Chris Aldridge was born on November 4th, 1984 in Asheboro, North Carolina to Darrell Aldridge (6/11/1966 - 6/27/2011) and Tracey Burleson (July 4th, 1967). Chris grew up in the nearby City of Thomasville, where he attended Pilot Elementary School, E. Lawson Brown Middle School, and East Davidson High School.
In 1999, Chris enrolled in martial arts, studying Moo Duk Kwan Tae Kwon Do of South Korea. He dedicated his life at the time to the study of the arts and loved competing in tournaments. His first took place in Wallburg, North Carolina when he was a yellow belt, where he placed 2nd in forms and 3rd in sparring. Upon reaching blue belt, he entered the Karate Open as part of the Raleigh, North Carolina State Games on June 24th, 2000, where he won the gold in forms and sparring, making him a state champion. He continued to compete in various local tournaments, winning several more awards, until he left the school in 2003. It shut down completely in 2005. Chris went on to become a black belt and studied mixed martial arts.
After high school graduation in 2004, Chris became a Civil War reenactor as part of his love for history, and dedicated his studies to military strategy for several years. He took part in over a dozen battles and living history events in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. His last would be in 2010 at his second attendance of the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina.
Chris wrote his first fictional novel in 2006 and held his first book signing in 2007. From the time of childhood, he loved writing and reading, and exhibited a unique imagination to his teachers. In late 2007, Chris began to change his religious beliefs and spiritual interests. While he had been raised a Christian (southern Baptist), he had always been a very open minded person and became interested in the Pagan religions and Witchcraft. He began studying spellcasting and other magical arts, but because of his ingrained upbringing, he remained with the Christian theology in the practice.
In the summer of 2009, he met his wife, Anastasia Smith of Freeport, Illinois. Her religion at the time was Wicca, and had been for the previous 9 years, but together they had an amazing spiritual experience that changed them both to Hellenism, which Chris talks about in some of his books and blog posts. He has since dedicated his life to the ancient Greek way. On June 4th, 2010, Chris' first and only son was born, Gryphon Maximus Aldridge. Severely premature at 24 weeks, Gryphon spent over 100 days in the Winston Salem Forsyth Regional Medical Center, but came home healthy and strong in the Fall of that year.
On July 8th, 2010, Chris founded Temple Of The Greek Gods, his own public religious organization. In February 2011, he and his family moved back to his hometown of Thomasville to give the temple its first major physical indoor worship area and outside sanctuary. Chris became the founder and Head Priest of the first openly polytheistic temple to ever exist in the City's 159 year history. His wife became the Head Priestess. Chris also began his religious publications in 2011, opening his first public blog and self-publishing his first book on modern ancient Greek religious practice. The Spring of that year was the first time he led a public rite, and would continue to do consistent public events for the Hellenic and Pagan population of Davidson County.
In late 2011 and early 2012, Chris became very involved in politics, nationally but especially locally. His goal, along with that of his political friends and partners, was liberty and equality for minorities, especially Pagans and the LGBT community. On May 1st, 2012, Chris made the front page of the Thomasville Times in his public protest against North Carolina's infamous Amendment One that banned gay marriage in the state, before the 2015 Supreme Court ruling. He and his partners even took on the County's anti-alcohol ordinances and managed to get the voters to lift the bans, prohibition being officially abolished on November 8th, 2016. But despite such activism and a strong Pagan community in North Carolina, the state and local governments were never friendly to minorities. In fact, the state legislature did all they legally could to oppress minority groups. Chris' family also didn't see much, if any, economic opportunity for themselves, nor was there adequate medical care and education for their son.
In November 2012, Chris and his family moved to Freeport, Illinois to start a new life both for themselves and their temple. He continued his public engagements with the local Hellenists and Pagans, and briefly taught classes at a local Pagan store. He served this area until his family moved to Galena, Illinois in the early Spring of 2014, where he pursued an additional career as a historian at the City museum. During his months living in Galena, Chris became involved with the Universalist Church of nearby Stockton, where he was given the ability to place public temple events on a larger community platform. In 2015, Panathenaia was held at the church, resulting in a very diverse turnout. By this time, Chris and his family had moved to the small town of Elizabeth, Illinois, where his wife opened her own spiritual supply store called The Gryphon's Nest, after their son. Leading public rites and events fell on the backburner for the next couple of years as Chris focused on writing books, blogs, and building sanctuaries.
The next work he produced was dedicated to the history, study and religion of his Patron Hero, Theseus, titled, Theseus: His Life, Mysteries and Virtues. First publicized on public radio in 2016, the Freeport Public Library allowed Chris to hold a book signing with the work that summer. In July, he spoke at a public fireworks event in Freeport about the book and Theseus as the Founder of Western democracy. He also accepted small assignments from his friends between 2016 and 2018 for banishments, and made a small name for himself for his ability to successfully cleanse homes of spiritual intrusions. Chris produced more religious works during this period, including Light of Olympos: Ancient Greek Rites and Prayers for Everyday Life, In The Presence of the Gods: An American Odyssey, and Hellenic Polytheism: A Personal Guide for Ancient Greek Practitioners. Shortly before leaving Elizabeth, the renowned Pagan publication called Witches and Pagans Magazine published a story about him and the Artemis sanctuary he had built in the hilly and forested countryside of the town. Chris' religious and historical research was also featured on the website of the Supreme Council of Ethnic Hellenes of Greece. He even composed numerous short fictional works, and was featured in Dark Dossier, Mad Scientist Journal, and Literary Orphans Journal.
On September 1st, 2019, Chris and his wife advanced themselves and the temple to its greatest achievement to date when they purchased their own private home and residence in Machesney Park, Illinois. In the past, they had private establishments as well, but they were always smaller and rented, never owned. September 2019 changed all of that. The temple was given its full independence with a large indoor area and a very spacious outside sanctuary. Temple Of The Greek Gods of North Central Illinois became forever.
On October 13th, 2022, Chris received a Knighthood from the Prince of the Principality of Kaharagia, for his years of work defending religious freedom and human rights. Chris officially accepted the award on July 16th of that year, considering it a symbol of human liberation and dignity throughout the world. Chris was initially surprised that they'd recognize a polytheist, since nothing of the sort is their official State religion, but everyone is welcomed and respected as a contributor to mankind.
Height - 6' 1"
Religion - Hellenismos
Status - Married
Political Views - Liberal
Nationality - United States of America
Education - Columbia College of Missouri (BA)
Profession - Priest, Writer, Public Speaker, Historian
Executive Summary - Modern Ancient Greek Religious Movement
Children - 1
Ethnic Heritage - United Kingdom, French, Scandinavian, Central Europe.
Orientation - Straight
Titles, Ranks and Awards
*North Carolina State Karate Champion (2000).
*Black Belt, TaeKwonDo/Mixed Martial Arts (1999-2023).
*Head Priest, Temple Of The Greek Gods (2010).
*Knight, 2nd Class, V, Royal Order, Principality of Kaharagia (2022).