Fifty years ago, the Greek Orthodox community of the Mississippi Coast got a chapel to benefit both permanent and temporary residents.
On May 20 and 21, His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of the Metropolis of Atlanta will visit the Coast to help celebrate the golden anniversary of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church at 255 Beauvoir Road in Biloxi. The Golden Gala Celebration will culminate with Hierarchial Divine Liturgy and a Grand Luncheon Banquet where he will address the congregation, and Russian dancers and singers will entertain.
Holy Trinity “was created to serve as a spiritual home for military families serving their country at Keesler Air Force Base, where many of the Orthodox families attended liturgy,” according to a press release from Holy Trinity.
Holy Trinity began when Lt. Col. Father Michael Margitich, an Orthodox Air Force chaplain, in 1967 told the Coast’s Greek Orthodox community the U.S. Air Force was going to demolish a chapel and build a new one. Instead of demolishing it, the contractor was persuaded to give the church to the Orthodox community for the cost of moving it to its present location. So the chapel was moved in four sections to land donated by Will Rich.
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It started as a mission chapel under the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in New Orleans. In 1983, Biloxi’s Holy Trinity received its charter from the Metropolis of Atlanta. In 2014, Alexios came to the Coast for Holy Trinity’s consecration.
Today, Holy Trinity serves all Orthodox — including Greek, Russian, Ukranian, Romanian, Moldovian, Georgian Belarusian and Kazakhstani — on the Gulf Coast. To the community at large, Holy Trinity is perhaps best known as the home of the annual International Christmas Festival and Pastry Sale, where traditional foods from 12 Eastern European countries are served.