SOMERSET, NJ – The Harvest of Hope, a ministry of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, one of New Jersey’s largest African-American Churches, honored Greek-American scholar, businessman, and community leader Peter Stavrianidis at its Annual Father’s Day Brunch and Silent Auction.
Established by the Church’s pastor, Rev. Dr. DeForest B. Soaries Jr. in 1996, Harvest of Hope has recruited and trained over 435 families to become licensed foster families. Last December they placed their 1000th child in a foster home.
The brunch event, held on June 16th this year, honors fathers throughout New Jersey, especially those, like Stavrianidis, who have been supporters of the organization and who engage in philanthropic activities.
Stavrianides, who is married to Maggie Stavrianidis, with whom he has raised three sons, told TNH “I happen to be very much involved with organizations that support underprivileged children as I believe that we can do so much to bring those children to the right path for success.”
He often lectures on the topic to local students.
Among the groups he works with is Road to Success, a program of the Franklin Township Board of Education which facilitates schooling for children who cannot attend during regular hours.
The Stavrianidises are both of Pontian descent and he is the former president of the Pan Pontian Federation of America and a former board member of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York and is currently the general secretary of the Hellenic Federation of New Jersey.
He was worked hard to gain recognition of the Pontian Genocide. During his presidency the governors of New York and New Jersey George Pataki and James. McGreevey issued genocide proclamations.
As a passionate proponent of human rights, he is affiliated with a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) of the United Nations for the prevention of Genocide around the world, and Stavrianidis also fights for religious freedom as an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Stavrianides has continued the family tradition as the owner of Venus Jewelers in Somerset, but he is also a trained sociologist with a PhD from Greece’s Panteion University. He is now undertaking a study on multiculturalism and mixed marriages in the Greek-American community, and is also researching the Jews of Greece.
The well-rounded Hellene is a music aficionado, occasionally jamming with a local rock-jazz band, and a serious martial artist.