Become a Pillar of the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, Smoky Lake, Alberta

April 13, 2016

On April 4, 2016, Maconnel and Sons moving company began to prepare the Holy Trinity Russo Orthodox Church to be moved off its foundation. It has recently been discovered that the foundation after 88 years has become defective and is not repairable. The solution required would be to remove the old basement and form a new one. The church has to be lifted and moved so workers can remove the old concrete and place new concrete. The members of the church met on March 27, 2016 and voted in favour of replacing the foundation. This undertaking will insure that future generations will be able to continue in worship and faith of our Lord Jesus Christ.

A Brief History of the Church

The Parish of the Holy Trinity was organized between 1903 and 1904. The first burial was in 1904. Construction of the church began in 1905 and because of a lack of funds took four years to complete. The church was completed in 1909 and was consecrated by Bishop Alexander Nemelovsky on Holy Trinity Day of the same year. On Good Friday of 1928 the church caught fire and burned to the ground. The church was rebuilt that same year by Harry Holowaychuk for a cost of $6,500. Bishop Arseny consecrated the church in the same year. Many improvements were made over time. A hall was constructed and attached to the original bell tower. A modern home was built in 1945 to accommodate the parish priest who would also serve other parishes in the district. The Orthodox Church of America (a descendant of the Russian Orthodox Mission in Alaska) provided the church with clergy until 1966 when the church was received by the Patriarchal Russian Orthodox Church of Canada. In 1993 the church was returned to the OCA and services in the English language were introduced. The church cemetery currently stands as the biggest Orthodox cemetery in Canada with 1000+ burials.

Recent History

In 2009 Holy Trinity Church Celebrated its 100th anniversary. The church buildings and the cemetery continue to be well maintained. For the 100th anniversary the church domes were recapped with metal sheeting. The house and hall were reshingled and the main entry doors of the church were replaced in 2012. The hall had new ceiling tiles and kitchen cabinets installed. A new furnace was recently installed in the church. The grounds and the cemetery continue maintained by the church membership. In 2013 Daniel Friesen was ordained to the priesthood  at Holy Trinity Church and is currently serving St Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Dickie Bush. In 2015 Kolin Berglund was ordained to the diaconate and serves as a deacon under the leadership of the current parish priest Gerasim Power.


The Holy Trinity Russo Orthodox Church is a part of the Century Orthodox Parish Group. There are eight parishes in the group served by Father Gerasim Power. The church continues to hold regular services, baptisms, weddings and funerals. It is a historical landmark in the Smoky Lake area. The church relies on donations to maintain and operate. The replacement of the church foundation  requires major funding. The church is fundraising to cover the cost of the project. We are calling out to all faithful to be pillars of our church as Christ was the centre pillar and his apostles were the cornerstones of the Christian faith. Each sponsor will be recorded and placed on a plaque inside the church. A charitible receipt will be issued for each donation. Donations can be sent to Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, Box 495 Smoky Lake, Alberta T0A 3C0. For further information please contact Deacon Kolin Berglund at (780) 656-3697.