Rev. olexa  Harbuziuk Legacy

Пастор олекса Романович Гарбузюк

Image Gallery

Post-WWII immigrants

Some immigrants who came to Chicago after World War II gather for a photo. The third man from the right is Joseph Skula. His wife, Maria, is next to him. They sponsored many displaced persons from Germany to Chicago. Next to Mrs. Skula is Bill Stepaniuk. The man holding the child is Wasyl Bereza. (Thanks to Kay Stepaniuk for providing this photo.)

The church band plays during a special service on Thanksgiving Day under the direction of Aleksandr Antonyuk. (Thanks to Walter Polowczak for providing the photo.)

Joseph Yakimow Sr.

One of the early members of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago was Deacon Joseph Yakimow (right). The Yakimow family began attending the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago in 1937. Brother Yakimow is shown standing with his son-in-law, Walter Antoniuk. (Thanks to Joe Yakimow for providing this photo.)

75th church anniversary

This photo shows one of the early services in the building at 1042 N. Damen Ave.,  which was purchased in 1952. It's possible that it's the dedication service. Pastor Olexa Harbuziuk is behind the pulpit. Eugene Masluk is directing the choir.

   The year 2015 marked the 100th anniversary for the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago.
    The church was established in 1915 by Joseph Skula, who was born in Ukraine but immigrated to Chicago as a young man. He accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal savior in Chicago.
    Brother Skula began witnessing to people he would encounter on the street, in the park and door to door until he gathered enough converts to start holding church services.
    Approximately 350 people attended a special service on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26, at 10:30 a.m. in the church building in Berwyn at 6751 Riverside Drive.
    Several special guests from Ukraine attended and spoke, including the president of the Baptist Union in Ukraine, Rev. Valeriy Antonuk (Валерій Антонюк). The Baptist Union represents nearly 3,000 churches.
    Pastor Kalinin acknowledged the presence of several long-time members, including Mrs. Sophia Harbuziuk (since 1949), Mr. and Mrs. Michael and Nina Wozny (since 1950), Mrs. Anna Pochodenko and Mr. Walter Polowczak. A few long-time members of more than 50 years are homebound, including Mrs. Natalia Kyryliw (age 92) and Mr. Jaroslaw Bylen (age 91).
    Afterward, more than 320 people attended a banquet at Crystal Sky Banquets, 7941 W. 47th Street, McCook (at corner of Joliet Road).
    The church has been spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ at different locations throughout its history and also via radio programs. For a few years, the church even conducted evangelistic services in Humboldt Park on Sunday afternoons in the summer.
    The church now numbers about 270 members. Rev. Aleksandr Kalinin has been the pastor since January 1, 1993, succeeding Rev. Olexa Harbuziuk.

This history of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago was written by Rev. Olexa Harbuziuk for the church's 80th anniversary and appeared in "The Messenger of Truth" magazine November-December 1995.

Early members

History of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago

Photos coming soon.

Evangelism in park: The church used to conduct religious services on Sunday afternoons during the summer in Humboldt Park. Rev. Harbuziuk is holding the microphone. Behind him is Rev. John Barchuk (with a Bible tucked under his arm). Notice the loudspeakers in the foreground. Later, the church was forbidden by the park district to use the loudspeakers.

The Yakimow family was prominent in the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago for several decades. From left: Joseph Jr. was a Sunday School teacher, sang in the choir and played the piano. Joseph (1898-1984) was a deacon and treasurer. Olga's husband was the pastor for a couple of years. Betty Ann (1940-1972) played the organ. Katherine sang in the choir and was a Sunday School teacher. Mary (1901-1964) was the leader of the women's circle. Walter (1924-1998) was the Sunday School superintendent and operated the reel-to-reel tape recording machine to record radio programs. (Thanks to Kay Stepaniuk for providing this copy of a photo.)

Some immigrants, newly arrived in 1949, pose with some of their sponsors, including Joseph Skula (kneeling 2nd from left) and Joseph Yakimow (kneeling at right).
Thanks to Joe Yakimow for providing this photo.

Church's 100th anniversary celebrated in 2015 with a Thanksgiving Day service and a banquet