A new bell tower had been placed on the church, located at 518 N. Fifth Ave., earlier in the day. Both projects are part of a major facelift for the building that has been a place of worship for nearly a century. Built in 1915, the church and its congregation will be celebrating its 100th year in Pocatello next year.
“It’s exciting,” Johns said. “It’s a relief to see it in place. Everything came out nice, just beautiful.”
More work is yet to come on the dome which was built as part of the renovation project done by Butler Builders in Pocatello. The 12 temporary windows in the dome — representing the 12 apostles — will be home to the original stained glass that graced the old dome.
Johns said the company that made the original stained glass windows in the dome also did glasswork for Tiffany’s in New York.
The rest of the old church, which is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, was in good shape. That includes the 15 large, arched windows with stained glass and the two smaller, round windows at the top of the front of the church.
“This is the first renovation in 100 years,” Johns said. “God willing, it will last another 100 years.”
A stable Greek community has called Pocatello home since its early railroad days. Johns said his congregation has 75 core families and about 200 additional worshipers from the larger area.
During the construction efforts which, focused on the roof of the church, services have been held in the nearby hall. Johns is hoping members of the Greek Orthodox Church can celebrate Christmas services in the refurbished church.