More than 100 years of spirituality and culture

St. Sava Church has a rich history that spans more than 100 years. While there are a great many number of important events in the history of our church, the listing below serves as a guide to illustrate at least some of these significant events.

1914

  • Church Community Founded
  • St. Varnava, whose secular name was Vojislav Nastic, was the first person baptized at St. Sava Church, Gary, IN

1915

  • Church at 20th and Connecticut Street, Gary, IN Consecrated

1916

  • Church Mortgage Retired

1917

  • Participation in the Great War (World War I)

1938

  • November 24 – Church at 13th and Connecticut Street, Gary, IN Consecrated

1943

  • Church Mortgage Retired

1945

  • Participation for five years in World War II

1946

  • Eight Lots on 13th  Avenue Paid For

1950

  • Participation for three years in the Korean War

1955

  • Purchase 49.2 Acres on 49th Avenue, Hobart, IN

1956

  • Picnic Grounds Blessed and Paid For

1964

1969

  • September 20 – Hall in Hobart, IN Dedicated
  • Serbian Junior Sisters Circle Founded

1970

  • Hobart Hall Mortgage Retired
  • Rev. Jovan Todorovich becomes priest at St. Sava

1971

  • Purchase Parish Home at 53rd and Carolina Street, Merrillville, IN

1975

  • Acceptance of 133 New Young Members

1976

  • Participate in USA Grand Bicentennial Celebration

1978

  • Church at 13th and Connecticut Street Destroyed by Fire
  • February 16 – Hobart Hall Remodeled for Temporary Chapel
  • April 9 – Purchase 140 Acres at 91st and Mississippi Street, Merrillville, IN

1980

  • Mortgage on 91st and Mississippi (140 Acres) Retired January 27, 1980, Saint Sava Day Celebration

1981

  • Fundraising for New Gracanica Monastery, $250,000

1982

  • Membership Approval for Building Program in Merrillville
  • Approval of New Church By-Laws

1983

  • Selection of Site for Future Church in Merrillville, IN
  • June 5, 1983 – Blessing the Site and Placement of Wooden Cross, Merrillville, IN
  • July 4, 1983 – Blessing of New Gracanica Monastery Seminary and Camp Building
  • September 13, 1983 – Approval Contract with Architect M. Perisich
  • December 1983 – Death of Architect M. Perisich

1984

  • May 7, 1984 – Approval of Architect R. Pejovich
  • August 11-12-1984 – Consecration of Monastery Gracanica

1985

  • July 31 – Groundbreaking Ceremony – Excavation/Foundation Raised at New Church Site in Merrillville, IN

1987

  • Consecration of the Foundation of New Church

1988

  • Consecration and Installation of Bells

1989

  • Consecration and Placement of Five Crosses

1991

  • May 18, 1991 – Consecration of the New Saint Sava Church in Merrillville, IN
  • Kumovi of the Church: Glisho Rapaich, Mike and Yvonne Galich

1992

  • February 15, 1992 – The Liturgy of Reconciliation, Belgrade, Yugoslavia
  • October 11, 1992 – Patriarch Pavle Serves Divine Pontifical Liturgy at Saint Sava, Merrillville, IN
  • Presentation of $300,000 plus to pay off church mortgage, donation by the Mladen Sekulovich Family

1999

2004

2005

  • Canonization of Gary’s Bishop Varnava – Sveti Varnava (Barnabas) was the first altar boy at St. Sava in Gary, IN

2007

  • St. Sava Serbian Historical Society established to preserve our ethnic culture and history
  • January 31 – Father Jovan Todorovich retires as St. Sava parish priest
  • February 11 – New parish priest is Father Marko Matic serves first service

2009

  • November – St. Sava Church Celebrates 95th Anniversary
  • St. Sava sells Hobart Hall and Picnic Grounds, moves all activities to church and grounds in Merrillville, IN
  • Old Gary Veteran’s Monument from former site of St. Sava Church at 13th and Connecticut in Gary, IN is moved to the church grounds in Merrillville, IN by the Sever Family and volunteers.

2010

  • November 15 – Presentation of $1,057,000 plus is presented in memory of Mile and Ella Kosanovich

2012

  • November 18 – $500,000 plus donation by the Chabraja Family
  • Blessing of the Pavilion structure, originally constructed as outdoor, open-air building

2013

  • Karageorge Choir 100th Anniversary

2014

  • April – Plans for a St. Sava Cemetery announced
  • New Pavilion is completed to serve as Primary Hall for St. Sava
  • November – St. Sava Church Celebrates 100th Anniversary

2015

  • May 2015 – New website launched for St. Sava Church