Hamatie has been Blessed to be the Pastor of St. George’s for almost 50 years. During his tenure, through the Grace of God we purchased our Church, the office building and parking lot behind the Church and remodeled the entire Church building. With the Lord’s Blessing we established the annual tradition of the Diving for the Cross in Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando in 1976. Fr. John was also blessed to have the first weekly Orthodox television series in the United States, as well as radio programs and a regular weekly Orthodox newspaper column. He was a founding member of the Central Florida Council of Orthodox Churches as well as the local chapter of the NCCJ. In 2009 through the Grace of the Holy Spirit and in conjunction with the Ephraim Project, Fr. John established the weekly feeding for our homeless brothers and sisters in the Church parking lot-feeding between 150 and 200 people every Friday.
Fr. John has led pilgrimages to the Middle East including the Holy Land. By the Grace of God he has produced all the Sunday Liturgical Gospels in phoenetical Arabic as well as other Liturgical texts and hymns in phonetical Arabic for those who cannot read Arabic script.
He has for a number of years participated and been very active in local undertakings to promote community awareness and cooperation.
With the Blessing of the Lord, his future hope is to establish a Drop in Center for the homeless of our community as well as a Multi Ethnic Cultural Center to help bring the diverse citizens of Central Florida together with a better understanding of each other.
He has been blessed by God with five wonderful children and 2 wonderful son-in-laws as well as two grandsons who keep him smiling.
Fr. John is a firm believer in the words of Our Lord JESUS Christ that God is love and that the best way to be Godly is to be loving!