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NEH Deep Mapping

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Cameron Blevins

on 24 June 2014

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Transcript of NEH Deep Mapping

“a story within a story within a story”
-David Carlson
"The Parish History of Holy Trinity Greek
Orthodox Church of Indianapolis"

Church Site 1: 1910-1959
Church Site 2: 1959-2008
Church Site 3: 2008-Present
Splinter Church, 2008-Present
Move 1: 1959
Royalist parish officers at Holy Trinity attempted to transfer control of the church back to the Synod of Greece, and sparked a schism which lasted until 1936. During the split, both Royalists and Venizelists founded separate churches.
Church Schism - 1926-1936
In 1903 three Greek immigrant men and one priest began to meet for Greek Orthodox services at 27 South Meridian Street in downtown Indianapolis. The parish - the first Greek Orthodox in Indiana - was incorporated by the state in 1910. Four years later, the community purchased a house at 213 North West Street and converted it into a sanctuary and priest’s residence.
The 1924 Immigration Act ushered in a new era of American immigration history. The Act instituted a quota system for non-western hemisphere immigrants, but it was also during this time during which many southern and eastern European immigrants "became white," appropriating a Caucausian identity in order to share in the social and economic benefits of whiteness in twentieth-century America. Although many immigrant communities retained their identity, the post-war United States ushered in a period of increased assimilation.
United States Suburbanization
World War II and its aftermath witnessed an explosive growth of suburbanization across the United States. Spurred on by the growth of planned communities (such as the famous Levittown in Long Island). Flushed with a post-war economic boom, many white families increasingly took advantage of discriminatory federal loans, restrictive covenants, and red-lining policies to establish white enclaves in the suburbs of de-industrializing urban centers.
Move 2: 2008
As the Indianapolis suburbs sprawled ever northward, the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church discovered that more and more of its residents were living farther and farther out from the city center. They moved from their church location from the Meridian-Kessler suburb to the affluent exurbs of Indianapolis, in Carmel.
African immigration into Indianapolis
National connections to the Greek Orthodox Church
-Indy Star, 2012
Follow this link for a dynamic visualization of Greek immigration: http://goo.gl/2s673
Indianapolis Population Density
Church History Video
Indianapolis Population Density
Median Income and Unemployment
Marion County: location of old church
Hamilton County: location of new church
Child Poverty by School District (2000)
In 1908 administrative jurisdiction for the Greek Orthodox church in America was given to the Church of Greece. This led to significant tensions over politics in both Greece and America.
Administrative jurisdiction for the US Greek Orthodox church was transferred from the Church of Greece to the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople in 1922, a move which “royalists,” or supporters of the monarchy in Greece, resented, and “Venizelists,” who wished to remain under Constantinopalitan control, supported. About one-quarter of US churches were organized as “autocephalous” and remained under jurisdiction of the Church of Greece.
''The rush to suburban and new housing poses some hard problems for today's churches, challenged with providing Sunday school and worship facilities for all communicants.....'urban conditions, which include mobility, anonymity, transiency, vicious competition, conflicting social groups, and constant change, confront the church with such gigantic difficulties that many times the church is tempted to believe that the job cannot be done.''
Walter Smith Jr.,
''Report No. Urban Church Commission'' (1958)
Evangelical United Brethren Conference Proceedings
"In step with other parishes in places like Milwaukee, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, Holy Trinity began to dream of a new and modern facility that would be closer to the part of town where most parishioners seemed to be gravitating."
-David Carlson
"The Parish History of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Indianapolis"
"...while driving to the third site we passed by a series of gated communities and golf courses..."
-Katie and Cameron
"...Everything was wide-open - the parking lot of the church itself, the surrounding fields, sprawling strip malls filled with 24-Hour Fitness, Best Buy, and Applebees..."
-Cameron and Katie
"...As soon as we crossed the boundary separating the sanctuary from the rest of the complex, we unconsciously lowered our voices, despite the fact that nobody else was there. When we stepped back outside the sanctuary, we talked normally..."
-Cameron and Katie
Archbishop Demetrios - Archbishop of North America (L)
Metropolitan Nicholas - Metropolitan of Detroit Region (R)
In 2008, a number of Holy Trinity parishioners chose not to move to Carmel and founded Holy Apostles Church where they rent space at Northwood Christian Church from a Disciples of Christ community. A Vineyard Christian Church also meets on this site, and the three communities have held social events in the past.
Brochure for Northwood Christian Church inside the Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church sanctuary
Current space, 2012
"...The neighborhood is beautiful - uncrowded, with picturesque rowhouses, nice lawns, big trees, and expansive sidewalks. This seemed like an idyllic setting for a neighborhood church..."
-Katie and Cameron
January 11, 1950
Relocating Sacred Place:
The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church

A spatial approach led us almost immediately to the Holy Trinity community and its journey through space and time. It illuminates some aspects of Greek Orthodoxy - a blind spot in American religious history - and challenges the normativity of Protestant religious categories.
Parish histories report that growth and migration of parishioners occasioned the 1959 move to 40th and Pennsylvania Streets. Innovations in the design of the larger, modernist church won special mention by the Indiana Society of Architects.
"...Driving north up Meridian Avenue the neighborhoods kept getting more and more opulent - affluent rowhouses gave way to sprawling mansions, lawns, tennis courts, and swimming pools..."
-Katie and Cameron
Icons function as a “special” portal (an interface??) They are both singular material objects and a part of a more complex formulation on a sacred-secular continuum in a chain of memory, linking other times and places (cosmic and earthly), windows into the individual and communal religious imagination, and one result of an interpretive process, a composite narrative. A bridge between the material/empirical and the numinous/poetic/ imagined/cosmic...
Church Christmas Newsletter, 2010
Luke 12:16-21
And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully,and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
Eritrean Orthodox Church
Fr. Anastasios Gounaris
Google Map:
Cameron Blevins
Allan Brimicombe
Kathleen Oxx
Johnathan Rush
Full transcript