A Brief History of our Church

The Greek community in Pawtucket began somewhere near 1896 with approximately six to ten young men who immigrated from towns and villages of Greece. They rented halls and houses in the general area of East Avenue to hold Divine Liturgy services whenever a priest was available. Occasionally, services were performed by a layperson.

By 1910, the community had grown to approximately 75 members. The building of a church was a burning desire and our founding fathers solicited funds. Each and every member deprived themselves and their families to donate to this dream. In one year they raised a grand total of $750 and in 1911 property was bought on George Street. The first Parish Council, consisting of 7 members was formed on February 22, 1912, and the Assumption Church received a religious corporation charter from the Sate of Rhode Island.

In November 1912 ceremonies for the laying of the cornerstone took place on the George Street site. On October 26, 1913, the First Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the new, one-story church, which cost $7500. On June 13, 1914, by-laws were written and the church was given its official name, “Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.”

In 1925 the community purchased property on Armistice Boulevard (then known as Brook Street) as a cemetery for the church. In 1952 the community bought 27 acres of land on River Road in Lincoln to be used for church outings. This property would later be taken by the state to make way for Rt. 295. Through all of its growth the church, with its 75 devoted and dedicated members, never carried a mortgage.

Urban Renewal displaced the church on George Street, and on May 30, 1966, ground was broken at 97 Walcott Street, the former Ott Mansion, in preparation for building the present church. Services were held at the renovated chapel in the former carriage house on the new property.

In January 1967 construction of the present church began. The Mansion House was renovated for offices and living quarters for the priest and his family. The parish grew to its present size of 350 families.

Today we are a thriving parish. Our Greek School teaches our youngsters the Greek language and its culture. We have a renowned Dance Troupe. Our Philoptochos Society supports its church and many other philanthropies. We are a strong presence in the community, locally and regionally. We are proud of our past and look forward to a prosperous future.


For an interesting article regarding the history of Greek immigration to our area, click on the following, as printed in the Providence Journal, March 30, 1913