Photos: Ethiopian Orthodox Church Paintings

December 10, 2013

On Friday night, Bermuda’s Ethiopian Orthodox Church opened their doors as locals were invited to learn about their traditions and view their intricately painted church icons created by an Ethiopian Monk Priest.

The Debra Ganet Immanuel Cathedral in St George’s features an interior full of painted icons by Abba Gebre Hiwot Wolde Samuel, who was born in a small village in Ethiopia, and ordained as a Monk Priest when he was 18 years old.

Ethiopian Orthodox Church Bermuda, December 6 2013-5

He then studied religious art, and was contracted to paint religious murals for 11 churches in Ethiopia. After seven years, he selected to travel to Barbados with other priests to establish churches in the region, and in 1999 Samuel arrived in Bermuda after being asked to paint for the church on the island.

The Bermuda Church belongs to the Archdiocese of Latin America and The Caribbean, and was elevated to Diocesan Status in 1977 with the consecration of the former garrison chapel in St. George’s as the Debre Ganet Immanuel Cathedral Church, which means Immanuel Cathedral Of Paradise.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s open house coincided with the National Trust Christmas Walkabout in St George’s, with the East End a hub of activity as the festive season gets underway.

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Comments (9)

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  1. thief says:

    It looks fantastic! Well done!

  2. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    You have been truly blessed with talent…

    Have you given serious consideration to turning these paintings into an illustrated book on your religious principles and culture? Your possibilities are endless.

    The iconic symbols, religious artwork and culture deserve to be exhibited at the National Gallery.

    London, England

  3. Mark says:

    WOWWWWW……..Very colourful……..very pretty! :)

  4. Raymond Ray says:

    Not meaning to be critical but aren’t we not to bow down to false or engraved images depicting anything in heaven or of Christ etc? Though I must admit, the art works are impressive.

    • Jacob says:


      You don’t know the meaning of those words and the teachings of the Church Fathers on ‘graven images.’

      Nobody bows to those images, they are just there to remind the congregation of the all-encompassing presence of God in their midst.

    • Enoch says:

      “aren’t we not to bow down to false or engraved images depicting anything in heaven or of Christ etc?”

      Now, we aren’t! Christians don’t bow down to ‘false’ images, rather to their God and his Holy Servants. Besides, these images are very very important in the current world if we want to continue leading a healthy and strong spiritual life. The challenges from the aggressive secular world are getting tougher and tougher, so we need our images, The Cross etc to remind us of our Creator.

      These are beautiful paintings, thanks for sharing them with us!

  5. I'm just saying...... says:

    I have had the pleasure of attending this beautiful Church and it gave me a felling that i cant even describe, the teaching were awesome and if any one reading this has time, go and sit inn YOU SHOULD, IF YOU ARE A LOVER of the HOLY TRINITY IT WILL ONLY INFIGHTING YOU SPIRITUALITY.

  6. I'm just saying...... says:


  7. watchfuleyes says:

    It is too bad this church does not respect, honor and pay tribute to the men, (Priests) who first brought the Ethiopian Orthodox church to Bermuda, who traveled to Jamaica, were ordained as Priests and were given the vessels to use in setting up the church in Bermuda. If it was not for those men, and the congregation who carried on with worship when it was just their two families, and a handful attending Sunday after Sunday in pursuit of growing the church, it may not even exist here in the west. If one goes on the church website the person who is speaking about how the Ethiopian Orthodox church got started in Bermuda does not even know the names of these two founders of his church. Maybe you should show some respect to the men who made it possible for people to be standing in that beautiful church now. All that glitters is not gold.