Saturday, July 18, 2020

Temple's 10th Birthday: A Celebratory History

It was a hot summer day on July 8th, 2010 in High Point, North Carolina, when Chris Aldridge founded our organization and became its official Head Priest 7 months later. July of 2010 also marked the 1 year anniversary of when Chris and his wife converted officially to Hellenic Polytheism. When the temple first opened, it was entirely an online group with a shabby wordpress website; there wasn't even a physical place of worship at the time. Nevertheless, Chris was dedicated to the work he had begun. Later that summer, however, the temple did in fact gain its first indoor area when it was moved to Greensboro, North Carolina for 6 months, in a pleasant top room of a townhouse on Apache St. By February 2011, Chris and his family had moved back to his hometown in Thomasville, North Carolina, where they rented a house and land, partially for the temple. Temple Of The Greek Gods became the first openly Greek Polytheistic temple with a physical location in the city's history. Once again, there was a private worship room and small sanctuary grounds outside. The temple operated at this location and local parks with public rites and observances until December of 2012 when it was determined that the political atmosphere of North Carolina just wasn't friendly toward non-Christian religions, nor were there good paying jobs. Chris and his wife, Anastasia, and their son, moved to her hometown of Freeport, Illinois, where they continued to run the temple from 2012 to 2014. From there, they lived in Galena, Elizabeth and South Beloit, Illinois until finally buying their own spacious home and property for their family and the temple in September 2019 in Machesney Park. It was at this time that Chris finally was able to build an actual indoor temple and outside sanctuary grounds that could carry the organization's name as a physical establishment with permanent residence that he entirely owned. Here, we became the official Ancient Greek Demos of North Central Illinois, with the first Greek temple in the town's and state's history. 

It's certainly worth noting that the temple's 10 year history has seen its hard times, but has always pulled through to become better than before, thanks to the efforts of Chris and his wife, who is the Head Priestess. From the typical problems that religious organizations face, to having the strength to take it nearly 1,000 miles across the country for a better life and successfully obtain it, Chris and Anastasia are as dedicated to the temple and the Hellenic community as they come.

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