Our parish was founded ninety-four years ago by a handful of immigrants. Today there are over 250 parishioners and many children.
The history of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Asheville stems from the desire of the early Greek settlers in this area to develop and maintain a closely knit community among themselves and continue the practicing the Faith that they had known as children in their homeland of Greece.
In 1922 the group of Greek immigrants living in Asheville joined together to form a community and named it “Holy Trinity”. Since they did not have a Church building of their own, the First Baptist Church and the Trinity Episcopal Church made rooms available for them when an Orthodox priest would come to the area to perform services and administer sacraments. Between infrequent visits from the clergy, the women of the parish would gather and sing a Paraklesis in their homes, holding strong to the Orthodox Faith.
In the early 1930’s, the upstairs floor of the Moskins Building on Patton Avenue was rented for Church services. About this time an Orthodox monastery was established in Gastonia, NC. The eldest monk, a priest, came on a month to perform the Divine Liturgy. He obtained some lumber and build an iconostasion and converted one of the rooms into a church. The other room was converted into a Greek school. Next to maintaining the Orthodox Faith, education of their children was of prime importance. They did not want their children to lose their Greek heritage or language.
The parish was slowly growing as more people continued to migrate from Greece to the Asheville area. The late 1930’s saw the establishment of a Sunday School in the parish. Also during this time the parish purchased a building at 66 Market Street. They soon moved from the Moskins Building to the new location. In 1942, a priest from the Orthodox community in Greenville, SC would come to perform services on one Saturday each month.
In 1953, the M.V. Moore estate on Cumberland Avenue was purchased and the existing house was renovated to serve as a community center. In 1954 the Asheville parish and the Spartanburg parish entered into an agreement whereby a priest was obtained to serve the two communities. Fhis priest performed Divine Liturgy for three Sundays in Spartanburg and one in Asheville each month. Services continued be held at the Market Street location.
Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new church building took place on September 22, 1957. In 1958, the church building was completed, and the building on Market Street was sold. In June 1959, the community welcomed their first full-time priest. Under his spiritual direction, the community continued to progress.
The church building was completely renovated in 2007 through the generous contributions of parishioners. Today, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Asheville has a traditional Byzantine layout and appearance. Under the leadership of Reverend Father Michael Diavatis, our community continues to offer a wide range of liturgical services, youth ministries and fraternal associations for both men and women.
Rev. Fr. Michael Diavatis
Fr. Michael was born and raised in Benicia, CA, a suburb of San Francisco. His father was born in Kerkyra (Corfu) Greece and his mother was born in Utah. In 1995 he was married to Nikol Topakas of Philadelphia, PA. Fr. Michael and Presvytera Nikol both graduated from Hellenic College in 1996, then in 1999 Fr. Michael graduated from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.
Fr. Michael was ordained by Archbishop Spyridon in Bridgeport, CT on December 13, 1998. At that time he served as the 2nd deacon to the Archbishop until May, when Archdeacon Elias Villis was ordained to the priesthood, then Fr. Michael served as the first deacon until the retirement of Archbishop Spyridon in August of 1999.
In September of 1999, Fr. Michael was assigned to St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Las Vegas, NV, where he served under and learned from Fr. (now bishop) Elias Katre. Fr. Michael was ordained to the holy priesthood on October 31 of the same year.
In July of 2001, Fr. Michael and family (4 children at the time) drove out of Las Vegas to Anchorage, AK where he served the Church of the Holy Transfiguration. Nearly 40 years previously his Pappou, Fr. Spyridon Diavatis, served the same parish.
In March of 2003 the Diavatis family flew from Anchorage, AK to Melbourne, FL to serve St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church. In September of 2006 Fr. Michael served St. George Greek Orthodox Church in New Castle, PA. On August 1, 2012, Fr. Michael was assigned to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Asheville, NC. Fr. Michael and Presvytera Nikol now have 9 children.