Holy Trinity Church (Butte, Montana)
Holy Trinity Church in Butte, Montana is a church of the Serbian Orthodox Church and is the oldest church in the state of Montana, having been established between 1897 and 1905 under the auspices of the Russian Mission to Alaska and the United States.
Butte, Montana, was once one of the largest cities in the American Northwest. It attracted people from all around the world because of the mining being carried on there. It was also connected to other places via the railroad. It was estimated that around 10% of Billings' nearly 100,000 residents were of Slavic origin.
The first priest to visit Butte was Fr. Ambrose Vretta, accompanied by Vladimir Alexandrof in 1896. The following year, Fr. (now saint) Sebastian (Dabovich) visited the area, performing the first actual Liturgy there, and worked with the Serbian community in Butte to start organizing to be able to start a church. He continued visiting about 4-6 times a year until the time that there was a church and priest there. The church was built in 1904 and was consecrated by St. Tikhon of Moscow in 1905. The first priest assigned here was Fr. Jacob Odzic.
The original church building had to be demolished because it had been built on land that was being mined far, far below. As a result, the building began to sink, making it unsafe and unusable. It was demolished in 1964. The present-day church was built in 1965.
Holy Trinity is a multi-ethnic parish and very Pan-Orthodox in its mission. Holy Trinity, particularly through the work of Fr. Russell Radoicich, has been dedicated to spreading the Truth of the Orthodox Church throughout Montana. As of early 2016, Holy Trinity has two "satellite" churches located in Dillon and Pablo. A former satellite in Kalispell was upgraded to mission status in 2014 and is called St. Herman Orthodox Church.
- Niko Nema Sto Srbin Imade: Happy 100th Birthday, Butte, Montana! by Milana Karlo Bizic; in American Srbobran - September 1, 2004
- "Circuit Riders to the Slavs and Greeks: Missionary Priests and the Establishment of the Russian Orthodox Church in the American West, 1890-1910," by Brigit Farley
- Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich - The Beginning of His Apostolic Labor eSerbia.com site
- The Odd Adventures of Fr. Philip Sredanovich (twice priest 1922, 1949-1952) OrthodoxHistory.org site
- The first churches, state by state OrthodoxHistory.org site
- Video description with history
- St. Herman Orthodox Church history