Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral is the proto-cathedral of the Metropolis of Denver, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, under the spiritual authority of His Eminence Metropolitan ISAIAH of Denver. In 1917 the Annunciation community organized the first Greek Orthodox Church in Houston, located on Walker Avenue in the present-day Tranquility Park in downtown Houston. Required to move because of city construction and its own expanding membership, the congregation erected its present sanctuary on Yoakum Boulevard in 1952. Annunciation gained the distinction of “Cathedral” in 1967 when Houston became the See of the 8th Diocesan District of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America. While the Metropolitan Center is now located in Denver, Colorado, Annunciation Cathedral remains one of the largest Orthodox churches in America and a center for Orthodox education, ministry, and Greek cultural events in the Houston area.The Annunciation Cathedral complex includes the Cathedral sanctuary; the Polemanakos Educational Building; the Steve G. Caloudas Athletic Center; the S. P. Martel Hall, with kitchen and banquet facilities for 500, and the Cathedral bookstore; the Administration wing; the Festival Center; and the St. George Chapel. An outdoor courtyard with fountain, reminiscent of Greece, provides an attractive space for visiting outdoors, with an adjacent playground and two nurseries for the children. The annual Annunciation Greek Festival, held on the Cathedral campus each year during the first weekend in October, is said to be one of the largest festivals of its kind in the United States. It originated in 1967 as “Greek Night,” held in celebration of the Cathedralâ€™s fiftieth anniversary. The following year saw the institution of an annual Festival to celebrate Greek culture, food and Orthodox life. Today, the Festival draws some 40,000 visitors over a period of four days, and is one of the tourist attractions of the Houston area.