Holy Trinity Orthodox Church
61314 C. R. 21, Goshen, Indiana
In the early 1950's, Goshen, Indiana seemed an unlikely place for a Ukrainian community to develop. Goshen was a small, sleepy town with a population of less than 14,000. Interestingly enough, a large Mennonite population lived in the area, many of whom had parents and ancestors who had lived in Mennonite villages in Ukraine. Some of the early Ukrainians who were already settled in the area were Ivan Duhopelnyk, Petro and Anna Pniwczuk (1951) (who is still a member of the parish), the Szckarmaliuk family, Constantine and Domacha Horban and their two children Nick and Halya, who came from Texas to Pennsylvania to Goshen, Ivan and Polia Ivanko and Yasha who came from Germany, Ivan Grysha with his wife and three girls. Later in 1953-1954 these families were joined by Ivan and Maria Hulewicz and their two girls, who moved from New Jersey; Maria and Nick Maximenko, Tatiania and Wasyl Maximenko, the Honcherenko Family, the Lukianenko family, and the Litwin and Schlichta families. Slowly, other families from many states and countries also came to join friends in the Goshen area.
There were also some Belorussian and Russian families in the area. Initially all prayed together in various houses with Father Ilnitchky officiating at the services. Although there was an early attempt to have a unified orthodox church, the attempt was not successful. Some of the Ukrainian families gathered for their own services beginning in 1956. Services were held outside in the summer in the orchard of Stanley (Ivan) and Maria Hulewicz, and Stepan and Fatyna Prokopenko. In the winter, services were held in the homes of the Maximenko, Zahursky, Horban and Hulewicz/Prokopenko families. The first Priest was Father Timofee Matzak. After him was Father Olexander Yavtushenko. In May 1959, Ivan Grysha purchased 5 acres for the Church for $4,500, paying $800 down with the parishioners collecting the remaining money for the purchase by July. On the land was a small barrack or shed type building which then became the church. When the parish decided to build a church, 82 members met for the parish meeting to decide the matter. A brick church was built in 1961, the rectory in 1969, and the church hall in 1971. By this time, other families had joined the parish from as far away as South America.
Today, Holy Trinity parish has services on Sundays and Holy Days, along with adult and children's education classes and Bible studies. There is an active Sisterhood, and a children's choir has just been formed. The parish helps the local homeless shelter as an outreach. Very successful bake sales and pysanky classes are held which draw interested people in. The church has erected a large memorial for those who have died from the Holodomor at a nearby cemetery. Parish member families have produced two Orthodox priests and a deacon. From 2009 to 2010, Holy Trinity parish hosted the local Antiochian Orthodox parish while they were building their new temple. It was an interesting study in the mixing of not just two parishes; but different cultures, calendars, and traditions. The experience has left a unique bond between the two parishes which will likely last for many years.
Newly-assigned Rev. Silouan Rolando, Rev. Deacon James Stickel, and the parish family invite all to join them in Goshen when in the Northern Indiana area.