The Foundation was constituted in Geneva on October 27, 1965 according to articles 80ss of the Swiss Civil Code. Two days later, it purchased the J. – P. Zeltner estate situated in Pregny/Chambésy, now housing the Orthodox Center. The idea of creating the Foundation and Center was conceived by Zachary C. Xintaras while serving the Orthodox parish in Lausanne. It was adopted by the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I and later approved by the Holy Synod. In article 2 of the Statutes the goal of the Foundation is clearly stated: a) “establish and form a religious center under the direction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople; b) construct in the vicinity of Geneva a byzantine orthodox Chapel dedicated to the Apostle Paul; c) support the Ecumenical Patriarchate in its efforts towards Christian unity.” Details and documents will appear in the author’s forthcoming book: The Genesis of the Orthodox Center in Chambésy/Geneva (1965-1969).
On July 3, 1966 the chapel and Center were inaugurated and four days later the Holy Synod issued its Statutes defining details concerning the goals, organization and functioning of the Center. Because of financial difficulties the Center was inactive for a few years except for the services in the Chapel conducted by Orthodox clergymen attached to the World Council of Churches. Since 1969
the Center has made great progress with the financial aid of several individuals, societies and organizations. Important meetings and conferences have taken place in Chambésy, especially those concerning the future Synod in preparation. Just recently, January 2016, in Chambésy took place the Synaxis, Assembly of Patriarchs and Archbishops of the Orthodox Church, which decided the convocation of the Sacred and Great Council on the Greek Island of Crete in June of this year.
The Founders of the Center pray for the success of this Synod under the spiritual leadership of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.