St. George the Great Martyr Orthodox Church
A parish of the Orthodox Church in America
Fr. Kyril Riggs, our attached priest

Father Kyril was born Keith Riggs in 1930 in western Kansas, the oldest of 3 children. His family attended the local Presbyterian church. He proved himself musically gifted after starting the saxophone at age 5, followed bγ piano, clarinet, and voice. ln high school he accepted the roles of drum major, assistant conductor of the band, and assistant director of the glee clubs. He was one of two people in the state of Kansas chosen for a national band of Future Farmers of America, playing the clarinet and traveling to Kansas City for the performance. He played in several dance bands, which included performing at wedding dances.

Father attended Kansas University, majoring in Music Education, while continuing to play in dance bands during the summers when he went home. He played in the university band and the university orchestra, and was chosen to sing in an exclusive chorale directed bγ a former assistant conductor of Bob Shaw's chorale. The chorale traveled all over the state of Kansas to advertise the university.

During his sophomore year in college, he met his future wife, Madge Allen, who was a piano major, at the university Presbyterian student outreach program. After a while they both decided to join the Episcopal church. They knew about the Orthodox Church and would have become Orthodox if the services had been in English. They were married in the Episcopal church just before Father's senior year in college. After graduation Father got a job teaching all the music in a western Kansas school district. During this time, he realized he was being drawn to the priesthood, so he made arrangements to attend seminary in Austin, Texas. Four years and one baby later, he graduated and was ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal church. He served parishes in west Texas, east Texas, Dallas, and rural Louisiana. Three more children later, he began a transition from the Episcopal church to the Orthodox Church. He was ordained bγ Archbishop Dmitri at the cathedral in Dallas and assigned to start a mission in Arkansas. He served in parishes in Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Chicago until he retired the first time at age 65. He and his Matushka moved to upstate New York and started a winery in the Finger Lakes area. After Matushka's demise, he again became a working priest and was assigned to Spring Valley, New York, a New York City bedroom community. He finally retired again at age 92 and moved with his daughter to the McAllen area. He is now attached to our parish.

Mailing Address
St. George the Great Martyr Orthodox Church
PO Box 667
Pharr, TX 78577
704 W Sam Houston
Pharr, TX 78577
Email and Phone