St. George's celebrates new South Fayette location with familiar food fest
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church has relocated from 610 Dewey Ave., Bridgeville, to its newly built church and community hall at 3230 Washington Pike, South Fayette — less than 2 miles from its former worship site.
Its annual Mediterranean Food Festival, usually held in October, will be held noon to 8 p.m. Dec. 1-2 and noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 3 at its new location.
It will be the 32nd anniversary of the “Original Feast from the East.”
St. George's community was formed in 1920 when the first immigrants from Syria arrived in Bridgeville.
A one-room blacksmith shop on McLaughlin Run Road was purchased and converted to a church which served the area for approximately 25 years.
In 1935, Murray Toney and Abe Monsour found a parcel of around 13 acres of land on Washington Pike, which they purchased on behalf of the church for $800.
These grounds were used for St. George's annual three-day Fourth of July picnic celebration — the predecessor of today's food festival, and hosted visitors from all over the country.
A portion of the land, far removed from the picnic area, became the parish cemetery.
The Dewey Avenue lot was purchased in 1940 from Dr. Clarence McMillen through the efforts of Philip Hanna and Joseph Abood, who formed a Building Fund Committee.
The small church on McLaughlin Run Road was sold in 1945 and eventually construction began for the new church in 1947 with its completion and dedication in 1950.
In 1997, the house next door, which was the former Women's Club of Bridgeville building, also was purchased and converted to the educational center for the church Sunday school.
In 2000, when the church celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Dewey Avenue location, decisions were needed to determine whether to renovate or construct a new church.
After an unprecedented display of parishioner fundraising and community generosity, groundbreaking at the Washington Pike address took place in June 2010, and construction began in October 2014.
The new facility in South Fayette has a church structure built according to the canonical tradition of the Orthodox/Byzantine architecture, a large hall and updated kitchen facilities, as well as offices and classrooms.
Since 1985, the pastor has been Father Jason DelVitto.
For more information about the food festival and church services, visit stgeorgebridgeville.org.
Charlotte Smith is a Tribune-Review contributing writer. Reach her at 724-693-9441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.