Diocese: Diocese of New York and New Jersey
Deanery: New York State Deanery
140 Horseheads Blvd
Elmira Heights, New York 14903
Holy Trinity Church in Elmira Heights is located in central, NY, just 10 miles from the Pennsylvania border and 30 minutes from the Finger Lakes.
From Rt 17 (westbound)
Take the second exit for Elmira (Church St). Follow Church St to the Clemens Center Parkway and turn right. Continue on the Parkway to the “T” in the road and turn left on to Grand Central Ave. Past the first traffic light turn right onto Harrison St. Our Church is situated on the NW corner of the intersection of Harrison St and Horseheads Blvd, Elmira Heights.
From Rt 17 (eastbound)
Turn right onto Main St. Continue south and turn right onto 14th St (at the McDonalds restaurant). Make the next left onto Horseheads Blvd. Travel for 4 blocks; the Church is on the right.
From the North
Proceed south on Rt 13, then head west on Rt 17 and turn left onto Main St. Continue south and turn right onto 14th St (at the McDonalds restaurant). Make the next left onto Horseheads Blvd. Travel for 4 blocks; the Church is on the right.
Schedule of Services
For a list of schedules, events, and parish info please please visit the Services and Calendar page on the parish website
About the turn of the century, immigrants from the Austro- Hungary and Russian Empires settled in and about Elmira, NY. Having very little command of English at first, they had considerable difficulty in securing employment. Jobs were available to them mostly at the foundries, the iron works, and at the US Steel Bridge works. The women worked in the textile mills. Everyone worked hard and made about 10 cents an hour, usually about $6 a week.
At first, the Slavic speaking people in the area attended the Ukrainian Church on 14th St. The little congregation was served by priests coming by train from Binghamton. It was decided in 1907 or 1908 to move the church building to a newly purchased lot on Horseheads Blvd. Unfortunately, there were two sets of railroad tracks between the two sites. When the church building reached the Erie RR tracks, it was discovered that the electric company would have to be paid for cutting the electric lines and letting them pass. Since there was no money for this, temporary steps were erected up into the building where it stood and services were held in the building as usual. When they managed to pay the electric company and pass the Erie RR tracks, they found that they had to do the same at the D.L. & W. RR line. Again, the temporary steps went up until they could raise the money to pass the electric lines that blocked them at the crossing.
About 1916, there was a rift between the Ukrainian and Russian groups in the parish, and a few people met and founded Holy Trinity Parish. Archbishop Evdokim sent Fr Borisoff to help the twenty-five families organize the new parish. When he told them a few weeks later that Fr Timothy Berky was being assigned to them and would arrive in the next few months, there was a bit of a panic. They had no housing for the new priest and his family. Kozma Mowchan opened his home to the priest and his family and also for divine services until other arrangements could be made. In a very short time, thanks to the great sacrifice of the parishioners, a church building was completed and housing arranged for the pastor.
From this humble beginning, Holy Trinity Church has grown and developed from being a Slavonic parish of “new Americans” into an American Orthodox Parish. This development parallels the development of the Russian Mision to the new world into the Orthodox Church in America.
In the mid 1980’s, it became more and more apparent that the old church building was beyond repair. A number of parishioners supplied much of the labor and erected the present church building, which was completed and blessed on February 22, 1987. Some of the Icons in the church have been completed and others are being planned.
Today, Holy Trinity Church stands as a real Orthodox parish celebrating the services in English, ready to reach out to all who will come to embrace the Orthodox Faith. This is correct, since Orthodoxy is the Christian Church for all people.