V. REV. JACOB PSHENICHNUK (1944)
THE HISTORY OF ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CHURCH OF HOLY TRANSFIGURATION OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
At the end of 1929 there appeared an idea to have the second church in the City. On March 17, 1930, there was held the first meeting of the initiative group at the house of Mr. S. L. Volchenko. The following were present: U. D. and V. I. Blagoi, S. L. and F. K. Volchenko, R. I. Kapitanchuck, V. S. Nicholaeff, K. Gavrichenko, V. T. Nickitin, K. I. Ustrianzeff, V. Calinsky, and Mozgovoi.
They collected $50.00 which was sent to Harbin, Manchuria, to Rev. Nicholas Kicklovich, who arrived on the Holiday of Trinity and held first liturgy on May 13, 1930.
The first meeting of all the parish was held in June 14 of the same year, at the temporary church on State Street. Mr. K. Gavrichenko was elected as church-warden, Mr. V. T. Nickitin took his place in August 1930. In the same month, Rev. Nicholas Kiklovich, was transferred to Chicago, and Rev. Leonid Znamensky took his place by resolution of Archbishop Appolinari.
Rev. Znamensky worked hard toward, organizing the church, often not thinking about his well-being and of his family. The parish grew to 84 members. Mr. I. F. Larkin made new iconostasis without charging for it.
During the yearly meeting of the parish, in January 1931 Mr. V. A. Lisizin was elected as a church-warden. While he was in the office, the church was transferred to Elsinore Street, where membership continued to grow. They started thinking about buying some appropriate building for a permanent church-home. His Grace Archbishop Tichon of Seattle and of West-America, encouraged this idea. Mr. Nicholaeff, the church-warden of 1935, was the first one who started putting this idea into effect and collected the first donations for this purpose. It seemed at that time that the dreams about this church would never be realized, because donations were slow. Due to the energy of Mr. Zaitzevsky, the circulars with appeals for donations were sent to other churches of U. S. Metropolis, but still the offerings were small.
On February 10, 1936, a church corporation was formed and charter drawn up. The member-founders were : Rev. L. Znamensky, President ; N. A. Zaitzevsky, vice-president ; V. S. Richolaeff, Church-warden ; Praskovia F. Znamenskaya, Anastasia S. Sheremetieff, Tatiana S. Horoshevskaya, Ecatherina S. Terentieva.
In June 1937 the corporation had a fund of $638.00. In the same month they found a double lot which they bought for $3000.00. (Terms were: $500.00 down and $25.00 monthly installments).
At the same time Mr. Muratoff found a church which was to be wrecked and the committee bought it for $200.00. It had to be repaired though, and again the parish was asked for donations. Thus $567.00 Were collected and later between September and December $403.00 more were collected.
This church-building was moved on the lot which was previously bought at 5433 Fountain Avenue, A brief consecration and sermon took place on October 17, 1937.
The next problem was to find a house for the priest. In 1938 a kindhearted member of this parish, Joseph I. Chaiko, and his wife, donated an old house which was moved to the other lot facing Fernwood Avenue. Fifteen hundred dollars was required for its repairing -for which $100.00 was borrowed and $500.00 were paid through offerings of the Parish. The Rector was able to occupy it before Easter of 1939. The Church-Warden of that time was Mr. A. D. Gramotoff, whose place was taken by V. S. Nicholaeff in 1943.
When the Rev. Archpriest L. Znamensky suddenly died, on July 26,1942, Rev. Archpriest S. Leporsky took his place by resolution of His Eminence Most Rev. Metropolitan Theophilus. At this time the temple was enlarged in the altar and new iconostasis was built. Most of the credit for this should be given to Mr. V. S. Nicholaeff, churchwarden, who beings a skillful carpenter, devoted all his free time during four months, to building of the altar. Besides he was always the active member of the Parish. All repair work was performed exclusively by means of donations of the parish, the most generous of which was S.I. Volchenko, who gave $550.00.
On April 11, 1943, the main consecration by His Eminence, Most Rev. Metropolitan Theophilus of All America and Canada, together with Archpriest Rev. S. Leporsky, Rector of the Church, Rev. Archpriest G. Prosoroff and priests Rev. Alexander Lisizin and Stephan Osipoff, and also deacon Alexander Ivanishenko.
On February 21, 1944, by resolution of His Eminence Most Rev. Metropolitan Theophilus of all America and Canada, a new rector was appointed to the Church of Holy Transfiguration, Rev. Jacob Pshenichnuk. On May 7, 1944, at the yearly meeting of the members of the Church, the Normal Statute of the Metropolitan District of Russian Orthodox Greek-Catholic Church was accepted and last mortgage was paid off. ($1272.65.)
Thus with the help of God and by efforts of the parish it was possible to achieve what has been only planned 14 years ago. At present the Church is in ideal order and reminds one of Russian Orthodox-Greek-Catholic Churches back in Russia. For our younger generation it is a house of prayers and also is the means of spreading our Greek Orthodox religion.
The following are the members of the Church Committee in 1944: Rev. Pshenichnuk, Rector, president ; V. S. Nicolaeff, Church-warden; Vladimir A. Lisitzin, treasurer ; Zlata K. Polovtzova, secretary; and members : Maria N. Stronina, S. G. Muratoff, S. A. Tolmacheff, L. G. Kliagin, I. G. Maksimoff, Donat G. Maguliano, and President of Ladies Committee, Vera I. Muratoff.