Proclaim the Gospel in accordance with Orthodox Christian Faith;
Bless the faithful through worship, the Divine Liturgy, and the Sacraments of the Church;
Invite all people into a relationship with Jesus Christ and into a loving, caring parish family;
Provide ministries and activities that glorify God.
Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church - Andover, MA
With the advent of the late 1800's, word of a new land of opportunity reached the shores of Greece. The adventurous spirit of the Greeks flared brighter at the thought of new horizons and they began to migrate to America with a few settling in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The first priority of these immigrants was to organize a Greek Orthodox Church to meet their spiritual needs.
The date of May 18, 1917 was to become a historic day in the life of the Greek Orthodox Community. On this day, a group of eight Greek immigrants visited the Department of Corporation at Lawrence City Hall to obtain and complete legal documents required for the establishment of a Church for the Greek Orthodox faithful of the area. On July 16, 1917 the official state document stating that "A Greek Orthodox Church bearing the name of Saints Constantine and Helena be established" was received and the search began for a suitable facility to hold services. The founders rented a storefront on Essex Street where services were held until a vacant hall on Broadway became available. Simultaneously, the Greek immigrant women organized themselves into the "Society of Grecian ladies" and worked diligently at fundraising to fulfill the dream of owning their own Church. In 1924, the Ladies Society purchased a plot of land at the corner of Essex and Gale streets in Lawrence. Working hand in hand with the men of the community, the Ladies Society continued fundraising and on August 1, 1936, ground-breaking ceremonies were held for what would finally become their own Church structure.
The Church continued to meet the needs of the community. Fr. George Karahalios became the pastor in 1971 and would lead the parish for the next twenty years. The number of faithful grew even larger, but the neighborhood surrounding the Church began to deteriorate, and a decision was made in 1985 to purchase the Doyle Lumber Company on Chandler Road in the neighboring town of Andover. In 1987, under the leadership of Fr. George and parish council president Charles Liponis, construction began on our new church and on December 4, 1988 "Thyranixia Services" were conducted and another dream became a reality.
From 1991 to 1997 Fr. Paul Pantelis faithfully led the new parish in Andover. In 1998, Fr. Christopher Makiej was installed as parish priest. During the next five years the Church experienced unprecedented growth from the existing two hundred families to over four hundred and fifty families. It became evident that the church facility had to expand in order to sustain the constant flow of new parishioners and to meet their needs with new and expanded ministries. And so the parish boldly embarked on the largest building project of its history: a new Family Life Center to be connected to the Church. Under the leadership of Fr. Christopher and parish council president, David Kalivas, the parish began aggressively fundraising and, by the grace of God and the faithful generosity of our parishioners, dedicated its new twenty thousand square ft. state-of-the-art Family Life Center on May 20, 2007, celebrated by our Metropolitan Methodios on the ninetieth anniversary of the parish!
We are deeply grateful to all the generations of parishioners who sacrificed their time, talent and treasure to the establishment and inspiring growth of our beloved parish. Ultimately we are truly grateful to our Lord Jesus Christ, our master and benefactor, who alone established the Church and paid for it with His own blood on the Cross. He is the true visionary and creator of all things. Since 33 AD all we can try to do is add and expand to what is already established by Him ("we offer to you your own, from what is already yourself" - Divine Liturgy). He is the Architect and the Chief Cornerstone of the Church and has laid the foundation with His own body (Ephesians 3:20-22). And we praise and glorify Him for all things, past, present and future.