Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church

Our mission: "To serve God and the community by commitment to the Gospel's command to grow in knowledge of Jesus Christ through faith, hope and love".

St. George's Life



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The city of Antioch on-the-Orontes was the most important city of the Roman Province of Syria, and, as such, served as the capital city of the Empire's civil "Diocese of the East." The Church in Antioch dates back to the days of the foremost apostles, SS. Peter and Paul, as is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. Scripture refers to Antioch as the place where the followers of Jesus Christ were first called "Christians" (Acts 11.26), and records that Nicholas, one of the original seven deacons, was from that city -- and may have been its first convert (Acts 6.5). During the persecution of the Church which followed the death of St. Stephen the Proto-Martyr, members of the infant community in Jerusalem sought refuge in Antioch (Acts 11.19), and while St. Peter served as the first bishop of the city, SS. Paul and Barnabas set out on their great missionary journeys to Gentile lands (Acts 13.1) -- establishing a tradition which would last for centuries, as from Antioch missionaries planted churches throughout greater Syria, Asia Minor, the Caucasus Mountains, and Mesopotamia. At the first Ecumenical Council, convened in the city of Nicaea in the year 325 by Emperor Constantine the Great, the primacy of the bishop of Antioch over all bishops of the civil Diocese of the East was formally sanctioned. Following the third Ecumenical Council, held in Ephesus in the year 431, the first of several divisions occurred in the Patriarchate of Antioch. The followers of Nestorius disputed the council's definition of the nature of Christ, and formed a separate, parallel hierarchy. Most Nestorians lived outside the Byzantine Empire in Persia, today known as Iran. At the fourth Ecumenical Council, held in Chalcedon in the year 451, the Bishop of Antioch was "promoted" to the rank of "Patriarch". Thereafter, continuing disputes about the nature of Christ caused another portion of the ancient Patriarchate to separate, forming a hierarchy often referred to as the "Jacobites" after their theological leader, Jacob Baradai. Today they are usually known as the "Syrian Orthodox Church". They are a member of the Oriental Orthodox family of churches. The Orthodox were termed "Melkites" – meaning followers of the [Byzantine] Emperor. From the seventh century onward, many Christians living in isolation on Mount Lebanon identified themselves with the Monk Marun, and came to organize another separate hierarchy, the Maronites. In the twelfth century the Maronites became the first part of the Patriarchate to unite with Rome.

The "Great Schism" of 1054 resulted in the separation of Rome, seat of the Patriarchate of the West, from the four Eastern Patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. In 1724 a portion of the Orthodox Patriarchate vowed allegiance to Rome and appropriated for themselves exclusively the ancient name "Melkite", joining the family of "Greek-Catholic" or "Uniate" churches. The Orthodox continued to be known as the "Greek-Orthodox" -- or "Rum" in Arabic. During the reign of the Egyptian Mamelukes, conquerors of Syria in the 13th century, the Patriarchal residence was transferred to the ancient city of Damascus, where a Christian community had flourished since apostolic times (Acts 9), and which had succeeded earthquake-prone Antioch as the civil capital of Syria. The Patriarchate has jurisdiction over all dioceses within its ancient geographic boundaries (Syria and Lebanon) as well as others in the Americas, Australia, and Western Europe. Its headquarters is located in Damascus on the "Street called Straight" (Acts 9.11).

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Highlights of the History of
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church

1911, March The Syrian Orthodox Christian Society of Cleveland, Ohio, was formed and was put under the patronage of St. Nicholas of Myra.
1911, March The first Board of St. Nicholas Syrian Orthodox Society in Cleveland. Ohio and its Constitution was formed.
1911, March 10 Bishop Raphael Hawaweeny, Bishop of the Syrian Orthodox Diocese in North America, approved the proposed Constitution of the newly established St. Nicholas Syrian Orthodox Christian Society in Cleveland, Ohio.
1911, October 7 The Reverend Solomon Merhige arrived in North America coming from Shouier, Lebanon.
1911, December 1 Father Solomon was assigned to the pastorate of St. Nicholas Syrian Orthodox Christian Church in Cleveland, Ohio.
1911, Middle of December The community rented a temporary place at 636 Bolivar Road, SE. where they could worship God and perform all Divine Services.
1912, December The community decided to relocate their place of worship and they found a more suitable place to set up a church at 753 Central Avenue.
1914, October 23, 29 Bishop Raphael accompanied by Archdeacon Abo Hatab, arrived in Cleveland on a pastoral visit to St. Nicholas Syrian Orthodox Christian Church.
1914, December 1 After several requests Father Solomon was transferred from the Pastorate of St. Nicholas Church of Cleveland to the Pastorate of St. George Church in New Kensington. Pennsylvania.
1915, 1916 Visiting clergy came to Cleveland and performed the Divine Services and Sacraments. Among those clergy were Father Basil Kharbawy and Father Georges Katouf.
1915, February 27 Bishop Raphael Hawaweeny fell asleep in the Lord and was interred at his St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn. New York, on March 7. 1915.
1916, December Father Spiridon Massouh, from Horns, Syria, was assigned to the Pastorate of St. Nicholas Church in Cleveland. Ohio.
1919 January Father Spiridon Massouh was transferred to the Pastorate of St. George Church in Canton. Ohio.
1919-1926 The community of St. Nicholas of Cleveland, Ohio, lacked a pastor to care for them. They often neglected their religious duties, turned to other denominations, ceased to pray and receive the Sacraments. They were often blessed by visiting Clergy.
1926, November A new spirit of hope and revival was raised in the Syrian Orthodox Community of Cleveland, Members of the community presided over by Archbishop Victor Abou Assaly, of the Syrian Orthodox Diocese of North America, met at the home of Abraham Sahley, and a new chapter began in the life of the community.
1927, November With the blessing of Archbishop Victor, Father Elias M. Meena, was assigned to the Pastorate of the Syrian Orthodox Community of Cleveland, Ohio.
1927, December Arrangements were made with the leaders of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, located on West 14th and Buhrer Avenue, to share their church building on Sundays fur Divine Services.
1927, December22 The first Divine Liturgy of the Syrian Orthodox Christian Community was celebrated by Father Elias M. Meena.
1928, March 19 Initial contact was made with real estate agents to purchase a church on West 14th and Starkweather, commissioning George Gantose, Abraham Sahley and Habeeb George to handle the project.
1928, June 30 The purchase was completed for the price of $38,000.00. Co-signers of the first mortgage were: George Gantose, Joseph Hanna, George Hanna, Habeeb George, Abraham Sahley, and Nasef Salem.
1928, July 5 The church was put under the patronage of the Great Martyr George. The church keys were given to Father Elias M. Meena.
1928, November St. George Church celebrated its first Annual Thanksgiving Banquet.
1929, 1930. 1931, 1932 The community remodeled the interior of the church to resemble a Byzantine Style of Architecture. Holy icons and vessels were purchased from Jerusalem.
1933, May 7 Tragedy struck in the early hours of the morning.
1933, June 1 The parishioners of St. George Church gathered to rebuild their home. They organized teams of men, who worked in different shifts clearing the debris.
1933, December The rebuilding of the church basement was completed and remodeled, wherein the community was able to celebrate Divine Liturgy.
1934 The iconostasis was designed and constructed by David Deeb, a parishioner of St. George Church, made of dark Walnut, with inlaid Ebony, rosewood and ivory Nuggets and carvings. 52 icons were purchased from Jerusalem to adorn the iconostasis.
1935, June 9 The newly rebuilt St. George Church was consecrated by Archimandrite Antony Bashir. A new chapter in the life of St. George Church began.
1940, May St. George Church of Cleveland organized the first Sunday School in the Archdiocese. Its first Superintendent was Lillian Sahley.
1943, November 14 The mortgage for the newly constructed St. George Church was burned at a testimonial dinner at the Carter Hotel.
1951, May 27 Deacon James Meena, son of Father Elias Meena, was ordained to the priesthood at St. George Church of Cleveland.
1951 Father Elias M. Meena decided to move from Cleveland, Ohio to California.
1951-1960 St. George Church was blessed with several priests, among them Father George Simon, Father Paul Moses, Father Elias Nader and Father Thomas Skaff.
1954, November The Bishop Throne was built by David Deeb and was added to the church building.
1959, March 1 St. George Church witnessed and participated in the ordination of Deacon Philip Saliba to the priesthood by Metropolitan Antony Bashir. Father Philip Saliba was assigned to the pastorate of St. George Church of Cleveland.
1962-1963 A separate building for the Sunday School was initiated under the auspices of Father Philip Saliba.
1964, May 24 The dream of having an Educational Cultural Center came true. The Center was consecrated by Fathers Philip Saliba and Gibran Ramlaoui.
1964, September Father Philip entered St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary. Father George Simon, a retired priest living in Cleveland. was asked to serve in Father Philip's absence.
1966, February 15 Metropolitan Antony Bashir fell asleep in the Lord.
1966, March 16 Father Philip Saliba was nominated Archbishop of New York to succeed Metropolitan Antony Bashir.
1966, August 5 Father Philip Saliba was elected Archbishop of New York and all North America by the Holy Synod of Antioch.
1966, October Father Gibran Ramlaoui was assigned to the pastorate of St. George Church of Cleveland.
1968, November 24 The burning of the mortgage for the Educational Cultural Center & Sunday School Building took place.
1969, November 21 Father Gibran Ramlaoui was consecrated to the episcopacy, as Bishop of Australia, New Zealand and Dependencies, at St. George Church of Cleveland.
1970, February 15 Father Nicholas Vansuch was appointed by Metropolitan Philip Saliba to administer the St. George assisted by Father Elias Nader.
1970, September 1 Father James Meena was assigned to the pastorate of St. George Church of Cleveland.
1984, July Father Theodore Pulcini was assigned to the interim pastorate of St. George Church of Cleveland.
1985, August Father Malatius Hussney was assigned to the pastorate of St. George Church of Cleveland.
1988, December 8 With a vision to the future Father Malatius Hussney ignited the parish to purchase property in North Royalton, Ohio, upon which the community someday hope to build a church and a social hall.
1990, October 9 Subdeacon Yarid Sahley, a member of the community, was ordained to the Diaconate by Metropolitan Elias Kurban of Tripoli. Lebanon.
1993, November 21 Subdeacon Joseph Harb, a parishioner of St. George Church of Cleveland, was ordained to the Diaconate by Metropolitan Philip Saliba.
1994, April 1 Father Andre Issa was assigned to the pastorate of St. George Church of Cleveland.
1994, September25 Under the auspices of Father Andre Issa the community decided to undertake the renovation of the church facilities.
1994, November 1 The project of renovation began with painting and updating The temple of St. George Church of Cleveland.
1995, May The kitchen of St. George Church, "The Kitchen of our Beloved" dedicated to our departed ones, was remodeled.
1996, February The remodeling of the church hall started. 1996, October 11, the remodeling of the new hall was completed.
1996, April 28 The Rudolph J. George Memorial Library was dedicated. Through the generosity of Evonne George and her children St. George Church of Cleveland received its first Christian Library.
1996, November22 The newly remodeled church Hall was dedicated by Metropolitan Philip and was named "Yarid's Hall."
1996, November 22-24 St. George Church of Cleveland celebrated its 85th anniversary presided over by Metropolitan Philip.
1997, November 16 The newly remodeled "Georgian Hall," (the old gymnasium) was dedicated by Bishop Demetri.
1998, July Dedication of new Church School Chapel and Theater.
2001, July Dedication of new Baptistry in memory of George Thomas.
2001, November 18 35th Anniversary Celebration of His Eminence, The Most Reverend Metropolitan PHILIP to the Holy Episcopacy,
with the dedication of METROPOLITAN HALL. Only hall dedicated to His Eminence in the Archdiocese.
2002, March 17 Remodeled altar and solea in memory of Edna Simon.

2005, February 1 Father Stephen Ziton was assigned to pastorate of St. George Church.

2006, August 1 Very Rev. Fr. John Ojaimi was assigned to pastorate of St. George Church.

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List of the Patriarchs of Antioch

Primates of the Apostolic See of Antioch (Orthodox Succession)


1 45-53 The Episcopacy of St. Peter, the Apostle, in Antioch.

2 53 The Episcopacy of Eudoius in Antioch.

3 68 The Episcopacy of St. Ignatius (d. 107) in Antioch.

4 100 The Episcopacy of Heros in Antioch.

5 127 The Episcopacy of Cornelius in Antioch.

6 151 The Episcopacy of Heros II in Antioch.

7 169 The Episcopacy of Theophilus (d. 181/182) in Antioch.

8 188 The Episcopacy of Maximianus (d. 190/191) in Antioch.

9 191-212 The Episcopacy of Serapion in Antioch.

10 212-218 The Episcopacy of Aslipiades in Antioch.

11 218-231 The Episcopacy of Philetus in Antioch.

12 232 The Episcopacy of Zebinus (a.k.a. Zenobius) in Antioch.

13 240 The Episcopacy of St. Babylas in Antioch.

14 253 The Episcopacy of Fabius in Antioch.

15 256 The Episcopacy of Demetrian in Antioch.

16 263 The Episcopacy of Amphilochius in Antioch.

17 267 The Episcopacy of Paul of Samosata in Antioch.

18 270 The Episcopacy of Dmonus in Antioch.

19 273 The Episcopacy of Timaeus in Antioch.

20 277 The Episcopacy of Cyril in Antioch.

21 299 The Episcopacy of Tyrannion in Antioch.

22 308 The Episcopacy of Vitalius in Antioch.

23 314 The Episcopacy of Philogonius in Antioch.

24 324 The Episcopacy of Paulinus in Antioch.

25 325 The Episcopacy of Eustathius in Antioch.

26 332 The Episcopacy of Paulinus in Antioch.

27 332 The Episcopacy of Eulalius (5 months) in Antioch.

28 333 The Episcopacy of Euphronius in Antioch.

29 334 The Episcopacy of Placentius in Antioch.

30 341 The Episcopacy of Stephanus in Antioch.

31 345 The Episcopacy of Leontius in Antioch.

32 350 The Episcopacy of Eudoxius in Antioch.

33 354 The Episcopacy of Meletius in Antioch.

34 354 The Episcopacy of Eudoxius in Antioch.

35 357 The Episcopacy of Annias (a.k.a. Ammianus) in Antioch.

36 360 The Episcopacy of Eudozius in Antioch.

37 370 The Episcopacy of Dorotheus in Antioch.

38 371 The Episcopacy of Paulinus in Antioch.

39 376 The Episcopacy of Vitalius in Antioch.

40 384 The Episcopacy of Flavian in Antioch.

41 404 The Episcopacy of Porphyrius in Antioch.

42 408 The Episcopacy of Alexander in Antioch.

43 418 The Episcopacy of Theodotus in Antioch.

44 427 The Episcopacy of John in Antioch.

45 443 The Episcopacy of Domnus II in Antioch.

46 450 The Episcopacy of Maximus in Antioch.

See elevated to dignity of a Patriarchate by the Council of Chalcedon in 451

47 459 The Patriarchate of Basil in Antioch.

48 459 The Patriarchate of Acacius in Antioch.

49 461 The Patriarchate of Martyrius in Antioch.

50 465 The Patriarchate of Peter the Fuller in Antioch.

51 466 The Patriarchate of Julian in Antioch.

52 474 The Patriarchate of Peter the Fuller in Antioch.

53 475 The Patriarchate of John II in Antioch.

54 490 The Patriarchate of Stephen II in Antioch.

55 493 The Patriarchate of Stephen III in Antioch.

56 495 The Patriarchate of Callandion in Antioch.

57 495 The Patriarchate of John Codonatus in Antioch.

58 497 The Patriarchate of Palladius in Antioch.

59 505 The Patriarchate of Flavian II in Antioch.

60 513 The Patriarchate of Severus in Antioch.

61 518 The Patriarchate of Paul II in Antioch.

62 521 The Patriarchate of Euphrasius in Antioch.

63 526 The Patriarchate of Ephraim in Antioch.

64 546 The Patriarchate of Domnus III in Antioch.

65 561 The Patriarchate of Anastasius the Sinaite in Antioch.

66 571 The Patriarchate of Gregory in Antioch.

67 594 The Patriarchate of Anastasius the Sinaite in Antioch.

68 599 The Patriarchate of Anastasius II in Antioch.

69 610 The Patriarchate of Gregory II, in Antioch.

70 620 The Patriarchate of Anastasius III in Antioch.

71 628 The Patriarchate of Macedonius in Antioch.

72 640 The Patriarchate of George in Antioch.

73 656 The Patriarchate of Macarius in Antioch.

74 681 The Patriarchate of Theophanes in Antioch.

75 687 The Patriarchate of Sebastian in Antioch.

76 690 The Patriarchate of George II in Antioch.

77 695 The Patriarchate of Alexander in Antioch.

78 742 The Patriarchate of Stephen IV in Antioch.

79 748 The Patriarchate of Theophylact in Antioch.

80 767 The Patriarchate of Theodore in Antioch.

81 797 The Patriarchate of John IV in Antioch.

82 810 The Patriarchate of Job in Antioch.

83 826 The Patriarchate of Nicholas in Antioch.

84 834 The Patriarchate of Simeon in Antioch.

85 840 The Patriarchate of Elias in Antioch.

86 852 The Patriarchate of Theodosius in Antioch.

87 860 The Patriarchate of Nicholas II in Antioch.

88 879 The Patriarchate of Michael in Antioch.

89 890 The Patriarchate of Zacharias in Antioch.

90 902 The Patriarchate of George III in Antioch.

91 917 The Patriarchate of Job II in Antioch.

92 939 The Patriarchate of Eustratius in Antioch.

93 960 The Patriarchate of Christopher in Antioch.

94 966 The Patriarchate of Theodorus II in Antioch.

95 977 The Patriarchate of Agapius in Antioch.

96 995 The Patriarchate of John IV in Antioch.

97 1000 The Patriarchate of Nicholas III in Antioch.

98 1003 The Patriarchate of Elias II in Antioch.

99 1010 The Patriarchate of George Lascaris in Antioch.

100 1015 The Patriarchate of Macarius the Virtuous in Antioch.

101 1023 The Patriarchate of Eleutherius in Antioch.

102 1028 The Patriarchate of Peter III in Antioch.

103 1051 The Patriarchate of John VI in Antioch.

104 1062 The Patriarchate of Aemilian in Antioch.

105 1075 The Patriarchate of Theodosius II in Antioch.

106 1084 The Patriarchate of Nicephorus in Antioch.

107 1090 The Patriarchate of John VII in Antioch.

108 1155 The Patriarchate of John IX in Antioch.

109 1159 The Patriarchate of Euthymius in Antioch.

110 1164 The Patriarchate of Macarius in Antioch.

111 1166 The Patriarchate of Athanasius in Antioch.

112 1180 The Patriarchate of Theodosius III in Antioch.

113 1182 The Patriarchate of Elias III in Antioch.

114 1184 The Patriarchate of Christopher II in Antioch.

115 1185 The Patriarchate of Theodore IV (Balsamon) in exile in Constantinople.

116 1199 The Patriarchate of Joachim in exile in Constantinople.

117 1219 The Patriarchate of Dorotheus in exile in Constantinople.

118 1245 The Patriarchate of Simeon II in exile in Constantinople.

119 1268 The Patriarchate of Euthymius II in exile in Constantinople.

120 1269 The Patriarchate of Theodosius IV in Antioch.

121 1276 The Patriarchate of Theodosius V in Antioch.

122 1285 The Patriarchate of Arsenius in Antioch.

123 1293 The Patriarchate of Dionysius in Antioch.

124 1308 The Patriarchate of Mark in Antioch.

Patriarchal See transferred to Damascus in 1342

125 1342 The Patriarchate of Ignatius II in Damascus.

127 1386 The Patriarchate of Pachomius in Damascus.

128 1393 The Patriarchate of Nilus in Damascus.

129 1401 The Patriarchate of Michael III in Damascus.

130 1410 The Patriarchate of Pachomius II in Damascus.

131 1411 The Patriarchate of Joachim II in Damascus.

132 1426 The Patriarchate of Mark III in Damascus.

133 1436 The Patriarchate of Dorotheus II in Damascus.

134 1454 The Patriarchate of Michael IV in Damascus.

135 1476 The Patriarchate of Mark IV in Damascus.

136 1476 The Patriarchate of Joachim III in Damascus.

137 1483 The Patriarchate of Gregory III in Damascus.

139 1497-1523 The Patriarchate of Dorotheus III in Damascus.

140 1523-1541 The Patriarchate of Michael V in Damascus.

141 1541-1543 The Patriarchate of Dorotheus IV in Damascus.

142 1543-1576 The Patriarchate of Joachim IV (Ibn Juma) in Damascus.

143 1577-1581 The Patriarchate of Michael VI (Sabbagh) in Damascus.

144 1581-1592 The Patriarchate of Joachim V in Damascus.

145 1593-1604 The Patriarchate of Joachim VI in Damascus.

146 1604-1611 The Patriarchate of Dorotheus V in Damascus.

147 1611-1619 The Patriarchate of Athanasius III (Dabbas) in Damascus.

148 1619-1631 The Patriarchate of Ignatius III (Attiyah) in Damascus.

149 1635-1636 The Patriarchate of Euthymius III in Damascus.

150 1636-1648 The Patriarchate of Euthymius IV in Damascus.

151 1648-1672 The Patriarchate of Michael III (Zaim) in Damascus.

152 1674-1684 The Patriarchate of Neophytos I in Damascus.

153 1686-1694 The Patriarchate of Athanasius IV (Dabbas) in Damascus.

154 1694-1720 The Patriarchate of Cyril III (Zaim) in Damascus.

155 1720-1724 The Patriarchate of Athanasius IV (Dabbas) in Damascus.

Separation of the Melkites. The Greek Patriarchs

156 1724-1766 The Patriarchate of Sylvester I in Damascus.

157 1766-1767 The Patriarchate of Philemon I in Damascus.

158 1767-1791 The Patriarchate of Daniel I in Damascus.

159 1792-1813 The Patriarchate of Euthymius I in Damascus.

160 1813-1823 The Patriarchate of Seraphim I in Damascus.

161 1843-1859 The Patriarchate of Methodius I in Damascus.

162 1850-1885 The Patriarchate of Hierotheos I in Damascus.

163 1885-1891 The Patriarchate of Gerasimos I in Damascus.

164 1892-1898 The Patriarchate of Spyridon I in Damascus.

Restoration of the Arab Patriarchs

165 1899-1906 The Patriarchate of Meletius II (Doumani) in Damascus.

166 1906-1928 The Patriarchate of Gregory IV(Haddad) in Damascus.

167 1928-1958 The Patriarchate of Alexander III (Tahan) in Damascus.

168 1958-1970 The Patriarchate of Theodosius VI (Abourjaily) in Damascus.

169 1970-1979 The Patriarchate of Elias IV (Muawad) in Damascus.

170 1979-2012 The Patriarchate of Ignatius IV (Hazim ) in Damascus.

171 2012-        The patriarchate of John X (Yazigi) in Damascus.



















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