Our Parish History
The first steps in organizing a Greek Orthodox Church in Corpus Christi, Texas under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America were taken on May 11, 1936 when a meeting of all interested persons was called and a temporary committee was elected and authorized to study the possibility of organizing a Greek Orthodox Church in Corpus Christi, Texas and to apply to the Archdiocese in New York for a qualified instructor of the Greek language for the children of the community. This committee was instructed to report their recommendations at a later meeting.
In May of 1937, a Bible class was organized as the first step in establishing a parish. The Delphi Club was formed in late 1933 as a ladies social club, took on the responsibility in 1936 of educating the children of the community in both the Greek language and the Greek Orthodox faith. The members changed their name to the Delphi Social and Educational Club and began raising funds for the maintenance of an afternoon Greek School.
Between 1938 and 1943, the committee that was appointed to study the possibility of establishing a Greek Orthodox Church in Corpus Christi, held several meetings to study the matter and then decided to call a general meeting of all interested persons to present to them its final report.
On March 15, 1943, all members gathers at the Elks Club and the temporary committee submitted its report and recommendations which were unanimously approved. The “long-dreamed-of” Church organization was formed and a fund raising campaign was begun. A fund raising committee, consisting of John Nicols, Jack Lymberry, Lee Petrusas, John Govatos, Jim Santikos, and Jim Sarris, was appointed and instructed by the assembly to find a suitable site for the future Church building and make its report to the members at a later date.
On April 14, 1944, property located at the corner of South Chaparral Street and Broadway Court was purchased from Frank Sparks as the site of the future Greek Orthodox Church building.
A new drive for raising funds was initiated in 1945. John G. Govatos was appointed chairman of a fund raising campaign to solicit funds among business friends in Corpus Christi. Much progress was made and the prevailing enthusiasm of the members was great. A building committee was elected and instructed to take the necessary steps in drawing plans for the proposed Church building.
In 1948, the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was incorporated and the first Parish Council was formed. The officers of the first Parish Council that were elected were:
PRESIDENT : George Harry Plomarity
VICE-PRESIDENT : Pete Govatos
SECRETARY : Miss Jane Hrissikopoulos
TREASURER : John Nicols
Other Board Members elected included: Clem Govatos, John Govatos, William Madis, Jim Sarris, George M. Zampikos, and Otis Zotos.
In March of 1949, plans drawn by the architects N. D. Calo of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and Roy Young of Corpus Christi, were submitted and bids were requested from local contractors. On April 2, 1950, the contract for the construction of the Church building was awarded to E. P. Edgeworth Construction Company. The Reverend John Zografos of San Antonio, Texas was commissioned to do the iconography for the new Church.
On April 18, 1950, the corner stone was laid by V. K. Hrissikopoulos in a brief religious ceremony, with Father Zografos of the St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church of San Antonio, officiating. By the end of 1950 the building and most of the iconography was completed.
On December 1, 1950, the Reverend Emmanuel Panos of Shreveport, Louisiana was appointed the first pastor of the local Greek Orthodox Church by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America in New York.
On December 10, 1950, George Harry Plomarity was given the honor of opening the Church doors for services.
On December 12, 1971, the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Corpus Christi, Texas was consecrated by His Grace Bishop John of Thermon, assisted by the Very Reverend Ambrose G. Giannoukos, pastor of St. Nicholas, the Reverend Nicholas C. Triantafilou of Annunciation Cathedral in Houston, Texas, Deacon John Allan Stehling and Peter Anton, of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in San Antonio, Texas.
In 1980, the first major expansion of the Church facilities took place with the construction of a two story addition, which provided for a rectory and an enlargement of the Church hall. John G. Spentzos was the contractor for the expansion and Harry G. Plomarity was in charge of raising the necessary funds for the construction.
The next expansion of the Church took place in 1993 when a small building was constructed on the rear of the Church property to house a large charcoal grill to be used primarily during the annual Greek Festival and at other times during the year as needed. John Platis, George Hartofilax, and John Spentzos supervised the construction of this building.
Priests that have been assigned to St. Nicholas from the time of its beginning to the present time are as follows:
1950 Reverend Emmanuel Panos
1966 Reverend Constantine Rogakos
1967 Very Reverend Ambrose G. Giannoukos
1981 Reverend Kostas Poulakidas
1983 Reverend Nicholas Pathenos
1987 Reverend Leonidas Soukis and Reverend George Thanos **
1988 Reverend Constantine Dimas (January 1, 1988 to October 1, 1990)
1990 Reverend Christos P. Matos (October 31, 1990 to September 15, 1999)
1999 Reverend David E. Pratt (Navy Chaplain aboard the USS Inchon based in Ingleside, Texas, served St. Nicholas as a visiting priest beginning October 15, 1999.)
2000 Reverend Stelios N. Sitaras (August 1, 2000- December 2012)
2012 Reverend John Hayden Haby (January 2013 - Present)
** For eighteen months, following the departure of the Reverend Nicholas Pathenos, our parish was without an assigned priest. The Reverend Leonidas Soukis and the Reverend George Thanos of the Annunciation Cathedral in Houston, Texas, served our parish on a temporary basis.