Our Parish History
The Beginnings of Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church
On November 24, 1965 The Greek Orthodox Community Center of Brevard County, Florida was established as a Not-For-Profit organization with its principal place of business at 980 Garden Road, Merritt Island, Florida. Nine Merritt Island residents gathered at the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Katzantzis to sign the charter of the Hellenic Community Center on Thursday, December 2, 1965 fulfilling its requirements under the State of Florida legislation. The Charter was signed by Pete Mageras and James Katsacos. The first President was Chris Ekonomou.
The Charter was adopted by the Diocese of Atlanta in 1966 giving birth to Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church of Melbourne, Florida. The parcel of land the church now resides on was purchased for $5,000 and consisted of 3.5 acres. An additional acre was purchased some years later which now makes up the 4.7 acre parcel that houses the Hellenic Center, Education Building, and the Church.
The Greek community that migrated to Melbourne immediately began raising funds to build the Hellenic Center. After raising several thousand dollars, five Parish members signed the mortgage note for $18,000 which led way to the construction of the Hellenic Center. The Hellenic Center was finished in April 1968 with the first service being conducted on Pascha (Greek Easter), April 21, 1968. The Hellenic Center was renamed The Colonel James Lake Hellenic Community Center in honor of the many achievements and years of support he dedicated to the Greek Orthodox Community in Brevard, County.
The original membership of The Hellenic Community Center consisted of 58 families throughout Brevard County, consisting of 11 families from Cocoa Beach, 4 families from Indian Harbour Beach, 17 families from Merritt Island, 2 families from Melbourne, 4 families from West Melbourne, 3 families from Melbourne Beach, 9 families from Cocoa, 2 families from Rockledge, 3 families from Cape Canaveral, and 3 families from Indialantic.
In 1973 the Hellenic community in Brevard began building the church dedicated to Saint Katherine and on August 23, 1974 the Greek Orthodox Church of Brevard County, Florida, Inc., was incorporated with the State of Florida adopting the original Charter established in 1965 by the Hellenic Community Center. On June 16, 1980 the official name was changed to Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church of Brevard County, Inc.