History of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh

Greek Orthodox Christians have lived in the area now bounded by the current Metropolis of Pittsburgh since the later quarter of the 19th century, and the first parish (now called St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral) was founded in 1907.  It was in 1955 under Archbishop Michael of North and South America that a new Archdiocesan District, the Sixth, would be commissioned with its offices in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  A local consortium spearheaded by parish leadership and women of Philoptochos acquired a home in the historic Shadyside neighborhood (5201 Ellsworth Avenue) to serve as the headquarters for the new District, and in December 1955 His Eminence Archbishop Michael with other concelebrating hierarchs and clergy ordained the V. Rev. Polyefktos Finfinnis to the episcopacy (as Bishop of Tropaiou) to be the first Hierarch serving the needs of the Sixth District.

At the time, the Sixth District was comprised of 57 communities in western and central Pennsylvania, northern Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, and two additional communities, one in Jamestown, New York, and the other in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.  Over time, this District boundary would change with the formation of the District headquartered in Detroit, and the boundary would further change following the change in the Archdiocesan Charter and Regulations forming the local Diocese in 1977-78.

In the 66 years of an Greek Orthodox Episcopal presence in Pittsburgh, 6 Hierarchs have served the District-then-Diocese-now-Metropolis: Bishops Polyefktos, Theodosios, Gerasimos, and Anthimos, and Metropolitans Maximos and (presently) Savas of Pittsburgh.  Throughout their ministries they fostered deep connections with the local parishes of the area, promoted education in the faith and empowerment of local leadership, and ensured that faithful clergy would serve the parishes so the life in each community would continue to grow and flourish.

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