Holy trinity

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church to reopen after 2015 fire

Workers appear to be rushing to complete the job of rebuilding the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church on Old Coachman Road in Clearwater, but their work has been anything but rushed.

Teams worked meticulously to preserve what was left of the shrine after a fire nearly destroyed it in February 2015.

The distinctive golden dome was built around a precious icon of the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus. After the fire, the icon was sealed and protected while the structure surrounding it was restored.

Father James Paris and many others ran as the church burned down on February 7, 2015. Investigators say it was caused by a candle. The fire was extinguished, but the faith of the congregation was not.

Since the fire, they have organized services in the gymnasium and the church has grown.

“Today, when churches are closing across the country, we thrive and are able to grow and give more to our community. It’s amazing, ”said George Mantzaris, president of the church board.

He says they have received donations and pledges of over $ 6 million.

The architecture of the church is classical Byzantine, steeped in Greek tradition and anchored by icons rescued from fire. The original church was consecrated in December 1969.

They are on track to reopen for the 50th anniversary celebration.

“Our 50th anniversary is Christmas Eve, so we will have Christmas Eve services here at the new shrine,” said Michael Kastrenakes, former chair of the church board.

They promise that their new church rising from the ashes will carry their traditions into the future.