V. Rev. Benjamin A. Johnson, Rector
Spouse: Matushka Ruth (Teresa)
John Fedorko, Subdeacon and Parish Council President
Gary Vaselenak, Subdeacon and Parish Treasurer
Monica Haney, Church School Coordinator and Parish Council Vice President
Jeffrey Tucker, Parish Council Secretary
Zachary Haney, Parish Council Member
Diocese: Diocese of the Midwest
Deanery: Cleveland Deanery
Physical Address: 282 S 5th St, Byesville, OH 43723
Mailing Address: PO Box 287, Byesville, OH 43723-0287
The history of Orthodoxy in this region dates back to the year 1912 when a group of Orthodox Christians, mostly immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, formed a group who petitioned Archbishop Planton for a Priest.
Fr. Solanka arrived as organizer and Orthodoxy officially became in Robins on January 1, 1914. The first permanent Pastor, Constantine Auroroff, arrived in February 1914. Worship was conducted in the men's Lodge Hall in Robins, which later was converted and remodeled into St. Michael's Church. The first president of the group was George Patchen.
In 1918 a cemetery was established and in 1919, the St. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church was built in Lore City, Ohio. Elevation of the Cross Orthodox Church, in Belle Valley, was serviced from Robins. The "R" Club was organized in 1939 and through their efforts a social hall was purchased.
In 1932 the parish home burned down and was rebuilt by the parishioners with used lumber from vacant houses in the vicinity. Tragedy struck the parish again in 1958 when the parish house burned down for the second time. Fr. Mike Chervinsky died of burns he received in the fire.
The Parsonage was rebuilt once again, through the help of Dean Fr. Prislopsky from Cleveland and sister Parishes in the Metropolitan. The home was rebuilt in Robins and additional land was purchased in Byesville, Ohio for a future church. A fund was then started for that exact purpose.
Upon the arrival of Fr. Basil Slimak in September, 1964, a concerted effort was made for funds and plans were made for the centrally located Church. Actual ground breaking for the new Church was held in May of 1966 and construction started later in June. The first service was held in December, 1966.
The new building, of open beam construction, has a floor area of 4800 square feet in both the Church and social hall. The hall area has kitchen facilities and seating capacity for 200. The hall is used for school and social use. Total cost was approximately $50,000.
Since the arrival of Fr Slimak, English services were introduced and Orthodox services were held at Muskingum College, Ohio State University, Ohio Universities, and at the Cambridge State Hospital, which had 30 orthodox patients at one time. Fr Slimak also serviced regularly for the Deanery and the missionary church of St. Nicholas in Columbus, Ohio.
The Orthodox Church in America
The Mission of The Orthodox Church in America, the local autocephalous Orthodox Christian Church, is to be faithful in fulfilling the commandment of Christ to “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”