Nativity of the Holy Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church in Greenville, North Carolina held its first services on Saturday, September 7/20, 2008: Vespers for our patronal feastday, the birthday of the Virgin Mary. But how did it all come together?
Back in March of 2008, the Tourlitis family found Anastasios Hudson via the Metropolis of America’s website. Anastasios and his wife were the founders of an Orthodox Christian Mission in Raleigh, which at that time did not have a regular priest. Reader’s services were being held weekly for a small group of faithful. The Tourlitis and Hudson families met in Wilson, North Carolina at a restaurant one Saturday in order to talk about the possibility of founding a similar mission in Greenville.
The meeting really was a meeting of the minds; both families were completely on the same page and that was evident from day one. Anastasios spoke with Metropolitan Pavlos, the diocesan bishop, about the situation, and he decided to ordain Anastasios a priest in order to serve both missions. On Pascha, April 13/26, 2008, Anastasios was made a deacon, and on the Sunday of All Saints, June 9/22, 2008, Deacon Anastasios was made a priest. The Tourlitis family was able to attend the priestly ordination and receive the blessing of His Eminence in order to proceed.
A great boon to the project occurred that very same week, when a property on Avon Road became available for use by the new Church. Tony Tourlitis transformed the existing home into a Church over the next two months, a labor of great love. On July 20/August 2, 2008, Fr. Anastasios performed an agiasmo (water blessing) on the new property, and thus by September 7/20, services were ready to begin. At this service, another local family, not even Orthodox, were invited to attend, and became regular members of the parish.
Such is missions work; two dedicated families came together following the call of God, and were able to accomplish so much in a few short months. Three years later, the mission has grown, moved to a new, larger location, and continued to witness the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the people of Greenville and surrounding areas.
We welcome you to join us in our work; whether you live in Greenville or another area of Eastern Carolina, we would love to hear from you.