THE MAR THOMA CHURCH OF SOUTH FLORIDA DIOCESE OF NORTH AMERICA AND EUROPE 4740 SW 82 AVE,DAVIE FL 33328
On December 26, 1977, Rev. Dr. Iype Joseph, Vicar of the Mar Thoma Church of Chicago, conducted a Malayalam Holy Communion Service in the Mar Thoma liturgy in Miami. In April 1978, our late Valiya Metropolitan, Most. Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom conducted a prayer meeting in Cooper City. There were only 7 families at that time. The Mar Thoma Church of South Florida was organized and recognized in the year 1981 with the blessings of the late Suffragan Metropolitan, Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Mar Athanasius. There were only 16 families, and most of them were members of the Mar Thoma Congregation of Greater New York. The Mar Thoma Church of South Florida was incorporated in August 1984. Rev. Dr. Iype Joseph was our first appointed vicar. Since the inception of our parish in 1981, worship services had been conducted at the members’ homes and eventually at the Holy Sacrament Episcopal Church at Pembroke Pines. It is very appropriate to remember and thank the members and Rev. Brian Hobbs of the Holy Sacrament Episcopal Church for allowing us to use their facilities as we needed. In the beginning stage, the Holy Communion was conducted every fifth Sunday, which later changed to once a month. During these years, our late Metropolitan, Most. Rev. Dr. Alexander Mar Thoma, also visited our congregation and conducted the Holy Communion service for us. At the end of the first decade, the number of families had increased to 70 and the number of Holy Communion services advanced to twice a month. In 1991, the Mar Thoma Church of South Florida hosted the 9th annual Mar Thoma family conference. It was a great success. Rev. M. Varughese Achen’s leadership, the conference committee’s hard work, and the whole‐hearted support and prayers of all the members were the main reasons for the success. The parish grew spiritually as well as financially during the early part of the 1990s. Different organizations such as Sunday School, Sevika Sangham, Choir, Youth Fellowship, Edavaka Mission, and the Hollywood and Sunrise Area Prayer groups were also formed during this period. To have a sanctuary of our own was a dream for a long time. Our Parish purchased a property in 1991 to build a sanctuary. Even though we were unable to build a sanctuary on that property, we were able to buy a building and eventually transform it into our present, beautiful church. Our first resident Vicar was Rev. P. G. Mathew. Through his leadership and the continuous support of our members, our prayers were finally answered. Achen was instrumental in bringing all the members together to establish the South Florida Mar Thoma Church. Achen’s dedication and systematic work created a positive environment for everyone to contribute and come together. On December 25th, 1996, our late Diocesan Bishop and Suffragan Metropolitan, Rt. Rev. Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilus, dedicated our church as you see today. In the year 1999, our youth group hosted the National Youth Conference of North America in Leesburg, Florida, and it was a great success. In the year 2003, our church hosted the 21st Annual Mar Thoma Family Conference. Once again, we did a wonderful job hosting the family conference. It was due to the leadership of Rev. Joseph Mathew, the hard work of our conference committee, and the whole‐ hearted support and prayers of our members. 2003 was a remarkable year because we purchased our beautiful parsonage, and the dedication was officiated by our then Metropolitan, Late Most. Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma with the cooperation of our then Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr. Euyakim Mar Coorilos Suffragan Metropolitan and all the clergies in this Diocese. The vicar and the parishioners also witnessed the destruction and damage caused to our church due to Hurricane Katrina in October 2005. The sanctuary was completely damaged, and the worship services and Sunday school were in jeopardy. But the generosity of Pastor James Cox and the members of First Baptist Church of Davie helped us to continue our worship and Sunday school at their facility. May I take this time to thank them from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to use their facility at our convenience. The great leadership of Rev. T. K. Alexander Tharakan, the consistent work of the Executive committee, and the hard work of the members finally paid off. On April 22, 2006, our then Diocesan Bishop rededicated our current beautiful sanctuary. The year 2006 was celebrated as our Silver Jubilee year. Home for the Homeless was the main project for the Jubilee year. The hard work of the Vicar, Executive Committee, and the Silver Jubilee conveners paid off. Sixty‐three people became homeowners for the first time in their lives. We acknowledge the cooperation and generous support from our members and well‐wishers. Also, our youth group hosted the National Youth Conference of North America in the year 2006. In the year 2010, the parish published a church photo directory. In 2015, the South Florida Mar Thoma Church building was upgraded with remodeling and construction of the parish hall under the leadership of Rev. John Mathew. The dedication of the parish hall was performed by our then Diocesan Bishop, His Grace The Most Rev. Dr. Theodosius Mar Thoma Metropolitan, on May 9, 2015. The official inauguration was conducted on August 7, 2015. Currently, we are a parish of 107 registered families divided into four prayer groups: Cooper City, Hollywood, Weston, and Sunrise. Our church has all organizations such as Senior Citizen Fellowship, Edavaka Mission, Sevika Sangham, Young Family Fellowship and Youth Fellowship. Our Vicar (2019-Present) Rev. Shibi M. Abraham is serving as our vicar since May 2019 and Mrs. Sheeba George Kochamma with kids David Abraham and Daniel Abraham has been a blessing to our church. Achen’s leadership and spiritual guidance with inspiring messages helps us to build up our Christian faith. We appreciate the hard work of Achen with all the church services and other activities. Achen’s and Kochamma’s interest in building up our Sunday school kids, and youth group is highly appreciated. Let’s pray to God almighty to bless them as a family in the Lords ministry.