Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, April 27, 1997, pg. 4

In the August 27, 1995 issue of this column we presented an article about the Russian Baptist Church, located at 614 Austin Avenue. This church served the immigrant community on the “west end,” and was founded in the fall of 1916. Most of the men converts worked at the Albion Malleable Iron Company, including its first pastor Rev. Paul  Truss. The original five convert members in 1916-17 were: Alex Markovich, Joseph Romanchuk, Antonina Veramay, Ostop Veramay, and Nestor Komarchuk.

Harry Parker, head of the Albion Malleable Iron Company, donated land for a church building which was constructed in 1918. Services and classes were conducted in Russian, and membership increased to 51 by 1925 to 70 in 1931, and 81 members in 1947. Construction began on a new church building on North Eaton Street in 1947. The name of the church was changed to the Eaton Street Baptist Church. The original church building became the home of Union Cleaners. There is much more I could write about the history of this church but do not have the space to do so.

In the late 1920s the church held a gathering at the home of one if its members, John and Mary Harry, 702 West Broadwell Avenue (yes, Broadwell is historically named an avenue, not a street). From our Historical Notebook this week we present a fascinating photograph of the church members, courtesy of Anne Veramay Thompson of Marshall. Identifications by row (left to right) are as follows:

Front Row: (boy sitting) Kick Kolodica, Alex Kolodica, John Kolodica, Victor Nesterenko, Ann Brankovich, Naida Lazarchuk, Paul Elushik, Steve Lazarchuk, Joseph Veramay (straw hat is in front of Mr. Veramay), Peter Brankovich, Peter Nesterenko.

Second row: (girl with dress) Leada Brankovich, Estella Elushik, Helen Elushik, Helen Kolodica, Walter Nesterenko, Nina Bokovec, John Veramay, Steve Veramay, Paul Elushik, unidentified, Anne Veramay, Francis Harry, Ada Bokovec, boy seated is George Harry, Irene Bushinski.

Third row: Mrs. Mary Elushik holding twin son John, Mr. Elushik hodling twin daughter Mary, Pauline Nesterenko, John Nesterenko, Mr. Walter Craighead, Mrs. Hazel (Thomson) Craighead (Baptist missionaries to Romania), Antonia Veramay, Esther Veramay, Rev. Ostopo Veramay, Anna Stechuk, Mary Jane Stechuk, Mike Stechuk, Mrs. Mary Harry, Mr. John Harry, Sr., Catherine Harry.

Top row: Ann Elushik, William Lazarchuk, Konrad O. Felisky, Joe Wash, Efam Kurhirchuk, Mr. Leon Kracko, Mr. Philip Brankovich, Mr. Carl Bushinski holding his daughter Dorothy, Mrs. Vera Bushinski, Baba (grandmother) Nesterenko, Alex Stechuk, Henry Nesterenko, John Brankovich.

Gathering at the home of John and Mary Harry sometime in the 1920s

More about the Russian Baptist Church


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