In the beginning:
The First Greek Evangelical Church is the oldest evangelical church in Greece since it was founded in 1858 A.D. Athens was then a small town that was chosen to become the capital of the newly established country, mainly because of its glorious history.
That first assembly started worshipping God in a building that was situated just outside the city. The only thing that someone could find there was ancient ruins and monuments. We are not sure why this location was chosen. But what certainly played a role is the fact that there was a great resistance from the surrounding society to the existence of a Protestant church. So it was natural to want to be away from the city. But God, through His amazing providence, literally brought the city around our church. How can you ignore the city when you are in the center of it?
The Olympic Games of 2004:
The Olympic Games of Athens in 2004 were a great opportunity to move outside the walls of the church. Along with other evangelical churches we organized a big project, “ The Crown of Life’’ as well as many other programs and outreaches.
A series of “accidental” events:
In 2005, Giotis along with his family were in Boston for two months in the summer. There he visited some friends and started going to church with them. They offered to arrange a meeting with their pastor.
Yes, and no:
So a new phase had just begun. Through contacts and visits a vision for church planting was born. At the same time though, doubts and questions were raised. Take into consideration that no one in our church had seen a new church being born out of a vision for reaching out an area for decades.
The Broken Windows:
In December 2018, the city was in turmoil. After the assassination of a teenager named Alexis Grigoropoulos in the area of Exarcheia the city was flooded by thousands of people, mostly young people who strongly protested. This time the protestors reached our church.
The Journey begins:
The first outreach was in the area of Glyfada, a fairly wealthy suburb of Athens. That year we accepted 30 new members in our church. On the day they joined the church we asked 30 other members to voluntarily leave our church to start a new church in that area.
The Journey continues…
Without ever planning it, an ecosystem of churches and ministries were developed. We named it “Polis”, which means city in ancient Greek. Our desire is, that our vision for planting new churches will spread over to the cities of Southern Balkans.