St. Constantine and Helen       Greek Orthodox Church History

Greek Ancestry In Middletown, Ohio
 
Last Updated  04/09/2013


  September 1,1931 Middletown Journal, Middletown, Ohio
MIDDLETOWN CHURCH TO BUY PROPERTY
    A deal is pending by which  the St. Constantine Greek Orthodox church, of Middletown, is to acquire the building  which was formerly the Temple Emanu-El  of Middletown according to a petition in common pleas court Tuesday.
    These officers and trusties of the Greek congregation ask permission to assume a mortgage for $3,286.18; John Katsikas, Gus Rigas, James Revelos, Anast Stoikos, Theo. Bejelis, James Vradelis, James Pappas, and Charles Stratis

vcm: According to the 1929 City Directory, Temple Emanu-El was located either at 1214 or 1215 First Avenue.  That is between Clinton and Canal.  The reason for the address difference is where you look.  1214 if you look under churches and 1215 if you look at the street index.     G.Christy: also 1215 on Sanborn city maps of Middletown.







by
Cleo Gavin
20 October  2008
 

  October 13, 1931 Tuesday  Hamilton Daily News, Hamilton, Ohio
Church At Middletown May Borrow $3,286
 
  Trustees of the St. Constantine Greek Orthodox Church of Middletown were authorized in common pleas court Monday to borrow $3,286.12 on a real estate mortgage.

by
Vivian Moon
2 November 2008

March 10, 1950 Friday  Middletown Journal, Middletown, Ohio
    Authority to enter into a $6,500 mortgage to finance improvements of property was sought in Common Pleas Court through a petition of St. Constantine and Helene Greek Orthodox Church of Middletown. The request was by these trustees: George T. Poolitsan, Gus Valen, George C. Lambesis, John Pantel, George Manos, Peter Laras, Peter Janetos, Gust Skalkos, and Konstantine A. Politz.




by
Cleo Gavin
20 October  2008

  The Greek Ladies Philoptochos Society of Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church of Middletown, Hamilton, Butler and Warren Counties, celebrate its 50th year anniversary and is recognized in the Archdiocese publication, the Orthodox Observer.   Click here to view article on page 19 (magnify several times to read.) by
 Cleo Garvin
19 February 2010

  The event was graduation of the MHS class of 1951.  L to R – George Christy,  Jim Hagias, Lula Revelos, Jimmy Bugitzedes, Charles J.Revelos.  The priest was Fr. John Papadopoulos, who recognized the new graduates at the conclusion of the Liturgy, with a prayer for their futures.
 This old photo was taken at the church at 1215 First Avenue.  In my mind’s eye this was going to show more of the church. When I finally found it I was disappointed.
    The church was narrow – 25' wide - so you see a large part of it in the picture. I do not remember when it was demolished – probably mid-60’s. The current church was completed as 1958 ended.

Photo#2 - This picture from Helen Stephan shows most of the front of the church.

by
George Christy
24  January 2009
Fr. Steve Sarayiannis with women of the local Philoptochos Society chapter.
L-R:  Presvetera, Anna Garafolas, ?? , Cleo Laras,  ?? , Fr. steve Sarayannis, Irene Valen, Lena Hagias, Krystal Pantel, Frosine Revelos. 

Golden Anniversary: 50 years of membership are celebrated on June 11, 2000 by (L>R) Helen Petroglou Stephan, Cleo Laras, Irene Valen, Penelope Demetrion.

The 80th birthday of Anna Garafalos (foreground) is celebrated in the church social hall.

the 80th birthday of Solia (Sophia) Demitriou (Suzie Demetrion's mother) at the church social hall. Among those watching: L>R: Ourania Petroglou, Effie Revelos,Sophia Revelos, Maria Tekakis, Irene Valen, Antigone Demosthenes, Anna Axiotes.

Another gathering of the Middletown chapter of the Philoptochos Society

From
Chris Papakirk
collection
2004
and
Kathy Spirou

Ladies of the Philoptochos Society gather at the home of Victoria Christy. c. 1950
Top row, L-R:  Philanthy Kavouras, Lena Hagias, Katina Karas, Krystal Pantel, Mrs Kardaras, Mary Thomas,  Helen Pallas, Mary Bugitzedes.
R2: Irene Valen, Sophia Revelos, Yanoula Johnson, Frosine Revelos, Victoria Christy
R3: Mary Ellen Christy (Stilianos), Sophia Demetrion, Harriet Kiniyalocts, Katherine Mardas and Dena Eliopoulos
(
Picture taken & direct-printed at home in 2" x 2" format by Lou Christy)

by
Cleo Garofalos
7Apr2010

The Bishop visits Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Middletown.

From
Chris Papakirk
collection
2004

Middletonian Nick Nick (aka Tsaknides) is ordained into priesthood Dec. 23, 1945 in Dayton,Ohio

The Ordination was performed by Bishop Gerasimos (in background) of Chicago.
Middletown priest Gregory Tsigaragous stands at right. Dayton priest at left.

by
Kathy Spyrou
May2010

                             Rev. Gregorios Tsigourakos


Served Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church as its third parish priest from 1936 to 1949.

From
 Irene Cavalaris
11/14/2010

      Costa Mathews immigrated from Greece in 1955 and lived in Middletown until 1964. He returned to Greece to study for the priesthood. His autobiographical sketch is reproduced here from the  Archdiocese Website.
Costa's brother, Michael, still lives in Middletown. Both were nephews of Paul Mathews who sponsored and employed them.

From Cleeo Garvin
2010 

                                 Church Cantors  (Psalti)
M
any persons have served the church  as cantor throughout its long Middletown history. Notable among them with many years of service are persons such as  John Demetrion,  Gus Katsikos,   Gus Christy (pictured at left), Jim Thomas, Costa Mathews(above), Louis  Kapourales, Tim Demos,  Gregory Palioyras, Vassilios Galiatsatos(chanting for Bishop Nicholas) and more rarely, women like Philanthy Kavouras Nichols.
The current cantor is John Farmakis who is in the middle position of this picture in front of the psalterion. In the first position is George Christy, son of Gus Christy, who served as a Reader during Easter Holy Week services recently. Also pictured is John Sakelariou, formerly of Middletown and currently a student at Holy Cross Seminary who assisted the cantor during Holy Week. The older cantors chanted primarily in Greek from Byzantine texts but today much of the chanting is done in English.

 If anyone has pictures of chanters (particularly while chanting), please let me know - G.Christy

by
George, Christy
April 2012

The Epitaphion is decorated by a committee of women and it is a focal point of Holy Week, including the lead position in a processional around the church.

From
Chris Papakirk
collection
2004

 

This is Gus Chifos shown tending to candles as part of his duties as a church councilman. He devoted much of his day to the church, keeping it clean and orderly. My memories of him include that he refused to be picked up when he was walking - most days he walked to and from the church from his home on Henry Avenue (near Jefferson School, a 2 mile walk) carrying a small brown bag lunch even though he was in his nineties. In his last years his wife, Zelma, would drive him to the church.  I thought of him as having many of the qualities of a monk. 

In his working years, Gus owned the Strand Theatre during the 1920's, then sold it to open a family style restaurant across the street called the Busy Bee. I remember it to be well named, as I observed my uncle, Harry Paraska, working there - he had a part-time job while attending Middletown High School in 1940. Gus and his brother ran the restaurant together through most of the 30's and 40's.

by
George Christy
7 July 2009

 



Sts Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Greek Orthodox Church at 2500 Grand Avenue in Middletown, Ohio.
The 75th Anniversary was celebrated in 2006.

A 75th year celebratory banquet was held at the Manchester Hotel Grand Ballroom on Nov, 12, 2006.
The Middletown Journal coverage of this event was printed the next day in this article.
Photo#1- George Christy delivers a short talk remembering the Godfather of the Church, Gus Christy. 
Photo#2 - Some attendees and long time church members.
Photo#3 - Ceremonial cutting of the 75th Anniversary cake.
Photo#4 - Very early interior shot of sanctuary.
Photo#5 - Iconographer Nick Ververis, who painted much of the Byzantine Art in the church, is shown here repairing some water damage from a roof leak. 
Photo#6 - Committee for 75th Anniversary celebration.

by
George Christy
7 July 2009

Ceremony of the Opening of the Doors of Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church.

Picured is Otis Tekakis receiving a blessing by the bishop prior to opening the doors.

From
Chris Papakirk
collection
2004

 

Church ladies gather clothing donations to ship to Greece to provide relief to war-torn Greece after WWII.
Row 1: Krystal Pantel(rear) Georgia Eliopoulos, Irene Valen, Anna Garofalos, Sophia Demetrion, Helen Stoikos, Sophia Revelos, Ourania Petroglou, Helen Pallas, Helen Petroglou, Katherine Mardas. (and George Manos)

by
Cleo Garvin

Sts. Constantine and Helen choir in 1947  
Row 1: Sue Mardas, Katherine Mardas(director), Fr. Tsigaragous, Dolores Revelos, Stella Axiotes --  Row 2: Bea Revelos, Irene Bugitzedes, Thalia Thomas, Mary Eliopoulos, Mary Garofalos --
Row 3: Steve Demetrion, Lula Revelos, Jim Thomas (psalti) Georgia Comminos, George Kavouras.

by
Cleo Garvin
6 June 2009

Sts. Constantine and Helen choir in 1950's
R1-Martha Revelos, Lula Revelos, Fr. ?, Mary Lou Revelos, Stella Axiotes, & Irene Bugitzedes.
R2- C.N. "Charlie" Revelos, Mary Garafolas, Cleo Garafolas, Georgia Comminos,
R3- Unknown, Kiki Demetrion, Thalia Thomas,
R4- Cosmas Hiotas, John Demetrion, George Poolitsan, Chris Revelos

From
Chris Papakirk
collection
2004

Sts. Constantine and Helen choir in 1964 
R1- Ester Sarris, Mary Lou Revelos(organist), Jo Ann Paulin, Dorothy Vradelis, Martha Revelos, Mary Ellen Christy --- R2- Carol Netsos, Kiki Demetrion, Georgia Comminos, Bishop Germanos, Helen Sarris, Cleo Vradelis,  Dolores Revelos(Director), --- R3- Louis Weaver, Fr. Karloutsos, Mike Mathews, Agamemnon (Gus) Pantel

by
Dolores Revelos

 

Father Milton Efthemiou & Greek Orthodox Church Council Members - 1961
Front Row L-R: Gus Christy, Fr. Milton, Gust Chifos
Back Row L-R: George N. Revelos, George Christy, George Jonson, Stratton Papakirk, Nick Ververis

by
George Christy
20 January 2009

 

                                        Church General Assembly

This forum is held a couple times per year in the social hall. Important considerations and financial updates are presented, discussed, and voted upon by members of the church. 
Pictured is Florence Jones expressing her thoughts about an issue on the floor.

From
Chris Papakirk
collection
2004

The Nameday Celebration for Sts. Constantine and Helen Church in Middletown, Ohio.

Several area priests joined us in a Vespers Service to celebrate the church's nameday.
They joined us for dinner in our social hall following the service.
The Nameday celebration on May 20, 2012 included a dinner in the social hall with the Clergy pictured at the dias: L>R - Fr.Bill, Cincinnati; Fr Ernie, Springfield; Fr Paul, Cincinnati; Fr Nicholas and ? from the Galion, OH monastery.

From
Chris Papakirk
collection
2004

Christmas Carolers prepare for visits to homes of parishioners. Dolores Revelos, choir director, leads a vocal warm-up. Fr. Milton Efthemiou in the rear, adds his rich voice. Virginia Christy & Rene Revelos at far right stay behind to take care of those too young to make the trip.

From
Chris Papakirk
collection
2004

First Annual Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church Festival in1968. It was known as the Greek Bazaar for about 10 years, and later re-named GreekFest.

The Import Booth contained items bought in New York by Virginia & George Christy. (picture#1) George originated the festival and was the first General Chairman.
Many boys and girls were dressed in traditional costumes for the event. Nick Revelos and Dean Christy are among the evzones seen there.
A ball of dough is stretched to make filo leaves for baklava for the Festival Bakery, then stretched again, by Effie Revelos.
The famous Gyro sandwich is being prepared by Fotis Papakirk and Nick Georgopoulos.
Live entertainment was added as the festival grew - George Karras performs here.

From
Chris Papakirk
collection
2004

(Nick Revelos)

George Christy: Vivian, there is an article in the Scope section of the Midd Journal Page C-1 dated July 28, 1985 that I think would be of interest.
    The top picture shows Nick Ververis near the front of the Church. Nick painted many of the beautiful icons that comprise the alter screen as well as the large icon that covers the domed ceiling of the alter.
    At the bottom of the page is a well written explanation of where the Middletown Greeks came from as they left their homelands.
    The middle article by Kinser adds some color to the local history.
    I think these  items could  provide good information for future  generations.

 

 


by
Vivian Moon
3 November 2008

(Article photo: George Christy)


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Please email any additional information or comments that you would like to include in the above research to
George Christy  
geochr@cinci.rr.com