St. Elia the Prophet Church

Akron, Ohio

St. Elia the Prophet Church

Founded 1946

Diocese: Bulgarian Diocese

Deanery: Bulgarian Diocese Chancery


64 W Wilbeth Rd
Akron, Ohio 44301


Church: 330-724-7129

Parish Contacts

286 E Woodsdale Ave
Akron, OH 44301
Home: 330-724-7009

Lay Leadership

Mr. Terrence Bilas
Choir Director
Home: 330-336-6127
Popadia Donna Freude
Church School Coordinator


General Location
St Elia the Prophet Orthodox Church is in Summit County, in the Firestone Park area of Akron, OH.

From I-77 or Route 8
Exit at Wilbeth Rd and travel west through three traffic lights.  The church is located at the bottom of the hill on the left across from Firestone Ballpark.

From the East
Travel on I-76 West to I-77 South and exit at Wilbeth Rd.  Turn right and travel west through three traffic lights.  The church is located at the bottom of the hill on the left across from Firestone Ballpark.

From the West
Travel on 224 East and exit at S Main St.  Turn left onto S Main St and continue to the third traffic light.  Turn left onto Wilbeth Rd.  The church is located at the bottom of the hill on the left across from Firestone Ballpark.

Schedule of Services

All services are in English.

5:00 PM Great Vespers and Confessions.
Saturday Evening

9:45 AM Hours, 10:00 AM Divine Liturgy.  (Liturgy is at 9:30 AM from June through August)
Sunday Morning

11:15 AM Church School.
Sunday Morning

6:00 PM Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.
Wednesday & Friday Evenings During Great Lent

6:00 PM Vesperal Divine Liturgy (if eve falls on Tuesday through Friday).
Eves of Great Feasts

For a complete list of upcoming services, please visit the Calendar on the parish website.

Parish Background

Akron, like many other cities and towns, became the host of many immigrant communities, who eventially established social halls and places of worship.  On October 10, 1946, St Elia was officially founded by Macedono-Bulgarian immigrants.  They shared a priest who circuited through Pittsburgh, Youngstown and Akron and in 1950 the first full-time priest was assigned to St Elia.

Prior to the establishment of their own church, the founding members of St Elia attended the Patronage of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church, known as St Mary’s, located in Akron on South St.  There they were married, baptized and held Bulgarian language classes.  By the time the building located at 64 W Wilbeth Rd, formerly a hall, was converted into St Elia’s Church, St Mary’s had closed its doors and the iconostasis of St Mary’s was installed at St Elia’s.

In 1973, the exterior of the Church was completely refinished in brick with the addition of a bell tower and dome.  In 1996, at the 50th Anniversary celebration, a new Iconostasis and new Icons were blessed by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius and His Eminence, Archbishop Kyrill.

Under the leadership of His Eminence, Archbishop Kyrill, St Elia, as a parish of the Bulgarian Diocese of Toledo, entered the canonical unity of the Orthodox Church in America on December 20, 1976.

St Elia the Prophet Orthodox Church is now the spiritual home of many peoples of various backgrounds seeking to live a vital Orthodox Way of Life.  The full cycle of liturgical worship in the English language, a Church School program, an adult study program, a choir made up of children and adults, a Sisterhood under the patronage of St Juliana the Merciful whose membership includes all the ladies of the parish, Altar Servers, tonsured Readers along with women and children serving as readers all form a warm and loving parish family.  A local chapter of the Jr Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (FOCA) is a new program introduced for the youth of the parish.  A Question and Answer session is held on Sunday mornings after the Divine Liturgy while the children are in Church School.