St. Archangel Michael        Icons in Interior St. Archangel Michael                  Assumption Greek Orthodox Church
 Serbian Orthodox Church                                                 
 


St. Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbians began to come to the Southeast Side in the late 1890's. Like other ethnic groups they left their homeland to seek better jobs and many of them intended to return home when they had saved some money. In 1904 South Chicago was designated as a parish district named "Serbian Orthodox Parochial District of St. Elijah." When the Serbians had their religious services, they initially rented halls which were mostly located along 91st street between Brandon and Burley. In 1919 they finally bought a fromerly Danish Lutheran Church located at 3016 East 98th Street for $1,000. All interior furnishings were also bought for $35. A committee selected St. Archangel Michael as the name for the new church. By 1924 members of the church realized that the church they had bought five years ago was too small to house the growing Serbian population. In March of 1924 a committee was chosen to find a place for the new church. The committee was also supposed to look for property for a cemetery. The church committee decided to purchase five lots on the 9800 block of Commercial Avenue for $4,550.00. A constructor and an architect were selected by the church's committee. The contractor was Zygmund F. Jakobowski and Franz Roy, whose offices were at 9046 S. Commercial Avenue, was the architect. In September 18, 1926 construction began, as well as a religious ceremony that was performed by Reverend George Milosavljevich in honor of the construction. The old Lutheran church was sold for $3,250. In the early 1940's the church bought the vacant lot at 9801 Commercial and later built a school and church hall on the property. A picnic grove made up of 13 lots on the 9800 block of Houston Avenue was purchaed in September 1954. The church at 98th and Commercial Avenue served the Serbian community for 75 years until several years ago they decided to leave their traditional Russian style onion domed church and relocate to Lansing, a southern suburb of Chicago. They moved to Lansing on July 2, 1998. There they built their Church next to the St. Archangel Michael Serbian Cultural Center at 186th Street and Stony Island Avenue. They have moved out of the area because of the fact that the majority of the parishioners have also moved. With Lansing being the church's geographical center an estimated 70 percent of the congregation has left the area of South Chicago. The church's congregation now brings in families from surrounding suburbs and from northwest Indiana. In order for them to have constructed their new church they had to sell their old one, and they sold it to an Ethiopian Orthodox group. 

Assumption Greek Orthodox Church

On February 3, 1921, some of the Greeks from Hegewisch met in the home of John Tsolakos, at 13445 Burley to discuss an establishment of a Greek afternoon school. They selected a committee of twelve members to study the matter of the school. They also contributed a total of $233.00 and thus the founding of the school was on its way. On March 5th, the school received its name, Homer. There would also be a priest invited for the Holy Week of April 7th-14th to come and celebrate. Reverend Dimitriadis was the priest asked to come. He accepted and thus he became the first of many priests to serve the community of Hegewisch. On the 3rd of May, everyone decided that it was time to establish a church and have the priest teach at the school too. There was a general meeting on May 7th, in which it was decided to buy a building to house the church and to make a new constitution. A few weeks later on the 23rd of June, the new church was named Assumption of Mary, named after the Holy Virgin Mary. The purchase of the building took place a little while after on August 19th, 1926, and the first meeting at the new building was held on October 3rd, 1926. In 1936, the church building burned down in a fire, but the parishioners were able to build a new church, which opened on September 6, 1937. Additional construction would occur thirty years later, in 1967, when the building was extended by thirty-five and a half feet. The church was and still is located at 13631 S. Brainard. 

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