About our Parish

The chapel was built in the traditional Greek island Byzantine style by the Catranis family for the visitors and residents of Gulf Shores, Alabama to worship on Sundays. It is the only Orthodox Church in the immediate area which includes the vacation resorts of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and Foley Alabama.

The St. Athanasios Chapel name was chosen by the late Chrisanthy Catranis. Saint Athanasios was a very special saint in her life. The Chapel was dedicated on October 17, 1998 to the Glory of God in memory of Chrisanthy & Theodore Catranis and Katie & George Kordomenos.
The church originally seated 44 people and was designed by Pete J. Vallas, AIA, architect.

Originally, a beautiful courtyard area separated the chapel and a living quarters for vacationing priests. Since we did not have a priest to preform services, we advertised across the country for priests to come vacation with their families and serve a liturghy for the congregation. In addition to Greek Orthodox priests, OCA, Russian, and other Orthodox clergy vacationed with us. As priests came from around the country, so did vacationing parishioners. Some stayed and made the area their permanent home, and others looked to us as their parish away from home.

As our parish grew, we expanded and aquired a nearby condo for our vacationing priests to stay so that we could continue our mission of supporting the Orthodox clergy.

Our Chapel became a Mission Church and was Consecrated on Janurary 21, 2012 by His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta.  Our status changed in 2016 to a Parish Church of the Atlanta Metropolis.  

Our parish has evolved and grown through the blessings of our Visiting Priests and our 1st full time priests, the Very Rev. Father Frank Mayernick and our current Proistamenos Rev. Sasa Turkic. Hundreds of Visiting Priests from around the country have visited our parish, many have come back frequently over the years.  

Our Church is very diverse. The Chapel doors are open to all Orthodox Christians of all nationalities. We have had Greek, Russian, Lebanese, Ukrainian, Romanian, Carpathian, and vacationing parishioners priests and visiting from the entire United States.