We welcome His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, the 4th Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, members of the clergy, seminarians, honored guests, friends and parishioners as we mark the 50th Anniversary of the Consecration and Blessing of our newly constructed St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox Church on August 31, 1969.
On that day a new chapter was opened in the life of our parish, first established 43 years earlier in 1926 by our Ukrainian immigrant ancestors. In the presence of our church’s 1st Metropolitan, His Beatitude Metropolitan John, His Grace Archbishop Mstyslaw, our Pastor the Very Reverend Father Frank Lawyrk and Pani Julia, along with many other members of the clergy, honored guests, friends and parishioners, our church was dedicated “For God’s Greater Glory”. Our celebration with 600 guests in attendance made for a most memorable day in the history of our parish and included the highest ecclesiastical recognition of our pastor, Father Lawyrk, as he was awarded the Mitre, for his outstanding leadership and service to the church and his parish by word and deed.
Shortly after the consecration of our church, our parish hosted an open house celebration which attracted approximately 2000 visitors, who were given guided tours of our church and presentations on how the church was constructed over a five-year period. Our twin-spired gold dome church was a welcomed addition to the Johnson City landscape and stands as a physical and spiritual landmark in what was known as the “Valley of Opportunity” to our local residence and visitors. Built in a neo-Byzantine style, the church could seat 400 in the nave and 50 in choir loft. Since that first open house we have continued to welcome visitors for our Sunday and Holy Day Services and offer guided tours of our church in conjunction with the Sacred Sites Program and during our Annual Ukrainian Days Festival.
Four generations later our parish is forever grateful to our founders, benefactors, spiritual leaders and our generous hardworking parishioners who continue to worship Him in our church and support “Our Gift to God” financially and by word, song and deed. While we may be far fewer in number today than we were 50 years ago we are no less grateful for our blessed inheritance made possible by God’s Grace, our devoted God loving parents and grandparents and our past and current spiritual leaders who continue to guide, inspire and pray with us today.
Over hundred faithful have gathered on Nov. 9 to celebrate Golden Anniversary of its church edifice. Among the clergy that conselebrated with His Eminence Metropolitan Antony were Protopresbyter Myron Oryhon, V. Rev. Zinoviy Zharsky, Fr. Philip Harendza, Fr. Ivan Synevskyy and Dn. Sviatoslav Hot. After hierarchical Divine Liturgy Vladyka Antony awarded three parishioners that deserve great honor with St. Andrew Centennial Award: William Klish, Nancy Tarcha and John Tylko. The choir under the direction of Melodye Onysko as always filled the church with sounds of prayer and praise.
The celebration continued with tasty dinner prepared by and served by St. Mary Sisterhood. William Klish who was Parish President for 22 years and Chair of the Building Committee of the Church reflected upon the time and shared some moments of the unique experience during the construction process.
Parish Ukrainian Dance group prepared three dances and showed talents of the children from three-year-olds to twenty-year-olds. Maxim Synevskyy inspired everyone with four piano pieces including Ukrainian Hymn "Ще не вмерла Україна".
As we come together to remember and honor our sacred inheritance, we take this opportunity to wish our hierarchs, clergy, parish board, committee chairs, choir, church school teachers, our pastor Father Ivan Synevskyy, Pani Oksana and family, and all the members of our St. John’s Family and friends all of God’s Blessings on this special occasion and forever.
На многая благая літа!
Na Mnohaya Blahaya Lita!
For Many Blessed Years!
The Anniversary Committee wishes to express
its sincerest gratitude to all of our faithful Parishioners
who came to help make this celebration such a great success.
We welcome guests and those who came home to celebrate with us.
We especially thankful to all who built this
church and to all who contributed to its maintenance.
May God bless you and grant you
many, happy and blessed years!