Butte’s Serbian community was large enough to support its first religious services in 1897. A growing congregation led to the construction of the first Holy Trinity Church at the corner of Idaho and Porphyry Streets in 1905.
Only the second Serbian Orthodox Church built in North America, the original structure was damaged by the 1959 Hebgen Lake earthquake, centered about 150 miles southeast of Butte and the strongest ever measured in the northern Rocky Mountains. Subsidence in shallow mining tunnels beneath it also took its toll on the original structure, and the current church was built as a replacement in 1965.
Most of the windows are inscribed with the names of both the donor and honoree, together in most cases with the name of the saint pictured. All manufactured in San Francisco, many are signed by the John Lucas Stained Glass Company, which is still in business. The windows are original to the church.
The prominent side windows represent the eight feast days of Jesus Christ, and the windows in the dome represent eight saints. Other saints are represented in the loft windows and semi-circular windows above the doors.
Remarkable though the stained glass windows are, expect to be awed by the magnificent Byzantine-style frescoes on the walls and ceiling. Most of this work was accomplished in 2004-2005 in connection with the church’s centennial. Fresco artists came from Belgrade, Serbia, to create the paintings.