On Sunday, December 11, 1938, a dream was fulfilled by the founding fathers of Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church of Warren, Ohio. The First Divine Liturgy was served by the Reverend Father Stephan Varzaly of Rankin, Pennsylvania. Through his intercession the congregation was served by temporary pastors until the Reverend Father Joseph Simko assumed duties; first as a Deacon, then in 1940, he was Ordained to the Holy Priesthood and became the first pastor of Saint Nicholas Church.
Father Simko and his band of faithful followers had a strenuous time; there’s been so much to do and so little to do it with. But through urgent prayers, sacrifice, hard work and God's bountiful blessings, hardships were overcome. In 1941 the Vine Street Church was purchased for $12,000.00 dollars. And within one year's time both interior and exterior of the Church and Parish Home had been renovated, involving a cash expenditure of over $3,000.00 dollars.
The founding fathers who gave so much of themselves in time, labor, and love were: Mr. & Mrs. John Butchko Sr., Mr. & Mrs. Michael Krupey, Mr. & Mrs. Vasil Kunichko, Mr. & Mrs. John Mickey, Sam Fuchilla, Andrew Sestzko, Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Polovka Sr., Mr. & Mrs. John Babey and Mr. & Mrs. Michael Matyas.
The Church was officially dedicated and blessed on Sunday, June 7, 1942 by the Most Reverend Bishop Orestes P. Chornock.
During the following years the Church progressed with great vitality. Many improvements were made. Icons were purchased, an Icon screen was made. Chalices, crosses and other religious articles were donated by parishioners in thanksgiving for God's abundant bless-ings. With the cooperation of pastor, parishioners and the enthusiasm and dedication of the Altar Society, Saint Nicholas Parish flourished. Funds for the building fund were raised from dances at the different homes of parishioners who had farms, the Kunichko's, the Serbin's and the Matyas'.
The music was provided by the young 13-year-old Andrew Krupey with his accordion. There were many "Predstavlenie" or "Church Plays" during this time. Funds were also raised by dinners and donations from the parishioners. The mortgage was paid off five years earlier than expected.
In 1946-1953 Saint Nicholas Church was again served by temporary pastors. Father Ivan Ladyzynski assumed duties in 1953. Under his pastorship, the Church and rectory were remodeled and the Church Hall basement was redecorated with pine paneling.
In 1960, under the guidance of their new pastor, the Reverend Father Nicholas Solak, a new Icon screen was blessed and dedicated. The new Icon screen and other Liturgical appointments were a labor of love for Father Solak, Michael Krupcy, Andrew Vekela and Peter Delida. The Church Choir
In March of 1963 the pastorate was assumed by the Reverend Father Andrew Hutnyan. Under Father Hutnyan's guidance the spiritual growth of the parish was channeled into many parish organizations. Pastoral Society, Sunday school, Junior Youth Club and Altar Boy Club along with the Sunday Herald, the Church bulletin, all added to the stability of the parish.
Construction on a beautiful colonial style Rectory was completed under the guidance of the new, pastor, the Reverend R. Michael Zak. Father Zak was assigned as pastor in 1975. The new Rectory was blessed by His Excellency, Bishop John R. Martin on Sunday, June 12, 1977. A Banquet was held at De Vieste Restaurant. Under Father Zak's guidance funds were raised to see the dream of a new complex a reality. But because of strict E.P.A. regulations, it was no longer feasible to build the new complex on the North Leavitt Road property.
The Church Board began to seek out alternatives to aid their growing population. In May of 1985 a bid was placed on the Hoffman property located on North Road in Howland.
The Reverend Father Kenneth M. Bachofsky was assigned as the new pastor of Saint Nicholas Church on Sunday, June 1, 1985, the Feast of Pentecost. With the approval of the congregation, the 8.2 acre parcel of land on North Road was purchased in November of 1985 at the cost of $180,000.00 dollars that was paid in cash.
On Sunday, June 26, 1986, His Grace, Bishop Nicholas, assisted by Father Ken and deanery and area clergy broke ground for the half-a-million dollar complex. Over 200 people attended the banquet that honored such an auspicious occasion.
The plans for the new complex will consist of a 200 seating capacity Church, a fellowship hall that will seat 300 people, a modern kitchen, men and women rooms, pastor's office, processional walk and a Hors d'oeuvres patio. The complex was designed by Mosure & Associates of Youngstown. Ohio. The final approval was given by the congregation in the spring of 1987 and the contract was signed by Evan's Construction Company to build our new Church.
Actual construction of the complex began in June of 1987. The Cornerstone was Consecrated and Laid by His Grace, Bishop Nicholas on September 25, 1987. A reception was held in the Vine Street Church Hall which was filled to capacity.
We pray that our Lord will continue to bless us as we continue in years as a spiritual family in Christ! May we grow spiritually, materially and may He add more to our number as he did to the Apostles of our Lord and their followers!
Christ is Among Us! He Is and Forever Shall Be!
Pastors Who Have Served Our Parish
Reverend Joseph Simko .........................1940 - 1946
Reverend Frank Masaros ........................1946 - 1949
Reverend George Yankevich.....................1949 - 1953
Reverend Ivan Ladyzynski .......................1953 - 1954
Reverend Joseph Stefanko ......................1954 - 1954 (2 months)
Reverend Nicholas Solak ........................1954 - 1963
Reverend Andrew Hutnyan ......................1963 - 1975
Reverend R. Michael Zak ........................1975 - 1985
Very Reverend Kenneth M. Bachofsky .....1985 - Present