About Our Community
Before St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church of Wyckoff, NJ officially became a church, its beginnings can be traced to a small group of families who were members of St. Athanasios Church of Paterson, NJ. Their vision was to establish a Greek Orthodox Community for the faithful residing in the local neighborhood of Northwest Bergen and Northeast Passaic counties. Following many meetings of setting goals and objectives, a corporation was formed in November 1969 - The Bergen Greek Orthodox Community, Inc. Its key objective was to buy land to build a church and community center. After an intensive search of the area, a 5 1/4-acre tract of land strategically located near Route 208, Wyckoff, NJ was found. Its purchase was concluded in April 1970. Shortly thereafter, permission was granted by the Wyckoff Board of Education to hold religious services at the Coolidge School gymnasium. Bible and prayer services were held each Sunday under the supervision of Fr. Demetrios Stepahanopoulos (Retired).
A challenge was made by the Diocese of NJ that we achieve a membership of 100 families before we were given permission to celebrate the Divine Liturgy. An intensive and sustained membership drive consisting of current members...two by two...making home and business visitations, resulted in the achievement of that goal by late October 1970. Subsequently, Fr. Milton Stamatos (the first lay priest of the Archdiocese) also joined Fr. Stephanopoulos in conducting Liturgical Services. Later that year, the community was assigned its first resident priest - Fr. Nicholas Ksethias. Services continued at Coolidge School, during the school year and at Grace Methodist Church during the summer and other school recesses. Growth in membership continued and a high level of activity focused on the planning, financing and construction of a multi-purpose building to house the church, fellowship hall and classrooms. The formal cornerstone-laying ceremony took place in December1972. Subsequently, other small parcels of land contiguous to the property were purchased for expansion. The commitment and zeal of the parishioners for a church was best reflected during the spring of 1972, when a portable icon screen system was constructed, containing traditional icons, which transformed the Coolidge gym into a church atmosphere. This icon system was put up and dismantled each and every service by a dedicated group of parishioners, who owned station wagons, and shuttled the sections back and forth for storage in the garage on the property. This ritual continued until we occupied our multi-purpose building.
On April 13, 1973 the Thyranoixia Service(opening) of our new multi-purpose building took place. Months before, dear friends of Fr Ksethias - Mr. and Mrs Frank Weinstein - donated $40,000 toward our building. In recognition of their philanthropy, the classroom wing was named the St. Photios wing. Also in recognition of the dedicated and unswerving effort of Fr. Nicholas Ksethias in those "pioneer days", the community unanimously named our church - St. Nicholas. In the fall of 1973, Fr. Charles Serelis became our parish priest. He served in that capacity until October 1975, when Fr. James Moulketis was assigned to our parish.
The continued growth of our membership during the ensuing years created the need for a formal church building. In March1983, the General Assembly voted to start construction of our current church building. Groundbreaking ceremonies took place on March 18, 1984, completing the original plan to build a church attached to the multi-purpose hall. Through the generous contributions of our Stewards and the dedicated effort of parishioners in fund-raising activities, the church was completed in mid-1985, with the Thyranoixia Service taking place on November 10, 1985.
Since then the sanctuary has been embellished with elegant adornments, iconography, stained glass windows and extensive mosaics, including a Chapel dedicated to the Theotokos in 1993. The completion of the Narthex mosaics in 1998 concluded the final phase of our church building and led to the Consecration of our beloved St. Nicholas Church on October 11, 1998.