First Ukrainian Baptist Church of Cleveland, Ohio, was officially organized in 1952 by a group of Ukrainian Baptist immigrants who came here after World War II. The first pastor was Dmytro Marijchuk, who stayed here until 1956.
After a series of interim pastors, in 1957 the church selected Alex Perekrest to lead the congregation. He married Gloria Barchuk in October, 1959, and continued to lead the church. During this time the congregation grew in number and purchased a church buildling in Cleveland. In July, 1973, Alex Perekrest was ordained as Minister of the Gospel and he continued to pastor the church. We also were honored by the ministry of Dr. Moses Gitlin and later by Rev. John Barchuk.
The church experienced many changes and decreased in number. However, with the fall of the Soviet Empire, the doors were opened in Ukraine and many new immigrants came to the U.S. It was our privilege to meet and help settle in this country many of our Ukrainian Christians and also other Slavic people. Thus, with the influx of new people, the church again increased in number and continued to grow.
As the pastor grew older, he was aware of the need for a younger man to take over the leadership. The church called Victor Pilipchuk to be that new leader. Sadly, only about 6 months later, on March 7, 2007, pastor Alex Perekrest went home to be with the Lord, having served the Ukrainian Baptist Church for 50 years.
Today, in 2018, the church has about 190 members and many children and young people, as well as a larger, renovated facility which seats more than 300. There are many programs for young people and children, including Sunday school. There are ministries for women and young marrieds. There is a fine choir with a capable director and an orchestra. The worship services are conducted mainly in the Ukrainian language but other languages are also used. We are looking forward to continued blessing from our Lord as we serve Him until His return.