Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral

In 1880, the first Greek immigrants, primarily from the region around Sparta, settled in Detroit. The group rented a second story auditorium in the Peck Building at 42 Broadway Street for use as a church. The parish was named Evangelismos Theotokou and was chartered by the State of Michigan as an Ecclesiastical Corporation on March 25, 1910.

In 1913 a church was constructed at 660 Macomb Street. A day school was erected on newly acquired land just east of the church in 1914. In 1949 The name of the church was changed to Central Greek Orthodox Church Evangelismos (a Greek name derived from the Annunciation of The Virgin Mary). When the parish was proclaimed the Cathedral for the Seventh Diocese District of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit in 1962, the name was changed to Annunciation Cathedral.

In 1966, land on E. Lafayette Street was acquired from the City of Detroit in return for the site on Macomb Street. Ground was broken for a new church, and the congregation moved into the completed basement in the spring of 1968. The official “Door Opening Ceremony” signaling the dedication was held on March 20, 1977. In 1990, the walls were raised to their current height and the dome added. The Cross was put in place on March 26, 1996 and the first Iconography was completed on March 21, 1999.

Following Byzantine tradition, the Cathedral exterior is almost devoid of decoration. The sanctuary is separated from the nave by an altar screen. This iconostasis is divided into panels, each containing an icon, or sacred image. The altar is visible through a central opening called “The Royal Door.” The inner shell of the dome is reserved for a representation of Christ.