In the early 1900s, a great influx of Carpatho-Rusyn immigrants settled in Campbell, known then as East Youngstown. Their desire to form a Church of the Byzantine Catholic Rite began as early as 1918 when a group of 43 families organized to find a place to worship. They were supported by Greek Catholic Union Lodge 576, who sold the church founders a hall on Bright Avenue for a nominal fee. At last, on Aug. 23, 1922, St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church was incorporated and acquired a charter from the state of Ohio. Byzantine Catholic priests from nearby churches St. Nicholas in Youngstown and SS. Peter & Paul in Struthers (now Infant Jesus of Prague) took care of the spiritual needs of the parish.
In the early years when a shortage of priests was a serious problem, St. Michael’s demonstrated solidarity of purpose among its members. By 1939, under the pastorate of Father Victor Kovalicky, the parish began to grow. Plans were initiated for a new church and rectory.
In June 1946, Father George Petro was appointed pastor. The vision and enthusiasm of this young priest generated new ideas into parish life. After years of planning for a new church complex, they purchased 63 acres of farmland in southeast Campbell. Groundbreaking took place on July 2, 1950. In 1952 Father Paul Vasko became pastor, and the completed church was dedicated on Oct. 26, 1952 by Bishop Daniel Ivancho. With the loving cooperation of the parishioners, Father Paul soon was able to pay off the mortgage.
In 1954, St. Michael’s enthusiastically joined the other four Youngstown area Byzantine parishes to build Byzantine Catholic Central School.
Father Michael Felock became pastor in June 1958. Under his guidance, a new rectory was built in 1961 and a Social Hall was completed in 1962. With such construction, the parish was in significant debt.
Monsignor Victor Romza, the current pastor, was appointed in September of 1963. By 1970, with the continued support and work of parishioners, the parish became free of all mortgages. Because of the availability of a school, many young families joined St. Michael’s and became involved in all facets of the parish. Through the years, various improvements have been made to the buildings and grounds.
In November 1997, St. Michael’s Diamond Jubilee was observed as Metropolitan Judson celebrated with parish family and friends. At that time, the parish had grown to over 350 families.
Monsignor Romza, after serving St. Michael Church and community of faithful for over 50 years, officially retires March 14, 2014, at which time Father Kevin E. Marks assumes duties as Parish Administrator.