After 18 years of patience and persistence, St. Athanasius Orthodox Church took occupancy of its brand new building on Hollister Avenue and Sumida Gardens Lane in January of this year.
The parish began site preparations in January 2013, and construction began last spring. Very rapidly, a beautiful new building designed by architect Christ Kamages rose up on Hollister Avenue and has attracted the attention and curiosity of the entire community.
The new building is the first phase of a multi-phased building project. The general contractor on the project was Scott Jacobs of S.C. Jacobs Construction.
St. Athanasius Church started in Isla Vista as a group of Evangelical Christians who eventually converted as an entire parish to Orthodox Christianity in 1987. In 1987, the leaders of the church realized that they were quickly outgrowing their limited facilities in Isla Vista on Embarcadero del Mar. When the pursuit of a permit to build a larger church in Isla Vista failed, they purchased 21 acres of land on Hollister Avenue in Goleta in 1996, and began the long process of filing for a building permit.
The new facilities will accommodate the church's growing membership and its outreach efforts within the Goleta community, including its St. Brigid Fellowship which has served the poor and homeless for over 10 years.
The second phase of the project is a domed Byzantine structure that will be used exclusively for worship. When it is completed, the current building will be used for social gatherings, education and administration. A date for the beginning of Phase Two construction has not been set as of yet.
"We are very excited about the opportunities that our new church home will bring for serving our greater community," said head pastor of St. Athanasius, the Rev. Nicholas Kurt Speier.
From 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 3, St. Athanasius Church will welcome city and county dignitaries, friends, colleagues and local residents to an Open House. The church is located at 300 Sumida Gardens Lane.
The next day, on Sunday, St. Athanasius Church will receive an award from Goleta Valley Beautiful for beautifying the city of Goleta with its beautiful new building and landscaping.
Click here for more information on St. Athanasius Orthodox Church.