Welcome to the official website of the Annunciation Church in Memphis Tennessee!  We love meeting our guests and visitors face to face, and hope you will find comfort in visiting our community for a worship service or joining our family. While our parish is under the canonical jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit, many of the faithful of our community are not of Greek decent.  We pray you will find helpful information on this website that will guide you to experience the joy and love of Christ. Please contact us if you would like to visit or discuss opportunities to join our community.


Brief History

The Greek community in Memphis measures its time from 1891 with the arrival of James Avdalis. By 1904, there were twenty families with religious fervor and financial means to invite the first priest to Memphis, establishing the first Greek Orthodox Church in a simple building on Front Street. Some time after it was moved to a building on Second Street, across from Court Square, where it remained until 1920. A lot was bought at 3rd & Poplar for $2,205 in 1920, where a more permanent church building was built, with the first Divine Liturgy there in January 1921.


In 1955, the Annunciation community moved to its current location at 573 North Highland Street in Memphis with Father Nicholas Vieron as parish priest. We remain here today, now with Father Simon Thomas as the presiding priest, a diverse community composed not only of families of Greek descent, but also including Orthodox families who have come to Orthodoxy from other faiths.


Being an Orthodox Christian


The Orthodox Christian Church, also called the “Eastern Orthodox,” “Greek Orthodox” Church, or simply “the Orthodox Church,” is the oldest Christian Church in the world, founded by Jesus Christ and with its beginnings chronicled in the New Testament. (Our own Patriarchate of Constantinople, one of the most ancient of Orthodox churches, was originally founded Saint Andrew). All other Christian churches and groups can be traced historically back to it.

With roughly 250 million members worldwide, Orthodoxy is second in size only to the Roman Catholic Church.  However, in spite of its size, relatively few Americans are aware that it exists.

The Orthodox Church has deep and lasting roots in Christian antiquity and is steeped in rich Biblical tradition. It has been the context of Christian living for millions of Christians for almost twenty centuries.

Yet one cannot understand the Orthodox Church merely by reading about it. Just as reading a biography about someone is no substitute for knowing the biography’s subject personally, Orthodox Christianity must be experienced firsthand to be understood. If you are in the Memphis area, we welcome and invite you to come worship with us, to “come, taste and see” (Psalm 34:8).

Whether one was brought to Orthodoxy as a child, or came to Orthodoxy later in life, there are always opportunities to further our understanding of the Faith and our relationship with God. In this way, we know Why we are Orthodox.

Please visit the Our Faith tab which will be a great resource to learn about the faith we worship and live.

If you are interested in additional readings, please explore our recommended list of books to read.

In addition to our local material, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has put together an extensive and well-organized series entitled Discovering Orthodox Christianity. It’s also an excellent starting place.