Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church

Immigrants from Europe shaped the city of Detroit, providing labor for the factories that were springing up across the city. Greek immigrants from villages around Sparta and Arcadia began arriving in Detroit in the late 1880's, and by 1892, over 100 Greek immigrants were living in Detroit. That number grew to 884 by 1910, when Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church was founded in the Greektown neighborhood downtown.

Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, located on the west side of the cit, grew out of a need for a Greek school. 25 families began meeting in a rented hall on Myrtle Street, known today as Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Instead of a school though, they decided to establish a church on the west side of the city. Planning for a the church began in 1930, as the group grew and moved through several different locations, setting up in a hall above the Strand Theater on Grand River and 14th.

It wasn't until 1943 that funds to buy land on Chicago and Woodside were raised, and construction was delayed until after the Second World War. The cornerstone was laid down on November 14th, 1948. On Palm Sunday, 1950, the first service was held in the church, with worshipers gathering under the partially-finished dome. A school and community center was built in 1960, as the congregation swelled to over 750 families.

Like other Orthodox Churches in Detroit, Sts. Constantine and Helen began to lose members to the suburbs in the 1960's and 1970's. A new community center was built in Westland in 1986, which the church moved into on a temporary basis while a new sanctuary was built. The altar and other fixtures were removed and placed into storage until construction on the current location was finished in 1996.

The Oakman location was sold to Maranatha Christian Church in 1986, which used it until 2000 when the church folded. Power of the Word Christian Center Church of God in Christ bought the church in 2000 and used it until it closed in 2011.

After several years of being vacant, the church and the adjacent school were purchased by the Good News Gang, a faith-based, non-profit ministry that has been serving inner city children throughout the southwest Detroit and Hamtramck since 1989. Today the school is used for activities, and though there were plans to renovate the church, it has remained vacant.