Reverent Father George Wilson
The Parish Council and the congregation of Holy Trinity Cathedral happily welcome Reverend Father George and Presbytera Harriet Wilson to the New Orleans Cathedral family. Although Parish Council President Steve Psarellis and 1st Vice-President Paul Andersson first met Father George at the Metropolis offices in Atlanta, Georgia, on Monday, May 19, 2014, the parishioners were introduced to Father George at the Divine Liturgy, which he and Father Dean Gigicos co-celebrated on Sunday, June 1, 2014. With no permanent priest in the community since Father Maximos Pafilis left at the end of January 2014, parishioners anxiously anticipated the assignment of a new clergyman. They were able to meet Father George at the small welcome reception that the Parish Council hosted in the Coffee Room after church services.
Father George was born in Gloversville, New York, in 1959 and is fourth of five children. His parents, George and Cleoniki Wilson, were first generation American born of Greek descent. His paternal grandparents, Harilaos Dedousis and Nerantzoula Krikellas, came to the United States around 1910 from Kapsi, Fthotita, Central Greece and Northern Evoia, and settled in Johnstown, New York. In October 1916, Father’s maternal grandparents, Michael Lazaridis and Triantafilia Xenakis, came from Usak and Valia in Western Asia Minor and settled in Woburn, Massachusetts.
He attended Johnstown Public Schools and received a BA in Communication Studies from the State University of New York at Oswego in 1981. Father George worked in radio broadcasting as an announcer, producer, copywriter, and continuity director until 1989 when he began studies at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He graduated with distinction in 1993.
In 1988 Father George married Harriet Pepps, a native of San Antonio, Texas. She, too, is a graduate of the seminary, receiving a Masters of Theological Study degree in 1980. Presbytera Harriet was a Pastoral Assistant at Saint Paul Greek Orthodox Church in North Royalton, Ohio, and at Saint John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church in Jacksonville, Florida. She has been a Church School Director and is trained in Elementary Education with a concentration in early childhood development.
The Wilsons have two daughters. Kleoniki is a 2014 Emerson College graduate, who currently lives in Los Angeles and works in the television production business. Despina is a rising junior at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, where she is a vocal performance major and business minor.
In January 1993 Father George was ordained deacon by then Bishop Methodios of Boston while a senior at seminary and was ordained priest by then Bishop Isaiah of Denver in November 1993. On September 11, 2005, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas bestowed the Office of Economos upon Father George.
After ordination he served as assistant priest at Saint Demetrios in Jamaica, New York, for thirteen months and at the Assumption Cathedral in Denver, Colorado, in the same capacity for a year and a half. He was the interim Proistamenos at the Cathedral for a year and a half and then was assigned in August 1997 to the Panagia Pantovasilissa Church in Lexington, Kentucky, where he served until coming to New Orleans. He is a former president and vice-president of the Detroit Clergy Syndesmos and served on the Archdiocesan Presbyters Council until his assignment to the Atlanta Metropolis. Also, he was on the Detroit Metropolis Council, as well as the Detroit Metropolis representative to the Hellenic College/Holy Cross Alumni Board.
Father George stated that he is honored to be named by His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta as dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral. He looks forward to meeting all of the parishioners and especially to celebrating the 150th Anniversary in October! In turn, the Cathedral family looks forward to a long and productive tenure with their new spiritual leader.