HISTORY
 
Its humble beginnings:
 
The English Speaking Group was organized in 1987 during the presidency of Pastor Gialilis of the Greece Mission. They are composed of multinational and multicultural members coming from different countries, namely Zambia, Kenya, Seychelles, Philippines and Mauritius. Pioneered by the following 17 members: Blanden Siwale, Sarah Esparon, Elvira Quinones, George Akoko, Dr. Joel Nyangwara, Maura Balite, Severina Bagni, Jean Tenorio, Rey Atienza, Mr. and Mrs. Munien,, Sidwell Chumwaya, Fely Rose Baglan, Noemi Binnong, Lito Manigbas, Edward Rifareal and Lani Rifareal, under the leadership of Pastor Peter Papaioannou and his wife Revel as the overseer. Succeeded him was Pastor Herman Smith. In the year 1997, the Trans-European Division (TED) elected Pastor Apostolos Maglis and his wife Georgina as the new president of the Greece Mission. 
 
On the 10th year of the English Speaking Group since it was organized, few months later upon sitting the position, he gave them the permission to formulate their own officers to lead the group. They  elected the first set of officers last Sept. 6, 1997 and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit it functioned orderly. The first officers that was elected during the time were the following: Leader: Blanden Siwale, Asst. Leader: Thankgod Solomon Owobe, Sec: Severina Siwale, Asst. Sec. Vivian Manigbas, Treasurer: Nimfa Melocotones, Asst. Treasurer: Rose Manigbas, Sabbath School Teacher: Mely Manigbas, Children Division: Filipina Manigbas and Jane Dupo. Music Leader: Hanitra Rabakomalala. Then another election comes, some were re-elected and others were not. From 17 members they became 35 active members.
 
Sometime in the year 2003, Pastor Victor Kulakov and his wife Agnes arrived and became the overseer. They formulated the Group Mission Statement which is found in 1 Peter 2:9 and Acts 1:8 “We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood to proclaim the good news of salvation to our neighbours” Though the group had experienced a lot of trials in their faith and in their relationship with one another, the Holy Spirit moved and helped them reconciled for the best. The membership swayed up and down for some prevailing reasons. During those times, the group continues to attract old members and accept them through Profession by Faith. They also approved that the appointed committee are the pillar of the group for decision making, so as for the improvement and evangelization respectively.  In January 2004, Pastor Kulakov had 4 weekends  Evangelism Crusade at Ambelokipi.
 
In 2005 the membership went up to around 45. And this year too, Pastor Victor bid goodbye to the group. After his departure, the English group stood up faithfully in the faith without an overseer, yet  run by the committee through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. July 03, 2006 to August 05, 2006 they sponsored and organised a “(VBS) Vacation Bible School”, 8 non SDA members attended and 4 SDA members. In the year 2007, another minister was assigned to administer the group, Pastor Alex Ganko with his wife. During this time, Dr. Emmanuel Osie conducted a Revival weekend in Dec 21- 23, 2007. January 5, 2008 the group officially requested permission from the Mission to execute independently its own programs in a language (English) common and understandable to them that will bind them in unity. Likewise, they discussed with the Mission requesting a regular pastor to oversee them and the Mission did their best to find one. Prayers are outpouring in the throne of God continually for a servant whom God will send.
 
Last May 16-24 2008 we had a weekend evangelism and Bro. John Nwaounoma and Sis Catherine Owobe was baptised and added to the group. Praise the Lord!
 
Alas, through the initiative of the Mission and with the support of the group, God’s timing is always prevailing. No human resourcefulness can ever lead the yardstick of God because by His grace, on September 25, 2009 the official pastor to oversee the flock of God’s people has arrived. Surprised, though expected the group were so grateful for the advent of the new pastor, in the person of Pastor Adrian JB Fernandez and his wife Raleigh. He spent the first Sabbath in Greece by partaking in the Communion Service at Nikia Church which is a good preparation for the ministry in the English group. Pastor Fernandez first Sabbath with the English group was October 3, 2009 and it was his first presence in the Business meeting of the group.  
 
In a courtesy call to the Greece Mission, the pastor laid down his plans for the group. His premier advocacy was the formation and organisation of the group to become an official, organised and recognised entity. Record shows that the official membership of the group accepted in Athens Greek Church are 24 while the whole Sabbath School membership is 47. The coming Sabbath meeting focused mainly upon the naming of the church and the scouting of the possible new church building. The name chosen by the group is Athens International Church of the Seventh day Adventists. However, it was overruled by the Greek Mission’s decision that the name will be Athens English Speaking Church of the Seventh day Adventists.
 
Furthermore, the pastor conducted three (3) Sabbath’s of Revival Program. Other members who wearied are back into the fold. December 5, 2009 was a breakthrough for the English group because this stamps our exodus from Keramikou 18 and the entrance to the new sanctuary in the heart of Athens, Evritanias 20. This also marks the arrival of the Pastor’s wife sister Raleigh. Likewise, the congregation appointed the special committee, namely: Blanden Siwale, Lito Manigbas, Joel Manigbas, Joel Nyangwara, Don Igbinovia, Uche Mark Jumbo, Isaiah Owobe; Pastor Fernandez served as a chairman and appointed Sis. Severina Siwale as Secretary. With the pastor’s revival thoughts and personal visitation of the members, the congregation has increased in number and accepted 59 official members.
 
On January 23, 2010 is another milestone in the history of the church because 5 members were accepted by Profession of Faith and 13 were baptized by Pastor AJ Fernandez. So, at the end of the First Quarter of 2010, our official membership raise up to 77. The committee approved a missionary endeavor in Corfu Island and with the approval and support of the Greek Mission Administrator, our pastor together with his wife invaded Corfu and conducted a house evangelistic effort and ultimately brought baptismal candidates to Athens. After the Corfu event, the committee approved the very first evangelistic crusade in Athens entitled “Health Gospel Seminar, a blending of Health and Gospel principles expedient for life, health, healing and salvation. Pastor AJ Fernandez was the speaker. The crusade commenced in March 26 and culminated in April 17, 2010. The twin evangelistic crusade in Corfu and Athens ushered and baptised 18 souls in Athens Church baptistery and it was added into church fellowship in April 17, 2010. In view of this, the official membership boomed to 95 members from 12 different nations. Hence, the evolution of the Corfu Filipino Congregation was also cognizant.  
 
May 1, 2010 is the official Inauguration and Organization of Athens English Speaking Church and this is the visible breakthrough of the Holy Spirit’s presence and guidance of His church. The invited guest is Dr. Bertil Wiklander, President of the Trans- European Division; Pastor Apostolos Maglis, President of the Greek Mission and Mr. Alekos Papilias, Secretary Treasurer of the Greek Mission, respectively. 
 
After this event, the church went on ablaze in the ministry of His word resulting to October 10, 2010, baptism of a couple and succeedingly in October 30, 2010 we baptised again another 7 precious souls. Thus, the church has garnered 40 precious souls baptised for the year 2010.  And according to the clerk’s archive, the total membership for 2010 is 114 official members. What a fruitful and sanctified year! “2010 is the most blessed era in the history of Athens English Speaking Church.” Hail to the most worthy name of Jesus!
 
The church new committee headed by Jesus Christ through its appointed overseer Pastor A Fernandez is tirelessly designing  a new scheme of evangelism program. Hence, year 2011 was an epoch of radical change and new developments because it is a year of revival and reformation. As a church, she has undergone a topsy-turvy conditions. A predicament that every normal and true church will always face because the enemy is alive, well and aggressive. This year we met a lot of challenges, but revival and reformation programs are battling it. We had the series of baptism almost in every quarter. Aligned with this, we also studied and fully finished “The Great Controversy” seminar series. And on December 2011, we invited Dr. Mike Hamilton to be our speaker for the “Abundant Living Seminar” evangelistic crusade which ended with a harvest of 10 precious souls on December 17, 2011. Over all, the church harvested 29 precious souls on the year 2011. 
 
During the kick-off of 2012, the whole membership of Athens English Speaking church by baptism, by letter of transfer and by profession of faith has swelled to 143 official members. Corfu ministry has accumulated its membership to 13 new converts. 
 
It is our utmost desire and highest aim to do more, serve more, pray for more and devote the more in the vineyard of the Lord. All of this was possible because of the unity and teamwork of every department leaders and members of the church, above else, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the influence of the indwelling Christ in us. 
 
This is the story how the Athens English Speaking Church came into existence until this far and even until Jesus comes, we promised to be on fire for His ministry sake. May the unity and harmony be with us in serving our God.Genesis 31:49 the MIZPAH. “May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.” Amen!