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The Greek Orthodox

Cathedral of the Annunciation

24 W. Preston St, Baltimore, MD 21201


Historical Highlights

Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation

Our First 100 Years! 

1906 - 2006

1890's

Greek immigrants begin to arrive and settle in Baltimore.  

1906

Formal establishment of the Greek Orthodox Church “Evangelismos” at the Union Hall, 500 E. Fayette Street, with a visiting priest.

1907

Arrival of The Rev. Constantine Douropoulos as the first full-time priest.

1909

Parish officially incorporated by eleven charter members followed by the purchase of the Homewood Avenue and Chase Street Church from the Greenmount Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church for $12,000.

1912

First Orthodox burial grounds purchased within the Woodlawn Cemetery known as the “Greek Circle.” Additional acquisitions of burial grounds would occur in 1916, 1924, and 1936 within the Woodlawn Cemetery.

1913

First Greek language school for parish children established.

1915

Formation of the first youth group –Greek American Athletic Association.

1918

Formation of the first chartered affiliate of the parish – Greek American Association “Progress.”

1921

Establishment of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in New York to govern over the Greek Orthodox parishes throughout the United States.


1922

Visit of the first Archbishop, Alexander of Rodostolou, to the Homewood Avenue Church followed by a banquet. Political differences arise between the Royalists (supporters of Greece’s King Constantine I) and the Venizelists (supporters of Greece’s Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos).Charter amendment supporting the new Archdiocese leads the Royalists to withdraw from Annunciation and form the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church at Broadway and Monument Streets. The Greek community of Baltimore remained divided by Greece’s politics for the next seven years.

1923

Charter amendment supporting the new Archdiocese leads the Royalists to withdraw from Annunciation and form the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church at Broadway and Monument Streets. The Greek community of Baltimore remained divided by Greece’s politics for the next seven years.

1926

Establishment of Enosis (Union), a ladies’ group at Annunciation Church.

1928

Establishment of Elpis (Hope), a ladies’ group at Holy Trinity Church.

1929

Reunion of Baltimore’s Greek Orthodox community at the Homewood Avenue Church marked by a grand celebration event in December 1929.

1931

Presentation of the Greek Flag to the State of Maryland.

1935

The Very Rev. Joakim Papachristou begins a fifteen-year tenure as spiritual leader of Baltimore’s Greek Orthodox Christians.

1936

Establishment of the Greek Ladies Philoptochos (Friend of the Poor) Society by members of the Enosis and Elpis ladies’ groups.

1937

Purchase of the Preston Street Church for $40,500 which saved the edifice from demolition to become a gasoline filling station. Historic procession from Homewood Avenue to Preston Street took place with the first Divine Liturgy held at the new church on April 23, 1937.

1938

Consecration of the Preston Street Church by Archbishop Athenagoras conducting the services on May 8, 1938.

1940 - 1945

War Years marked by Greek War Relief efforts and countless displays of American patriotism by the Greek Orthodox Community of Baltimore. Establishment of the local Greek War Relief Association.

1942

Purchase of 45 W. Preston Street which was used for various social and athletic events. This building at the corner of Cathedral and Preston Street was known as the “Greek Center” until it was sold in 1950.

1943

Establishment of the Greek Orthodox Cemetery at 5917 Windsor Mill Road in Baltimore County, comprising 14-acres for burial grounds.

1946

Fortieth Anniversary Year Celebration; Establishment of EONA (youth organization) which was the forerunner to GOYA.

1948

First Ordination held at Annunciation was for Deacon Soterios Gouvellis who served as the Assistant Priest for two years.

1950

The Very Rev. Philotheos Ahladas begins a four-year tenure which assists to revitalize parish ministries and help the community grow.

1951

Choir groups reorganized with Georgia Topaltzas (Topal) as director.

1952

Establishment of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox community in Highlandtown.

1954

The Rev. George P. Gallos, the first full-time American-born priest of Greek descent begins his eleven-year pastorate

1955

Establishment of the Ladies’ Tea Guild (later renamed Womens’ Guild).

1956

Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration of the Annunciation community. Presbytera Anna Gallos becomes the parish music director.

1958

Parish Assembly votes for the Annunciation Church community to remain at Preston Street and explores the expansion of existing property.

1959

Groundbreaking for the new Education Building adjacent to the church.

1960

Opening of the Education Building.

1961

Dedication of the Education Building officiated by Archbishop Iakovos.

1964

Extensive interior and exterior renovations to the sanctuary begin.

1965

Donation of new iconostasion (altar screen) to complement remodeling work.

The Rev. Emmanuel E. Bouyoucas begins his ten-year pastorate.

Georgia Topal Tangires becomes the new parish music director.

1966

Church name officially changed from “Evangelismos” to “Annunciation.”

1967

Testimonial honoring Lawrence Cardinal Shehan and Archbishop Iakovos to further dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

Lucy Hagopian begins a 49-year career in the Annunciation Church office.

1970 

Establishment of the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Baltimore County.

1971

First Athenian Agora Festival held at Annunciation.

1975

Parish is elevated to Cathedral status with Bishop Silas officiating.

The Rev. Elias Velonis begins as Assistant Priest for a four-year period.

The Rev. Constantine Monios becomes the new Dean of the Cathedral.

1978

Acquisition of the first of five historic townhouses across the street from the Cathedral for the future expansion of parish ministries.

1979

Ordination to the priesthood of Deacon Mark B. Arey, who converted from the Episcopal tradition. He would serve the parish until 1982.

1980

Interior renovations in the Byzantine style approved by parish assembly.

1981

75th Anniversary Celebration spans over eight months with numerous events and activities to mark the occasion.

1982

Opening of the Cathedral Parking garage on Maryland Avenue.

Opening of the Chapel of the Holy Resurrection at parish cemetery.

The Rev. Louis Noplos becomes Assistant Priest and serves through 1996.

1984

Construction and dedication of the Annunciation Orthodox Center following the purchase and renovations of five historic townhouses comprising Nos. 25, 27, 29, 31 and 33 W. Preston Street.

1985

First parish pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

1986

First woman elected as Parish Council President - Loretta S. Prevas.

1987

Annunciation parish marks 50 years worshipping at Preston Street Church.

1989

Cathedral Building marks 100 years of existence as a house of worship.

(It was built in 1889 for the Associate Reform Church, by 1900 known as the Associate Congregational Church, that worshipped here until 1934).

1990

Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I makes an historic visit to the nation’s capital from Constantinople. A delegation of parishioners from Annunciation attended the various events held in Washington, D.C.

1992

Cathedral receives historic designation by the Commission on Historic and Architectural Preservation.

1994 - 2001

Acquisition of four additional townhouses (35, 37, 41 and 43 W. Preston Street) for possible future needs of the parish.

1995

First Adult Bible Study Retreat.

1996

90th Anniversary Doxology celebrated at Annunciation Cathedral.

Ordination of Deacon Constantine Moralis to the Holy Priesthood who becomes Assistant Priest for the next six years.

Rev Louis Noplos is assigned to St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church. 

1997

Visit of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Annunciation Cathedral.

1999

Interior refurbishing of the sanctuary completed. Elevation of Metropolitan Demetrios of Vresthena as new Archbishop of America.

2000

Tri-Parish Millennium Celebration on New Year’s Day.

Completion of the Cathedral Elevator project and dedication ceremonies.

Father Constantine Monios observes 25 years as Dean of the Cathedral.

2001

Rededication of the Mentis Memorial Room first established in 1975.

2002

The Rev. Constantine Monios fell asleep in the Lord. He had the longest tenure of any senior clergyman in parish history, serving over 26 years.

The Rev. Constantine Moralis is elevated to the status of Archimandrite and serves the Annunciation parish for twenty years until 2022.

2003

Enthronement of Metropolitan Evangelos as spiritual leader of the Metropolis of New Jersey.

2004

Cathedral Bookstore opens on the lower level of the Education Building.

2005

Ordination of Deacon Peter J, Thornberg to the Holy Priesthood.

2005 - 2006

Centennial Celebration begins with the Salutations to the Virgin Mary on March 18, 2005, followed by a yearlong itinerary of historic, religious, and social events culminating with the 100th Anniversary Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and Centennial Grand Banquet held on March 19, 2006.


Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation

24 W. Preston St, Baltimore, MD
(410) 727-1831

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