Parish History

From the beginning, involvement in the parish of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church has been a family affair with husband, wife and children all volunteering or serving in some capacity. The same is true today where there are even more opportunities to serve the church and community. We encourage you to contact us or our spiritual fathers to learn about our faith and community activities. Your contribution and participation in our church services and ministries is always welcome!

As with any Holy endeavor, the road to building the church was long and sometimes unsure. The founding members wanted to build an Orthodox Church and Greek School that would serve people's religious and spiritual needs as well as promote and sustain the Greek language, Hellenic heritage, culture and traditions. The process that began in 1966 finally led to the consecration of the church on October 27, 1985. By that time, not even the name of the Church was the same.

Initially named All Saints Church, the church was renamed Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church and obtained its charter from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America and the State of Illinois on February 1, 1967.

The first home of the church was rented from the Immanuel Lutheran Church of the United Church of Christ (just North of our present site) by Ted Dulles, our first parish council president and Bishop Meletios, the Bishop of the Chicago Greek Orthodox Diocese at the time. Bishop Meletios assigned Reverend Leon Katshihitis to serve as the first spiritual father for our parish.

The permanent home of the church was to be built on Illinois Highway Route 83 between North Avenue and Lake Street. The land was pledged for this purpose by two of the founding families but that is not what actually happened. Tragedy struck on February 21, 1970 when a fire gutted the entire Immanuel Lutheran Church being used by our parish. After a brief time in the gymnasium of the church, the St. Demetrios Parish Council voted to purchase a vacated building facility of Elmhurst's Churchville Junior High School just down the street.

Our present church now stands on the foundation of that junior high school. Under the supervision of Father Panagiotis Malamis and the tireless members of the Parish Council, a group of outstanding architects, builders and iconographer completed our beautiful church and adjacent school.


Our Community

The parish of Saint Demetrios has been an important part of Chicago's Greek Orthodox community for over 50 years. With the guidance of our Patron Saint Demetrios as well as the church's spiritual fathers, benefactors, parish council, member families, ministry leaders and volunteers, the church has baptized, married, educated and raised thousands of people in the Greek Orthodox faith and community. Our main church, two chapels and bookstore offer the faithful a place to worship and continue learning about themselves and the Greek Orthodox Faith.

The Greek Orthodox Church is a treasury of centuries of accumulated wisdom in man's efforts to relate to God and his fellow man. It is our mission to proclaim the Gospel of Christ, to teach and spread the Orthodox Christian Faith, to energize, and to cultivate and guide the lives of our parishioners according to the Orthodox Christian Faith and Tradition.

The Greek Orthodox Church sanctifies the faithful through divine worship, especially the Holy Eucharist and other Sacraments, building the spiritual and ethical life of the faithful in accordance with the Holy Scriptures, Sacred Tradition, the doctrines and canons of the Ecumenical and local Councils, the canons of the Holy Apostles and the Fathers of the Church and of all other Councils recognized by the Orthodox Church.

Through divine worship, preaching, teaching, and living of the Orthodox Christian Faith, our dedicated spiritual fathers, directors and volunteers nurture a series of ministries that give parishioners, young and old alike, a place to come together in the name of Jesus Christ.