About Our Parish

St. Demetrius Orthodox Church

St. Demetrius Orthodox Church

St Demetrius Mission was started in 1982 by a group of Orthodox Christians under the guidance of Subdeacon Michael Karasevich. These were families who had retired to Naples or who were regular winter visitors. Services were held with the blessing of Bishop (now Archbishop) Dmitri in the chapel of Pittman’s Funeral Home in the Tamiami Trail. The priest at the time was Fr George Gerov who came over from Miami on a regular basis for the Liturgy and other services as required.

By 1988 the group had grown in strength and felt the need for a permanent spiritual home and a property was acquired on Price St which was used as a church while an adition was added to form the present St Demetrius Orthodox Church. The Church has a seating capacity of approximately 100 and proudly boasts a gold cupola on its roof. Its Iconostas has Icons by the late Nicholas Roadway who also wrote the Icons for the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Miami. The new Church was consecrated by Bishop Dmitri in July 1988.

In 1991 Fr Ian P Hammett was appointed to be the first permanent Priest of St Demetrius. Fr Ian came from the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in London, England and had been ordained by Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh.

In 1992, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Mission, a new Altar which had been made by parishioner Alexander Leon was consecrated by Archbishop Dmitri and relics of St Herman of Alaska were placed in it. Assisting Archbishop Dmitri were past Rectors—Fr George Gerov and Fr Ian Hammett.

In 2005, Fr Gleb McFatter, a graduate of the Late Vocations Program of the Orthodox Church in America, was installed as Rector.

The Mission has now grown to a regular membership of 44 which is supplemented by a further 60/70 during the “season” which runs from October to May each year. The current membership consists of Carpatho-Rusyn, Georgian, Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian, Macedonians and Americans of various ethnic backgrounds. St Demetrius and its pastor always have a warm welcome for any visitors and there is plenty of time to get to know each other over coffee and cakes at the coffee hour following the Sunday Liturgy.