This Church honors Saint Sava, the patron Saint of this parish and the first Archbishop and Enlightener of the Serbian people. The goal of the Church is to feed the spiritual needs of its faithful parishioners.
The Aim of this Church-School Congregation
The Aim of this Church-School Congregation is:
- to protect, preserve and perpetuate the true teaching of the Orthodox Faith, together with all Serbian traditions and customs;
- to accept persons into the Holy Orthodox Faith through Holy Baptism and to guide them into family life through marriage according to the teachings and traditions of the Church;
- to, through appropriate teaching, edify the believers towards spiritual and moral perfection, to foster mutual brotherly love and unity, and to mold worthy and loyal citizens of these United States of America,
- to erect and maintain a church and all appurtenant annexes pertinent to the spiritual, cultural, educational, national, athletic and social needs of its faithful;
- to establish and maintain Church and Serbian Schools and to help organize programs for the spiritual and moral upbringing of the children and youth;
- to preach and practice charity as a high ideal of our Christian religion;
- to preserve our ancestral tradition of interring members of our church who depart this life;
- to cooperate and maintain good relations with other church-school congregations within our Diocese of New Gracanica and Midwestern America.
The Early Years
Today’s location is the fourth since the inception of our Church-School Congregation in 1914. Our first church building was founded in 1915 at 20th and Connecticut streets in Gary, Indiana. Its second location moved north to 13th and Connecticut streets and fulfilled the growing parish need for a larger facility that was more centrally located.
Dedicated in 1939, that second building remained intact until an all-consuming fire leveled it in 1978. Without any lapse in the Church’s liturgical services, worship resumed in a chapel quickly constructed in the Serbian Hall on 49th Avenue in Hobart, Indiana.
Our present church was built on 140 acres at 9191 Mississippi Street in Merrillville, land purchased by the Church-School Congregation following the fire. During the interim years of 1978 through 1991, while the Liturgy was still being performed in the Chapel, the Priest and the Church Board undertook plans to finance and erect what would be the “church of our dreams” in a “once-in-a-lifetime endeavor.”
That seed having been planted, it gave birth to an ideal that included every church organization. Building and finance professionals helped to nurture the seed and guide its growth. It flowered as our unsolicited volunteers weed their labor-intensive work which epitomized God’s truth that “faith without work is dead.”
All contributed their time, knowledge, talent, and money to the church that would glorify God in the Divine Liturgy.
We are grateful to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for the strength with which He empowered His servants to realize the splendor of God’s love in our Saint Sava Church.