St. Nikola Church (Cudahy, Wisconsin)
St. Nikola Church in Cudahy, Wisconsin is a parish of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America diocese of New Gracanica and Midwestern America. Established in 1963, the congregation soon bought a church building on East Squire Street, which is where the church remains to this day. In 2008, this building suffered extensive damage from an electrical fire, and after repairs and renovations, the church was re-consecrated in 2010.
St. Nikola Church was founded in 1963 to serve the area between the already-established Serbian Orthodox Churches of St. Sava Cathedral in Milwaukee and St. George Church in Racine. The church building, located in the Milwaukee suburb of Cudahy, was purchased from the Knights of Pithias in that year for $15,900. However, The building was originally built in 1908, as home of the Slovak Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession of St. John the Baptizer (now known simply as St. John Lutheran Church) in Cudahy, Wisconsin. The land for the church was donated to that congregation by Patrick Cudahy, co-founder of "Cudahy Brothers" meat-packing company, (now simply known as "Patrick Cudahy, Inc."). The St. John's congregation moved from this building in 1952 after building a larger church.
On October 20, 2008, the Church building of St. Nikola suffered extensive damage from a fire. Initially, it was believed candles may have been to blame, but the investigation revealed that it was an electrical fire that started beween the basement and the main floor of the church. Because of the smoke, the church needed to be gutted, revealing further problems with the electric wiring and with the roof. The total cost of repair and renovation totalled about $800,000, the majority of which was covered by insurance. However, about $80,000 in donations was used toward the restoration. Due to the extensive work, St. Nikola was re-consecrated on April 17, 2010.
St. Nikola has many active groups and activities. Their dance troupe has participated in the Milwaukee-area Holiday Folk Fair International for over 50 years.
In 2014, shortly before his retirement, Fr. Marko Todorovich celebrated his 50th anniversary as St. Nikola Church's priest.
St. Nikola also owns and maintains a piece of property south of Cudahy in Caledonia, Wisconsin, where a chapel, cemetery, and picnic area can be found. Formerly, the church had owned a piece of property along the Root River in the town of Franklin, but the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District purchased it in 2012 as part of a program to buy and protect the Root River's floodplain.
- Official Website
- History - The Start
- St. John History Highlights
- Video footage of firefighters on the scene at St. Nikola on October 20, 2008 via Youtube.com
- St. Nikola Church rises from the ashes Cudahy Now; 11 February 2009
- St. Nikola’s new luster inspires pride Johnson, Annysa; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; April 16, 2010
- St. Nikola Church in Cudahy, Wisconsin Consecrated Serbian Orthodox Church Diocese of New Gracanica-Midwestern America; April 30, 2010
- MMSD land acquisition continues flood-prevention efforts Behm, Don; Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel; September 30, 2012
- St. Nikola Serbian Orthodox Church Marks 50 Years as a Church and 50 Years at Holiday Folk Fair International Amoroso, Dave; Wauwatosa Now, November 13, 2013
- Official Notice and Agenda for the Regular Meeting of the Common Council of the City of Cudahy, Wisconsin May 6, 2014