Program shares the history of Greek community

Program shares the history of Greek community

St. George Greek Orthodox Church, Massillon


William H. Samonides, Ph.D., will present “The Formation of the Massillon Greek Community” for the Massillon Museum’s next Brown Bag Lunch program, which will air on MCTV channels 21 and 621 at noon on Tuesday, April 27. It also can be seen on YouTube at and Facebook at

A Canton native, Samonides is a descendant of Greek immigrants. He holds four degrees from Harvard University. He was the historian of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Canton (2000-12) and president of the Asia Minor Hellenic American Society, an organization of Greeks who trace their ancestry to modern Turkey (2009-14).

Samonides has studied the history of the Stark County Greek community and local families, recording oral histories and researching the development of the Greek community in private collections, museums and archives across the country. He and his wife, Regine, co-authored “Greeks of Stark County,” published in 2009 by Arcadia Publishing, which is now in its second printing. The book is based on the 2004 exhibition, “In Search of the Golden Fleece,” at the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum in Canton, which was co-curated by the authors.

Samonides has researched the lives and careers of 700 immigrant priests who have served the Greek Orthodox Church in North America. At the opening of the exhibition, “Pioneering Priests: Establishing the Greek Orthodox Faith in America,” at the Saint Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine in Saint Augustine, Florida, he was called the foremost historian of the early history of the Greek Orthodox Church in America.

Samonides spent summer 2019 at Stockton State University in Atlantic City, New Jersey, cataloging the papers of professor and friar Constantine Constantelos, a scholar of Byzantine history and the Greek Orthodox Church.

Samonides has traveled widely and lived abroad for many years, with funding from the United States, Greek and Japanese governments. He taught at the University of Massachusetts, the University of Kansas and the Ministry of Education International Research Center for Japanese Culture in Kyoto, Japan. He was the associate director of the Program for U.S.-Japan Relations of Harvard University. He has lectured across the United States.

Although the Brown Bag Lunch program is virtual, the museum’s galleries are open. MassMu is located at 121 Lincoln Way E. in downtown Massillon. Call 330-833-4061 or visit

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