PARISH PROFILE: Fishermen from Skopelos Begin Greek Orthodox Presence in W. Florida

Published in the Orthodox Observer, March-April 2019 - page 32

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
Pensacola, Florida

Founded:  1910



The fishing is great in Pensacola, known as the red snapper capital of the world, which is one of the reasons the first Greeks migrated here in the mid- to late 1800s.  Several were sailors on sailing vessels and others came to work as commercial fishermen.

By 1910, there were enough Greek Orthodox Christians to establish a parish.  Many of them came from the island of Skopelos, part of the Sporades group north of Euboea.

According to a parish history, in addition to working in the fishing industry, these new citizens opened grocery stores, restaurants and other small businesses.

The first Greek Orthodox Church was built that year just north of downtown and was the parish's home until 1954, when the parish constructed a new church about 20 minutes north of the beach. . . . 

Archimandrite Joakim Georges, from the island of Hydra, served as the first priest.  He died in 1918 after contracting Spanish Flu, a worldwide pandemic that raged until December 1920, infecting 500 million people around the world and resulting in the deaths of more than 50 million people, and possibly as many as 100 million. . . .