Rev. Fr. George D. Konstantopoulos, Protopresbyter
Fr. George was ordained as a Greek Orthodox priest in 1969. With 43 years of experience in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Fr. George has worked to establish balance between providing for the spiritual needs of the Parish, while ensuring the stability and growth of the Parish. He is devoted to the spiritual growth of Greek Orthodox People and Parishes, and the expansion and development of Greek Orthodox churches, schools, and communities. Particular success in establishing community oriented cultural organizations and events that spread our religion and Hellenism.
Fr. George has served as Associate Pastor at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, Chicago, IL; Parish Priest at Sts. Markela & Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Ft. Walton Beach, FL; Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, New Orleans, LA; and as Proistamenos at St. John Greek Orthodox Church, Tampa, Fl where he served for 20 years.
Fr. George is committed to giving first priority to his religious and clerical duties with an emphasis on providing comfort and guidance where needed most: The sick, the grieving, those imprisoned, and where tragedy has struck. He strives to provide strength and structure to those who face suffering and seeming hopelessness. It is in these situations that his years of training, service, and love permit him to bring this spiritual message and uplifting Word to the grief stricken, allowing them to find solace and calm in His World.
Fr. George enthusiastically counsels the young in the ways of the Church, and their Hellenic culture. Striving to provide guidance to the young and old, he offers Bible Studies oriented to the needs of the group. He is deeply committed to offering individual catechetical instruction for those who wish to convert to the Greek Orthodox Church, ultimately administering the Sacrament of Christmation to those who are ready.
Ministries: Community Service
Fr. George is committed to non-prejudicial and non-biased commitment to the Parish and the community. He was instrumental in organizing the "Dialogue of Orthodox Clergy and Catholic Clergy in Tampa Bay." An organization oriented towards exploring methods to improve the community through the promotion of love and charitable works.
He introduced studies in Greek heritage and culture by establishing a "Hellenic Cultural and Heritage Week" in Tampa. Under the guidance of the Bishop of Atlanta, he also organized the "Hellenic Cultural Association of Tampa Bay". Fr. George also introduced the first Greek Orthodox 'radio ministry' in the Tampa Bay area, serving over one million people. Other activities and ministerial efforts have includes: organized and became first President of the Greek Cultural Association; represented the Diocese of Chicago on television; acted as the Greek Orthodox representative to civic associations and local governments at each Parish served; and provided for a Merchant Marine Ministry while in New Orleans, LA, and christened the El Paso Savannah merchant ship.
Fr. George is strongly committed to youth ministry. He initiated the longest running Junior Olympics program in the Florida region, bringing Orthodox youth, ages 12-17 together for the fellowship of sports and Orthodox religious teaching from an area covering over 150 miles and 10 Churches, spanning 15 years.
Assisted in the organization of the Diocese of Chicago Youth Camp in Lake Geneva.
Fr. George also provided the leadership to expand the Parish Day School from a struggling 130 students to a student body approaching 200, while at the same time creating a reputation as one of the finest private schools in the area.
Fr. George assisted Rev. Fr. Ephraim, founder and Abbot of Greek Orthodox Monasticism in the US, in establishing the Annunciation of the Theotokos and Panagia Vlaheron Monasteries in Florida. Thereafter, provided the spiritual leadership and guidance on community relations and financial management to these Monasteries under the direction of the Bishop of Atlanta.
Church Development & Fund Raising
Fr. George assisted in the administration of Churches in Biloxi, MS and Baton Rouge, LA while Dean of the Cathedral inn New Orleans. While serving the Ft. Walton Beach, hr provided the guidance to help establish a Parish in Panama City, FL, and performed duties as Chaplain for Elgin Air Force Base.
He also provided the guidance and leadership required to establish a unified building committee and fund raisers that led to the construction of new Church facilities at Holy Trinity Cathedral. This was accomplished after the parish had been renting buildings to conduct Liturgy for three years.
He also brought the Tampa Bay community together to build a $1,000,000 Community Center and then pay off the mortgage within six years. He also led the building of a Community Center at Sts. Markela & Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church.
Fr. George established an annual festival as the primary fundraiser in the Tampa Community. This festival has been conducted for 17 consecutive years.
EDUCATION & PERSONAL
Hellenic College, Brookline, MA, Bachelor of Arts, 1966
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary, Brookline, MA, Master of Divinity, 1969
Languages: Fluent in Greek, translating legal records and official international documents.
Fr. George is married with four children and three grandchildren.