From 50 AD St. Paul established Christian communities throughout Asia Minor, especially along the coast. His first journey took him to Attalia (Antalya). His last was to take him to Rome but instead, left him shipwrecked in Patara, 45 minutes along the coast from Oludeniz.
Patara has an impressive history. Not only was it one of the principal cities and trading centre of Lycia, it was also the birthplace of St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra, whose outstanding efforts to give to those in need formed the basis of our modern-day Santa Claus. It was here that St. Paul settled and carried out important missionary work.
In 325 AD Constantine at Nova Roma (Istanbul) ordered a synod (counsel or committee) to be held to consolidate the beliefs of the Christian communities. The Bishops of Christendom attended, including the Bishop of Myra (St. Nicholas). Records show that St. Nicholas came to Symbola (now known as Oludeniz) more than once, visiting the church of the Archangel and our very own church here at Ecclesia, the St. Demetrius.