If a city’s vitality and richness of life depends on its faith and culture, then you need not fear Greeks bearing gifts. As a matter of fact, Cheyenne owes its unique character to the Greeks who left poverty and oppression behind them while seeking a better life in the American West at the turn of the twentieth century from halfway across the world. Like many immigrants, they came to Wyoming to support their families with the hope of returning to Greece. They worked in mines and on the rails, which had brought them here in the first place. In their spare time, they also managed to establish Wyoming’s first Orthodox Church in 1922 on the corner of Twenty-Seventh and Thomes—the same street corner where Archbishop Athenagoras of blessed memory stood in 1931 on the day of its consecration, pointing to the dome of the State Capital saying: “Never forget how blessed you are to be here. Always be proud to be both Greek and American.”1 Athenagoras was as insightful as he was prophetic. By the time construction was complete in 1934, Saints Constantine and Helen had become more than a Church building. It was a spiritual home for Orthodox Christians, and was well on its way to becoming Cheyenne’s Orthodox Church.
Saints Constantine and Helen upon completion circa 1935, Photo credit, Andy Pappas.
We are blessed at Saints Constantine and Helen to have predecessors who were faithful in pursuing a hope for a better life. As we honor our past, and build upon our future, our prayer is that our spiritual family will continue to grow as we serve our brothers and sisters inCheyenne realizing that “no one can lay a foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”2
Whether it be in prayer, helping those in need, or partying at the Annual Greek Festival, Cheyenne’s Orthodox Church has been sharing a culture of faith, love, and hospitality for nearly a century. Come join us! Our doors are always open!
Saints Constantine and Helen today! Photo Credit - Aida Fino.
1. Archbishop ATHENAGORAS later served as the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and leader of all Orthodox Christians from 1948-1974.
2. 1st Corinthians 3:11