At a Glance


“Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1)

Late 70's & early 80's

Late Fr. Ghobrial Abdelsayed started to celebrate the liturgy for about 10 Coptic families in central Florida in different rented Greek Orthodox Churches in Titusville, Daytona and Mellbourne

In 1984

Land was purchased on N. CR.426, Oviedo which is the site of the existing church

In 1985

H.H. Pope Shenouda III sent Fr. Philemon El-Makary to serve Central Florida as the number of families had increased. Fr. Philemon El-Makary returned to Egypt after a year of blessed service

In 1986

Fr. Ekladious Khalil served Orlando beside New Orleans, LA, and Nashville, TN. He obtained the blessings of H.H. Pope Shenouda III for building a church on the site.

Fr. Ekladious Khalil was instrumental in leading a fundraising committee and forming an engineering committee, lead by Dr. Yousef Yousef, Mr. Jacob Saad, and others. Fr. Ekladious Khalil put all the pieces together to build a beautiful church named St. Mary and Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church.
McCully Construction Inc. was the company chosen to build the Church

Oct 16, 1989

H.H Pope Shenouda III, accompanied by several Bishops and priests blessed the land site and laid the corner stone in a beautiful ceremony

1991-1992

Construction was completed closing on a mortgage of only $274,000!!

Dec. 1991

Fr. Mousa Wahba Mina started to serve in Orlando church when Fr. Ekladious moved to serve the congregation in Clearwater, where the Lord called him to build a church there too. Fr. Mousa oversaw the construction of the church in Oviedo to its completion (see further stories during construction)

Easter 1992

Fr. Mousa celebrated the FIRST LITURGY in the church. Fr. Mousa returned to Egypt late August, 1992

Aug 22, 1992

Fr. Antonious Hanna arrived to serve Orlando. His reception ceremony was on St. Mary’s feast. He led the church and its youth in a blessed service for about 7 years

Sep 11, 1992

H.H Pope Shenouda III consecrated the church alter after the name of St. Mary in his 2nd blessed visit to Orlando

In 1993

We were blessed by appointing H.G Bishop Youssef to oversee our Church among the other churches of Southern United States. H.G Bishop Youssef blessed the church by many pastoral visits supporting our congregation in all its needs

In 1999

H.G. Bishop Yousef, appointed Fr. Shenouda Kalleeny to serve St. Mary and Archangel Michael Church as Fr. Antonios Hanna was appointed to serve St. Mary and St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church in Concord, California

August 12, 2001

H.G. Bishop Yousef ordained Fr. Daoud Tawadrous to serve St. Mary and Archangel Michael Church due to the continuous increase of the church congregation

In 2003

There was an obvious need to 2 projects:

1- Expand the church facilities to serve the tremendous increase of the congregation and its new generation. Fr. Shenouda and Fr. Daoud lead a fundraising committee, from many church members, and an engineering committee, lead, again, by Dr. Yousef Yousef, Mr. Jacob Saad, Mr. Amin Fikry, and others, put all the pieces together to build 2 new buildings as an extension to the existing church to serve as Sunday School classes, library, book store, multipurpose hall to be used for indoor sports activities, theater stage, social celebrations and agape hall.

2- Start another Church in South Orlando to serve the increasing congregation who live far from the church. Blessed by HGB Youssef, a Church named after St. Rebecca began in Kissimmee area.
Fr. Shenouda and Fr. Daoud started liturgy services on every other Saturdays in a rented church in Kissimmee

Jun 2004

Parks Wilson Construction Company was chosen to build the church’s new buildings

Feb 2005

Land was purchased in Kissimmee area. Fr. Shenouda was appointed to lead all the efforts to build the daughter Church of St. Rebecca there

2004-2005

Both new buildings of St. Mary and Archangel Michael Church were completed with the grace of our God and the blessing of HGB Youssef

Jan 2013

St. Mary and Archangel Michael Church geta a new remodel

And the history continues

Please visit again for updates on opening ceremony and main events of the Church

 


Stories during the church construction....


As always, God’s hand has been seen and felt during the construction, in many ways. We give the following stories out of many as examples.


1. During construction, we bought used folding chairs to use as seats in the church. Then, we heard of a catholic church that had a huge number of oak pews. Although we put a $5000 deposit on them, we could not afford to buy these expensive pews. While we were waiting for the pews, an Anglican church, without knowing, bought the pews and installed most of them in their church. When we contacted them, they apologized and gave us all the pews that they did not use, free. They were exactly what we needed for the church. The $5000 deposit was used to move the pews and install them in our church.


2. On Good Friday, 1992, the fire marshal came to inspect the church building a little before 5 p.m. We were hoping to get the certificate of occupancy to be able to use the church the following day on Saturday to celebrate Easter. The fire marshal found that the fire alarm system was incomplete. He said that the fire alarm contractor was gone until Monday and we could not use the church. Then, the fire marshal left in his white truck. We called Fr. Mousa and asked him to pray. About an hour later, the fire marshal returned. He said to us “I will not leave until all the problems are corrected and I will give you permission to use the church. The Easter liturgy was the first liturgy celebrated on the church alter (Fr. Mousa), Easter 1992. We were all amazed by the fire marshal’s return although we never asked him why and how he returned.


3. One evening, in the summer of 1992, during church kids camp, very strong flashing bright lights were seen by us outside the church, through its windows from the church parking lot. We went upstairs quickly to check the light switches located in the office room. Thinking that some kids might be playing with the switches. The office was found locked. Then we found the kids in the church shouting and screaming with excitement saying “We have seen an angel.” The kids were shouting, praying, and reciting Keryalaison, Lord Have Mercy in a loud voice for several hours until late at night. Fr. Mousa investigated and talked with the kids. The following day Fr. Mousa announced in the church and said “Mabrook, Congratulations, yesterday was Archangel Michael’s feast we forgot his feast, he blessed us with his appearance to remind us. The Archangel’s feast was never forgotten after that.

 

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