|The Founding of Our Church|
|Past and Present Clergy|
The Christian Coptic Orthodox congregation of St. Abraam church in Long Island, NY is currently composed of approximately 350 families, actively involved in the church services and activities.
The Founding of Our Church
Our church started with the prayers and efforts of few Coptic families, about thirty families who lived in Long Island in the early seventies. In 1975, few people approached His Holiness Pope Shenouda III with a request to establish a Coptic Orthodox Center and build a church in L.I., NY. Back then, the late, Fr. Ghobrial Abd El Sayed, of St. Mark Church, Jersey City supported their idea, and in his visit to Cairo in April, 1976, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III handed him a letter of blessing to the congregation in L.I, expressing in it that he is pleased with their idea of building St. Mark Coptic Church Center that will include a church, social hall, sports hall, library, cultural center, service projects for the senior citizen and the children and any other service projects. In this letter, His Holiness encouraged the congregation to proceed with this project.
On June 10, 1976, the day of St. Abraam’s feast, Fr. Ghobrial prayed the first mass at the church site. A generous member, one of the original founders of the church on Long Island had donated 4 acres of land for this project. And, in December, 1976 Fr. Ghobrial invited the founding members and composed the first board for St. Abraam Church in L.I.
On April 16, 1977, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, in his historical first visit to the USA, he laid the corner stone for St. Mark Coptic Center and St. Abraam church in L.I., N.Y.
And, in September 1977, the congregation held the first Egyptian Fair at the church site to raise funds for building the church.
Back then, the congregation used the Methodist church on Woodbury Rd., once a month, to hold mass services.
Then, they bought a long trailer that holds 25 to 30 people were Fr. Ghobrial was praying the mass every two weeks on Saturdays. When the number of families increased to sixty or seventy families, the congregation rented the basement of St. Ignatius Catholic church in Hicksville, L.I. to hold mass services every week.
Later on, mass services were held in St. Mary Ukrainian church in Hicksville. In the mean time the congregation worked on building our beautiful church. The church was built in 1990 and, on January 12, 1992, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III consecrated Saint Abraam Church of Woodbury, Long Island, NY.
- View the Blessing Letter from H.H. Pope Shenouda III, April, 1976 (Arabic) (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
- Coptic Pope Visits Woodbury, from the Oyster Bay Guardian, April 22, 1977 (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Past & Present Clergy
Initially His Holiness Pope Shenouda III appointed the following clergy to serve in our church on an interim basis:
- Fr. Shenouda El Anba Bishoy, July 1978 - February 1979
- Fr. Ikladious Khalil, August 1979 - April 1980
- Fr. Mina Shenouda, May 1980 - November 1980
In December 1980, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III ordained Fr. Mikhail Tobia to become the Priest of St. Abraam Church in L.I. Fr Mikhail devotedly served the congregation in our church for a period of seventeen years until 1998 when he was appointed by His Holiness to serve in St. Mary’s Church, East Brunswick, N.J.
Fr. Shenouda Ghattas also served in our church in the late 1980s for a period of 18 months.
In. March 1992, His Holiness Pope Shenouda appointed Fr. Guirguis Tadros of St.George and St. Abraam Church in Heliopolis, Cairo to serve in our church. Since then, Fr. Guirguis has been genuinely and lovingly serving our St. Abraam congregation in L.I. And, in December 1999, His Holiness elevated him to be the Hegumen of our church, St. Abraam Church in L.I.
In May 1999, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III ordained Fr. Marcos Ghaly to become a Priest at St. Abraam Church in L.I., NY. Fr. Marcos Ghaly faithfully served our congregation for a period of five years until he was assigned by His Holiness to serve in St. Mark church in Cleveland, Ohio.
Fr. Shenouda Awad was appointed by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III to serve on a temporary basis in our church and later he was assigned by His Holiness to serve the Coptic congregation in Virginia Beach.
Fr. Moussa Shafik of the Coptic Mission in Nairobi, Kenya was appointed by His Holinees Pope Shenouda III to serve in our church in September 2008. Fr. Moussa continues to actively and lovingly serve St. Abraam congregation in L.I.