EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, NJ
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church was founded on November 18, 1982. Fifteen families initiated the effort to establish a church community in the mainland area of Atlantic County. The Divine Liturgy was first celebrated in a gymnasium at the Methodist Church in Linwood, New Jersey. On Palm Sunday, 1983, the first Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the newly constructed church in Egg Harbor Township. Archbishop Iakovos, of blessed memory, presided at the Thyranoixia Ceremony and the church was named Holy Trinity.
In the early years, the parish was small, but thanks to great sacrifices of time, talent, and treasure made by the faithful; the parish was able to grow steadily and pay off the mortgage of the church building. Father Demetrios Constantelos was the priest who oversaw these efforts for the first nine years, while also teaching as a full-time professor at Richard Stockton College. Up to the present time, Father Constantelos stays highly active with parish life and is revered as the “Pappou” of our parish.
In time, a pavilion was constructed behind the church in order to house the very popular Greek Festival. The parking lot was expanded and three acres of land were purchased adjacent to the nine acre property upon which the church was situated.
The church was consecrated on October 14, 1990, by Metropolitan Silas, of blessed memory. In the early 1990s, the parish was also served by Father Theodore Sideris and Father Ambrosios Zographos (now Metropolitan Ambrosios of Korea).
In August of 1995, Father George Liacopulos was appointed as the parish priest. In 1996, the parish embraced the stewardship program of the Archdiocese. In the late 1990s, under the leadership of Fr. Constantelos and with the great effort of many Holy Trinity parishioners and others from neighboring parishes, the Friends of Hellenic Studies was established in order to promote and support Hellenic Studies at Richard Stockton College. Over the years, numerous educational, cultural, and fundraising events have been organized. Holy Trinity has provided faculty members and dedicated members of the Friends to Richard Stockton College.
The parish has enjoyed a sister relationship with the Church in Korea for several years. Many fundraisers have been organized to support the Church in Korea and a very dedicated missionary, Maria Fotiou, has made six long-term trips to Korea.
The philanthropic work of the Philoptochos Society has increased steadily over the years. Numerous charities are supported and many visitations to the shut-ins are made. The Orthodox Christian Mission Center has received a great deal of support from the parish, and two mission teams have been sent to Project Mexico in order to construct houses for needy families.
The parish has also been blessed with dynamic teachers and youth workers. The annual church day camp, the Christmas program, the Holy Friday Retreat, the St. Stephen the Deacon Service Program, monthly Peanut Butter & Jelly Nights for Sister Jeans Kitchen, Walk-a-thons for Mission, Christmas caroling, and GOYA Lock-Ins are amongst some of the highlight events.
In March of 1998, the parish house was constructed on the property adjacent to the church property. Soon afterwards, a small chapel was constructed and dedicated to St. Nektarios. On Palm Sunday, April 1, 2007, the long-awaited dream of constructing a community center next to the church was finally realized as our parishioners enjoyed their first fellowship hour in the Fellowship Hall. At the Grand Opening, Sunday April 22, 2007, five hundred people gathered for the festivities as our spiritual father, Metropolitan Evangelos, blessed the new Community Center.
Since that time, the Trinity Learning Center Pre-School & Kindergarten has been established and currently has over 300 students. In addition to the regular state-approved curriculum, the children also study Religious Education and Modern Greek.
The new Community Center also hosts Gamblers Anonymous Meetings, Boy Scout and Girl Scout Meetings, overnight camps for disabled children (WAVE Camp), serves as a polling station for elections, and provides greatly needed space for the many ministries and programs of the parish. The 300th Anniversary of Egg Harbor Township was held in our gymnasium in the Spring of 2010.
On October 18, 2012, the parish purchased a 9.5 acre parcel of land across the street from the Church. For several years, this land was used for festival parking. Now it will be developed for festival parking, youth ministries & camps, and possibly as a Senior Center.
On November 17, 2012, the 30th Anniversary of our parish was celebrated with great joy. Icons of Christ the Philanthropist and St. Elpida (Hope) were dedicated by our Philoptochos in loving gratitude to Father Demetrios and Presvytera Stella Constantelos. The icons will be placed in the narthex of our Church.
In March of 2013, the parish took the momentous step of hiring Ginny Kramvis as the first Outreach Minister. Her responsibilities include: reaching out to lapsed parishioners, evangelizing our neighbors in the community at large, organizing a welcoming committee, and promoting parish ministries via various media sources.
By God’s grace, many blessings have been enjoyed since 1982. With God’s continuing grace and guidance, the faithful at Holy Trinity look forward to serving our Lord Jesus Christ in His Church so that He may be glorified and so many others may be able to enter the life of the Church and enjoy the gift of salvation.