The Saint George Community
St. George Church was founded in 1917 to minister to the Orthodox Christians living in Philadelphia who had emigrated from areas of the Middle East: primarily Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria. In their original home countries, these Christians lived under the pastoral care of the local clergy and bishops of the Patriarchate of the city Antioch, which is the city "...where the disciples were first called Christians."
In North America these newly arrived immigrants were at first ministered to by the Syrian mission under the Russian Orthodox Church, led by St. Raphael Hawaweeny, the first Orthodox bishop consecrated in North America. With the rise of communism in Russia the Patriarchate of Moscow was unable to sustain much of their work around the world, including the Syrian mission. Thus many of the Arab Orthodox Christians sought help from the Patriarch and Synod of Antioch. Over the years the community of St. George moved from the South Philadelphia area, where it was founded, west into the 'suburban' area of Upper Darby.
The St. George community is made up people from a variety of backgrounds. Some families are from traditional Orthodox countries, such as Greece, Russia, and parts of the Middle East. Others are those who, in their earnest and heartfelt search for the loving and merciful God, have found the Church of the New Testament and the Apostles on their own. All together the parishioners of St. George are a rich witness to the depth of the Orthodox way of life and how it speaks to and teaches everyone who seek the "pearl of great price", a life in Christ.
St. George is a parish in the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic, which is within the Antiochian Christian Archdiocese of North America, part of the ancient Christian Patriarchate of Antioch.
O Liberator of captives and Defender of the poor, Healer of the infirm, Champion of Kings, O victory-clad George, intercede with Christ God to save our souls.
- Our parish is named for the Great Martyr George, who we look to both as a guide for our life in Christ, and as an intercessor before God.
- Our community is Antiochian Orthodox, which means it is under the spiritual leadership of the Great Church of Antioch. This Church was founded on the missionary work of Ss. Peter and Paul, and is the city spoken of in Scripture where the "disciples were first called Christians." (Acts 11:26)
- We are Orthodox, which means that we follow the ancient teachings and tradition of faith that were given by Jesus Christ to His Apostles, and through them to the whole world. In following and proclaiming this witness of faith we are united to the Orthodox Church worldwide.
- As a Church our purpose is the transformation and healing of the faithful and any whose lives we touch, that all might find salvation.
Our current pastor is the Very Reverend Joel Gillam who moved here in August of 2010 to shepherd our parish. We hope that you can join us to meet him, his family, and our community.