‘Guardian Angel' Saves Church from Auction Just Before Holidays

Church services will be held Sunday, the church's president said

It wasn't exactly the Christmas miracle they thought they'd be getting, but a Chicago church is now off the auction block thanks to a "guardian angel." 

Holy Trinity Hellenic Orthodox Church in Chicago's Belmont Craigin neighborhood was headed into foreclosure with an auction date set for Friday. But church president Stanley Andreakis told NBC 5 by phone that someone put together a last-minute bankruptcy plan to stop the auction from taking place. 

Church services will be held Sunday, Andreakis said. 

Ornate, warm and inviting, the Greek Orthodox house of worship has ministered to the Chicago community for 121 years.

"A lot of people started from here," longtime church secretary Maria Rigas said. "They came from Greece."

Rigas said the church had "a loan that started accumulating," putting the property in trouble. 

Andreakis told NBC 5 last week the church needed a "Christmas miracle" to come up with $7.9 million.

"The auction date is set for Dec 14. We’re hoping that by some miracle we can come up with a substantial amount of money to settle with the bank," he said. "The full 7.9 [million] is not what they’re looking for but the judgment is for 7.9 [million]. So it is a Christmas miracle but there’s a lot of hard work."

A GoFundMe page raised $6,363 of the $7.9 million goal as of Friday.

"We want to keep the church going for more generations to come," Andreakis said.

The church had a prayer service on Thursday. 

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