Russian Baptist Church, 1916
The Russian Baptist Church was organized in 1916 under the direction of Rev. Paul Truss, a native of Russia who came to Albion that year to work at the Albion Malleable Iron Company. Assisting him in the evangelical outreach work with the “foreign settlement” community in Albion was Konrad Felisky, who arrived in 1917. A church was built in 1918 at 614 Austin Avenue, on land donated by Harry Parker, vice president of the Albion Malleable Iron Company. Services were held here until a new church was erected on North Eaton Street in 1948.
The First Russian Gospel Singers Choir at the Russian Baptist Church was organized in 1935 under the direction of Mary (Prigodich) Felisky. The costumes were made by the parents of the choir members. The choir made recordings for short-wave radio stations, which transmitted behind the Iron Curtain during the era of Communism. The choir was in existence until 1959. This was the choir lineup in 1938, from left to right: (front row) Joseph Veramay, Stella Elushik, Esther Veramay, Mary Felisky, Naida Lazarchuk, Leada Brankovich, and John Harry; (back row) Sophie Grenevitch, Victor NEsterenko, Russell Elushik (who was killed during World War II), John Varamay, Steve Veramay, Katherine Veramay, and Helen Elushik. (Photo courtesey of Tim Felisky.)
Russian Baptist Choir about 1938.
Source: Powell, Judy. An Ethnic History of Albion. Albion, MI: Monroe County Library System Graphic Services. 1978. p 51.