St. Thomas Orthodox Church was the first Malankara Orthodox Church to be founded in Chicago. In 1971 Rev. Fr. Kurian Thottupuram began celebrating the liturgy at the Convent Chapel of St. Mary of the Lake on Sheridan Avenue. In 1972 the location was changed to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on Belmont Avenue. In 1973, H. G. Mathews Mar Athanasius, Metropolitan of the Outside Kerala Diocese (later the Malankara Metropolitan and the Catholicose of the East) granted recognition to the parish as the St. Thomas Church of India, Chicago, and it was registered with the State of Illinois in 1976.
The American Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Church was formed in 1978, and H. G. Thomas Mar Makarios became its first Metropolitan in 1979. Also that year, H. H. Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews I, the Catholicose of the East, visited Chicago and blessed the church. Very Rev. Dr. Kurian Thottupuram Cor Episcopa served as the founding vicar of the St. Thomas Church until July 1980. Very Rev. Dr. M. E. Idiculla Cor Episcopa became the next vicar of the St. Thomas Church, and the venue shifted to Presbyterian Church in Rogers Park at 7059 N. Greenview Avenue.
In 1981, Very Rev. Koshy V. Poovathur became the vicar. Under his leadership, in 1990, the building at 3735 N. Narragansett was purchased, and was consecrated by H. G. Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios. The church was blessed by the visit of H. H. Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews II, the Catholicose of the East, in 1993.
Rev. Fr. Slomo Isaac George became the vicar in 2004. In 2006, the then Catholicose of the East H. H. Moran Mar Baselios Mar Thoma Didymus I sanctified the church through his visit. In 2008, Rev. Fr. Ham Joseph became the vicar. In 2009, the Diocese of South-West America was formed and H. G. Alexios Mar Eusebius was enthroned as the Metropolitan. In January 2016, under the leadership of Rev. Fr Ham Joseph, St. Thomas church members were fortunate to purchase the church building at 6099 N. Northcott Ave, Chicago.
The parishioners are actively engaged in all spiritual organizations of the Diocese of Southwest America under the guidance of H.G. Alexios Mar Eusebius. By God’s grace, the church has grown to more than 75 families, and we are blessed to see the third generation members participating actively in the church.
Rev. Deacon George Poovathur, one of the pioneers in establishing the church in Chicago, now serves as a member of the Managing Committee of the Malankara Orthodox Church.
On July 1 and 2, 2016, the consecration of our church is being conducted by the holy hands of H.H Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, the Catholicose of the East and the Malankara Metropolitan. At this time we seek intersession of St. Mary the mother of God, our patron saint St.Thomas, the Apostle of India, and the saints of Malankara Mar Gregorios of Parumala and Mar Dionysius of Vattasseril. We also remember and pay tribute to our past vicars and members who are gone to the heavenly abode and are no longer with us. We, the members of St. Thomas parish, humbly dedicate this church in the service of our Lord and our God, Jesus Christ.