Our Parish History

The first Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis was built in 1900 on land which is now part of the University of Minnesota campus. The site of the original church is now occupied by the Weismann Museum. 

Within two years the University had appropriated the land, and in 1909 a new church was built on Lake St. and 10th Avenue in Minneapolis. The church on Lake St. was demolished in 1955, and in the spring of 1956 the cornerstone was laid for the current site of the church on the eastern shore of Bde Maka Ska (formerly Lake Calhoun) at 35th St. and Irving Ave.

Our beautiful church site was originally the location of a cabin built by Samuel and Gideon Pond in 1834, brothers who were missionaries to the Dakota. The first services on the current site were held at Easter in the spring of 1957, and the church was consecrated in early May 1961.

You can read more about the Pond brothers, their missionary work and history about the surrounding area here.

The Reverand Father Anthony Coniaris was the parish priest when the current church building was erected during the third period of growth for the parish. Fr. Anthony was known nationally for his extensive authorship, lectures, and retreats. On an international level, he made his greatest contribution by forming the publishing company “Light and Life” which disseminated Orthodox literature to countries worldwide. Please read more about Fr. Anthony’s contributions and life.

Our Mission

To proclaim, celebrate, and share the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ in accordance with the Orthodox Christian Tradition.

Hear… the good news of what God has done in Jesus Christ (preaching, evangelism, mission)

the poor, suffering, and needy, and bear witness to the Kingdom of God by working for social and economic justice;

in order to be sanctified by the Holy Spirit (worship, the Sacraments, fasting)

our lives with each other (fellowship, meals, social and cultural events)

in knowledge by learning the new life in Christ and the Orthodox Tradition (catechism, Bible study, education)

To help fulfill our Mission, we are providing meaningful opportunities for our children to grow in their faith and are inviting full participation and fellowship for all parishioners in all parish activities. In addition, St. Mary’s is offering its gifts as individuals and as a parish community in accordance with our Mission to those within our parish, and people and organizations in need locally, nationally, and globally.