In 1954, 13 people met to organize the First Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Church of Philadelphia.
In 2019, the church celebrated its 65th anniversary at a service on Sunday, November 17. The membership is now more than 200.
The first service included the founding pastor, Rev. Jaroslaw Paprockyj, and his wife, Maria. Sister Paprockyj, who is still a member, attended the anniversary service at age 96! She turned 97 a month later. Rev. Paprockyj passed into heaven in 2006. He had served as pastor for 40 years.
Sister Paprockyj spoke briefly and was given a bouquet of flowers.
Besides being active locally, including sponsoring a weekly radio program, the church has been host to about 15 annual conferences of the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention in the USA.
The sermon was delivered by Rev. Roman Kapran, president of the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention, based on the Bible passage in Matthew 16:18 where Jesus says: “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”
After the service, a dinner was served in the church’s dining hall.
For more information about the history of the church, see the website www.1UkrChurch.org or the Facebook page at First Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Church.
The choir sings under the direction of Borys Voyevoda.