Kidist Mariam (St. Mary) Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Atlanta inaugurated a new building on Saturday, August 29, 2009, in the presence of His Holiness Abune Merkorios, Patriarch of Ethiopia, and other dignitaries.
(News Release by Kidist Mariam Church) — The Atlanta Kidist Mariam Ethiopian Orthodox Cathedral was founded and established in 1987. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s deep tradition goes back to the fourth century A.D. at which time the Church was formed when the Christian church broke off into its two main branches: Orthodox and Roman Catholic.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has been a source of spiritual and cultural education to the people of Ethiopia. The church’s heritage goes back almost two thousand years and has been a major contributor to the development of modern Christianity.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo church is one of the oldest churches in the world. As a result Ethiopia is considered one of the longest lived Christian countries in the world.
Initially, Kidist Mariam Church was serving its congregation in a chapel rented from Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Atlanta. Since that time, the church has taken the lead in providing services to meet the spiritual, cultural, and economic needs of the Ethiopian immigrant population in the Greater Atlanta area. As the size of the congregation grew faster than expected, members of the church, encouraged by their strong conviction and deep religious dedication, purchased the current church located at 266 Robin Street Decatur, Georgia, in 1995. However, the Church was still unable to provide essential services for many hundreds of Ethiopians. Again, with members and all Christians’ fulfillment of their spiritual obligations, the church acquired and fully paid for 5.5 acres of land, to build bigger facilities.
Now that this complex is completed, the largest and most traditionally built Ethiopian Orthodox Church ever constructed outside of Ethiopia will provide adequate space for both worship and community outreach activities for many Ethiopians. The church plans to offer classes in health promotion and disease prevention, anti-crime meetings, social and youth activities, and English language training, educational and employment referrals and senior citizens activities. These services will be available to the entire Ethiopian community and other interested individuals, regardless of faith commitment. Members of our congregation continuously pray that God grants them guidance, unity, and vision in order to utilize the facilities of the new cathedral for the glory of His Holy Name.