hanna, Choir Director
Frank Chirakos, Bible Study Leader
Ra’eda Kakish & Rima El Soury, Office Staff
Mary Lou Simon and Sam Salem, Celebration Weekend Co-Chairs