“It is in the roots, not the branches, that a tree’s greatest strength lies.”
Our beloved parish home of Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Christian Church has deep roots and a rich and vibrant history which has served countless generations, as a genuine and true beacon of Christ’s salvific message for all throughout the region. This history, which continues to this day to hold fast to the traditions and faith of our forebearers, are the roots which bind us unequivocally to the truth of our Holy Orthodox Christian Faith. The great French poet Victor Hugo once declared, ‘Change your leaves, but keep your roots intact.’ We seek to continuously honor our predecessors by building upon their legacy while fostering and growing a pious and devout community of faithful believers in contemporary American society.
At the turn of the 20th century, Orthodox Christian immigrants from around the world, while fleeing the persecution and poverty of their homelands, came to these magnificent plains seeking greater freedom and opportunity. These early immigrants did not have many possessions or financial means to travel, but what they did have was an exceptionally hard work ethic and a devout faith in Jesus Christ and His Orthodox Church.
They worked tirelessly in mines and on the rails and in their spare time, they also managed to establish Wyoming’s first Orthodox Christian Church in 1922 on the corner of 27th and Thomes. It was on this same street corner nearly a decade later that the commanding figure and beloved Archbishop ATHENAGORAS raised his hand while pointing to the dome of the Wyoming State Capital proclaiming to all, ‘Never forget how blessed you are to be here. Always be proud to be both Greek and American.’ Athenagoras would later be elevated in rank and serve as Patriarch to the historic Christian See of Constantinople. Throughout this time period construction on the church continued and by 1934 Saints Constantine and Helen had become more than a mere church building, it was a spiritual home for many Orthodox Christians from diverse ethnic groups and all regions of the world, our beloved parish was well on its way to becoming Cheyenne’s sole Orthodox Christian Church.
We are blessed at Saints Constantine and Helen to have predecessors who were faithful in pursuing a hope for a better life. No longer a parish full of hard working immigrants scraping to survive in the rugged American West, Saints Constantine & Helen has deep roots in the Cheyenne community. As we honor our past, and embrace our future, our prayer is that our spiritual family will continue to grow as we serve our brothers and sisters throughout Southeast Wyoming and surrounding region, holding true to the passage, “No one can lay a foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
As our beloved parish community continues to grow and build upon these historic roots, the holy traditions & faith of our forebearers, we are reminded of the wisdom in Jeremiah, ‘Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreads out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green.’ Keeping true to Christ’s gospel message of love for all, our parish welcomes everyone to join us for respite under the protection and shade of this great fruitful tree, His Holy Church, as we continue to traverse the tumultuous challenges of life.