Priest: Reverend A. Edward Gretchko
408 Walnut StreetPleasant City, OH. 43772-9775 Get Directions
St. Michael the Archangel Byzantine Catholic Church in Pleasant City, Ohio was organized on June 24, 1898 to serve the Byzantine Catholic Slovaks, Hungarians and Rusyns who had emigrated from Eastern Europe. They came to this area and settled in small towns all over Guernsey County. Most of the men worked in the coal mines, which provided the best wage at the time. Some farmed or worked at other jobs to support their families and their church. The first church was a small wooden structure which served not only Byzantine Catholics, but also Roman Catholics and Russian Orthodox. Under the pastorate of Father Nestor Volensky, the church was consecrated in 1899 by Most Reverend John Ambrose Watterson, Roman Catholic bishop of Columbus, Ohio. St. Michael Church soon became too small to serve the growing congregation. In 1916 a larger brick structure was built and consecrated by Bishop Soter Ortinsky. The new holy space was endowed with a full icon screen and beautiful stained glass windows depicting Christ, the Mother of God, the apostles and saints. Many of the stained glass windows and icons on the walls and ceiling were specifically donated by groups and individuals. Though some of the Roman Catholic parishioners left and later established Holy Trinity Parish in Byesville, Ohio, St. Michael Church still had a large congregation of Byzantine Catholics. The biggest changes in the size of the parish began in the late 1920s and early 1930s as the southeastern Ohio coal mines began to close as a result of the Great Depression. Many individuals and families moved to Cleveland, Akron, Detroit, Pittsburgh and other major metropolitan areas to seek work. World War II also took its toll on St. Michael’s, as over one hundred and fifty young men and women were called to serve in the Armed Forces. Besides building a large new church, the parish also acquired other property over the years. In 1910, land for a cemetery was attained. When an old hall near the church (the original church hall) burned down, property near Pleasant City was purchased. It included a building for a social hall and a five-acre picnic grove. The grove building was destroyed by strong winds in the 1970s, but the grove continued to be used for the annual church homecoming picnic. During that same time, a hall was built next to the church to serve as space for ECF (Eastern Christian Formation) classrooms, church fellowship and organizational meetings. During the parish centennial year of 1998, St. Michael Church was renovated. The year also included special events honoring past and present parishioners and former pastors. One special honoree was Anna Chervenak, then 91, who was present at the 1916 consecration of the then-new St. Michael Church. The high point of the centennial year was a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy celebrated by Most Reverend Judson Procyk, Metropolitan Archbishop of Pittsburgh.