St. Nicholas Church (Appleton, Wisconsin)
St. Nicholas Church was a parish of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Metropolis of Chicago. It was founded in 1960, and closed in 2016, officially being merged with Holy Trinity Church in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, approximately 45 miles away. Once the settlement of assets was complete, $100,000 from the church was donated to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and Shrine, which is being constructed in New York City to replace the original St. Nicholas Church there, which was destroyed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
Appleton, Wisconsin, is a city of nearly 73,000 located 30 miles southwest of Green Bay and 100 miles north of Milwaukee. In the 1960, a Greek Orthodox Church was established here and named after St. Nicholas. It was one of three Greek Orthodox Churches in the area north of metropolitan Milwaukee and south of the city of Green Bay. For many years, two of these churches - Holy Trinity in Fond du Lac and St. Spyridon in Sheboygan - shared a priest and held services on alternating weeks. In 2012, priests were assigned to both of those churches. St. Nicholas itself struggled with attendance for years, which was a major factor in the decision to close it. Wayback Machine snapshots of the parish's website in mid-2013 and early 2014 show that services were not being held on a regular basis during this time due to lack of a priest.
In 2016, St. Nicholas was officially closed, and merged into the Holy Trinity Church in Fond du Lac. Many of the liturgical items from St. Nicholas went to Holy Trinity, but the parish decided that $100,000 in cash - mainly from savings of the parish and sale of property - should be donated to the rebuilding effort of St. Nicholas at Ground Zero. Bishop Demetrios, Chancellor of the Metropolis of Chicago personally presented the check representing this donation to Archbishop Demetrios of America in the spring of 2016. St. Nicholas Appleton will be listed among the Shrine's benefactors. Besides this, the parish of St. Nicholas in Appleton created a digital video history of their parish which will be placed in the Shrine.
Besides the Holy Trinity in Fond du Lac, other Orthodox churches in the area include a mission of the Russian Church Outside of Russia located in Appleton and St. Matthew Church - a parish of the Orthodox Church in America - which can be found approximately 30 miles away in Green Bay. The site of St. Nicholas Church in Appleton is now the site of a self-storage facility.
- St. Nicholas Center Gazetteer Entry
- Wayback machine snapshots of first website
- Wayback machine snapshots of second website
- Church donates $100K to Shrine Near Ground Zero Collar, Jim; Post-Crescent (USA Today Network); March 8, 2016
- Appleton Greek Orthodox Church Closes with a Tribute to History Jones, Meg; Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel; April 3, 2016
- Former Appleton Parish Makes Major Contribution to St. Nicholas National Shrine Ackerman, John C.; Orthodox Christian Network; March 21, 2016
- Appleton church closes, makes big donation to shrine Zimmerman, Jason; WBAY2 News (Green Bay); March 11, 2016