St. Thomas Orthodox Church was the first Malankara Orthodox church to be founded in Chicago. It was officially established in February, 1971, and the vicar was Very Rev. Dr. Kuriakose Thottupuram Cor Episcopa. There were about 14 families in the congregation.

The church was registered with the state of Illinois in 1976. In 1978, Rev. Deacon George Poovathur was ordained as a deacon in the church. He now serves as a member of the Managing Committee of the Malankara Orthodox Church.

In 1979, Very Rev. Dr. M. E. Idiculla Cor Episcopa became the vicar. In the same year, the church was blessed with the visit of H. H. Moran Mar Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews I, the Catholicose of the East.

In 1980, the church services began to be held in the Presbyterian Church in Rogers Park, at 7059 N. Greenview Avenue. In 1981 Very Rev. Koshy V. Poovathur Cor Episcopa became the vicar. Under his leadership, in 1990, the building at 3735 N. Narragansett was purchased and it has been the home of St. Thomas congregation until now. It was consecrated by H. G. Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios. In 1993, the then Catholicose, H. H. Moran Mar Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews II, visited and blessed the church.

In December 2004, Very Rev. Koshy V. Poovathur Cor Episcopa retired, and Rev. Fr. Slomo Isac George took up the vicarship. In 2006, the present Catholicose of the East H. H. Moran Mar Baselios Mar Thoma Didymus I sanctified the church through his visit. In 2008, Rev. Fr. Slomo Isac George transferred, and Rev. Fr. Ham Joseph became the vicar.

Over the past 37 years, St. Thomas Orthodox church has grown in God’s grace. The church has acquired 1.5 acres of land in Schiller Park near O’Hare, where the future home of the church will be built. The church now has about 64 families, and it is gratifying to see the third generation members participating actively in the Church. The parishioners are actively engaged in all Church activities including the Sunday School, Martha Mariyam Samajam, and MGOCSM.


Rev. Fr. Ham Joseph

3735 N. Narragansett Avenue, Chicago, IL 60635

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