Father George (Georgios), the first African deacon in the known history of the city’s diocese, was ordained a Deacon by Thessaloniki’s bishop Anthimos recently.
Father George, who hails from the African nation of Uganda, moved to Thessaloniki in order to study at the Theological School in the city’s Aristotle University.
As he began to study theology in depth, however, Father George decided to devote himself completely to the Church, becoming the city’s first religious figure of color upon his ordination.
“I intend to finish my schooling, get my degree and then go back to my homeland, Uganda, and become a clergyman there,” Father George said while speaking to a Greek television morning show.
The Ugandan also said that he was a Protestant before converting to Orthodox Christianity in Greece.
Father George also expressed his gratitude for having studied in the city where the Apostle Paul once taught, explaining how the faithful of Thessaloniki have welcomed him and saying with great warmth ”people tell me that I am one of them!’’
Father Georgios is not the only foreigner on the region’s ecclesiastical map, however, since his church, Saint Spyridon in Triandria, has two Syrian priests as well, making it undoubtedly Thessaloniki’s most multi-national church!