In the winter of 1958 a number of Greek Orthodox Christians met to discuss their common need for a parish in Chicago’s northern suburbs. The state of Illinois recognized the community of Saints Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church in 1959. Around the same time, Sunday school classes began at the Crow Island School in Winnetka.
On March 25, 1960, the new community was granted an ecclesiastical charter from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America and worship services began. In 1963, groundbreaking ceremonies and blessing of the site took place with Bishop Meletios officiating. On November 15, 1964, the first Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the new sanctuary in Glenview.
Rapid growth followed and prompted the construction of the Community Center, completed in 1974, adjacent to the Church. The sanctuary was consecrated on November 19, 1978 by Archbishop Iakovos.
Using English in the Divine Liturgy has been a consistent hallmark for meeting the needs of parish families. A strong Church School program from the parish beginnings continues to the present and in the 1980s our parish evolved to include a strong focus on Youth Programs and associated staff leadership. Over the years many ministries were added with strong lay leadership including Cancer Support, Divorce Rebuilders.
In 1991, the parish purchase a two acre parcel of land that became the north parking lot. In 2001, the beautiful dome of the sanctuary was restored and embellished with additional iconography to include Christ as Pantokrator, the heavenly liturgy and procession of angels, along with 17 different saints. Around the same time, our Agape Preschool program began and now enrolls approximately 35 students in four classes including kindergarten.
Beginning in 2015, the parish embarked on a strategic planning process with a vision horizon for 2025. That current plan enabled the parish to engage a full-time youth director in addition to two priests in 2018. In 2019 the parish also engaged a full time parish administrator. The plan was augmented in spring 2019 through formation of a Capital Master plan, which sets the course of annual projects for facility maintenance and improvements, including roof and HVAC, offices, bathrooms, ADA entrances, sanctuary, and an aspirational new chapel.
Since its founding, Saints Peter and Paul has been a parish of growth and inclusion. We believe in creating an environment and a community that welcomes not only those of Greek descent, but also Orthodox Christians from other diverse ethnic backgrounds, couples in interfaith marriages, and seekers hoping to learn more about Orthodoxy.
The head priests/pastors who have served our parish community:
1960 – 1962 Fr. Kyrillos Petrovas
1962 – 1973 Fr. Dennis Latto
1974 – 2000 Fr. George Scoulos
2001 – 2012 Fr. Angelo Artemas
2012 – 2014 Fr. James Dokos
2014 – 2019 Fr. Panagiotis Boznos
2019 – present Fr. Richard Demetrius Andrews & Dcn. Theodore Saclarides (since 2016).
Several associate priests were ordained or worked first as youth directors before beginning esteemed service in their own parishes including Fr. John Demos, Dcn. John Suhayda, Fr. Mark Elliott, Fr. Vladimir Christy, Fr. George Pyle, Fr. Peter Pappas, Fr. George Gartelos, Fr. Andrew Georganas, Fr. Michael Prevas, Fr. Alexander Lukashonok, Fr. Michael Stearns, Fr. Demetri Tobias, Fr. Kosmas Kallis. Two priests were attached during their time assigned as military chaplains to Great Lakes Naval Station: Fr. John Kalantzis and Fr. Andrew Kearns.