New Greek Church Scene of Unusual Religious Exercises



With the ceremony of pouring oil upon the foundation stone the Greek Church was founded at the corner of Van Ness avenue and Green street yesterday.

Rev. T. N. Pashkovsky officiated at this rite, which was followed by elaborate religious exercises and prayers and songs of thanksgiving, in which more than 250 people participated. The music, by a choir of 20 under the direction of V. T. Greevsky, the choirmaster, unaccompanied by instruments, as is the custom in the Greek church, was a feature of the exercises.

Another interesting incident was the ringing of the big bell which was taken from the tower of the old Greek church at Powell and Union streets two days before the disaster in April, 1906. The members of the congregation regard the saving of the bell with religious awe.

Twenty years ago the bell was cast and given to the church as a thanksgiving offering for a miraculous escape of Alexander III and his family. Two days before the great fire the building occupied by the Greek church was sold, and the great bell, weighing 6,000 pounds, taken down and stored beyond the fire limits. Its mellow note was heard yesterday for the first time since that day. It is hung in the tower of the church, the skeleton of which has already been erected.

The structure when completed will be most picturesque in its setting of trees and foliage, and will hold 600 people standing, the custom in the Greek church being to use no chairs or seats of any kind during divine service.

In an iron box under the cornerstone is sealed the parchments, on which is written the creed of the church in Greek and English, a record of the deeds of the bishop, Platon, and the names of the president and cabinet ministers of the government of the United States at the present time.

The San Francisco Call, Monday, March 1, 1909, p. 2:1.