Founded in 1952 by Reverend John I. Prokopovych, St. Michael’s current church building was constructed in 1964. The parish rectory was built two years later. Prior to building the present church structure, the parish worshiped at two other locations. The first was at a Community Center that was located on Horger in Dearborn. The second location was in a building just south of its present location that the parish had purchased.
One of the unique characteristics of St. Michael’s Parish is that, during the past half a century of its existence, it has had only two pastors: Reverend John Prokopovych and its present pastor, Very Reverend Canon Wayne J. Ruchgy, Ph.D. Father John was pastor for the first 25 years of the parish’s history. He died on the day that the parish celebrated its 25th Anniversary (November 13, 1977). Father Wayne, who had been an assistant pastor at St. Michael’s prior to Father John’s death, was made pastor of the parish that same day by Most Reverend Jaroslav Gabro, the first Eparch of the St. Nicholas Eparchy. He has been pastor since that date.
The original interior of the church building, like the exterior, was not in the style of Ukrainian tradition. The parish worshiped for almost 19 years in a building relatively unchanged from the time of its construction. After much prayer, study and hard work raising funds, the interior of the church building was transformed and subsequently rededicated in November of 1983. The Most Reverend Innocent Lotocky, the second Eparch of the St. Nicholas Eparchy, blessed the newly installed iconostasis, icons and redecorated interior. The iconography is the work of Reverend Theodore Koufos of Toronto, Ontario Canada. After 31 years of existence as a parish St. Michael’s spiritual family was able to finally worship in a truly Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic setting.
The amazing history of development and transformation gives evidence of the vibrancy, dedication and loyalty of the members of this small, but vivacious, parish. It is a community of Christians that has become keenly aware that, in order to accomplish the goal of being a truly spiritual family, it must continue to engaged in a worship of our Triune God by ever-more closely adheres to the customs and traditions of the Church to which it belongs. St. Michael’s is a bilingual community and worships using both the Ukrainian and English languages. It strives to adhere to age-old traditions while also responding to the needs of modern Americans. All sermons are in English and services are sung using traditional, communal chant.