The history of St. Joseph Byzantine Catholic Church had its beginning in the Eastern Provinces of Slovakia near the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. It was from the towns and villages of this part of Europe that the majority of the early members of St. Joseph parish immigrated to America to seek a new life at the turn of the century.
Although the history of the Rusyn immigrants who inhabited the city of Cleveland goes back to approximately 1898, the story of St. Joseph Church really begins on June 9, 1912. Records show that the first general meeting to organize a parish was held in Jelinka Hall on Aetna Rd. A decision was reached to purchase suitable lots where a church and school could be built. On June 16 of that year, the committee recommended property on Orleans Avenue be purchased. A contractor then was hired to start construction on the church. Within two months the church was completed at a cost of approximately $3,000.00! On January 7, 1913, the Divine Liturgy was offered for the first time.
Because of increasing membership, just nine years after the parish was founded, the congregation began discussing the needs of a new church. After raising the necessary funds, a motion was passed on September 17, 1928, that a new church be built. Due to various obstacles the new building was not completed until the pastorate of Father John Krusko (1931-1950). The old church was renovated and made into a recreational hall.
Being an inner city parish, the flight to suburbia was felt, and by the 1970's the congregation was growing smaller and smaller. The situation was quite bleak with the members barely able to meet the expenses for the church and school buildings. Eventually the congregation decided to relocate. After many prayers, a 35 acre parcel was purchased from the Diocese of Cleveland for a moderate asking price. The Orleans property was sold to Zion Baptist Church and it was full steam ahead for building in Brecksville. During the planning and construction years the congregation worshipped at Brecksville Junior High School. In late Autumn of 1984 the parish received permission to have a one day occupancy permit from the city of Brecksville and the first Divine Liturgy was celebrated.
In 2001 an Education Center and Activity Center were added. The congregation numbers three hundred families and has been labeled as one of the most vibrant Byzantine parishes in the country!