MICHAEL PODWORNIAK  (April 12,1908 -  May 27, 1994)

     Words cannot express the feeling one got when they heard about the passing of MICHAEL PODWORNIAK.  With his passing came the end of an era of fervent work in the Lord’s kingdom among the Ukrainian people.  With his passing came the end  of the creation of new published works both in poetry and in novels but the published word never disappears and the works of Michael Podworniak will live on for many generations to come.

     Michael Podworniak was called to be with the Lord at the age of 86 on May 27, 1994, while at the Tuxedo Villa Nursing Home.  He was born in Chotowitsi, Volyn, Ukraine in 1908.  He accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour when he was 14 years of age and was baptized in 1926.  From that time Michael became involved in Christian ministry in his own village and then in neighbouring villages.  In 1929 he was accepted to a Bible School near Warsaw.  In 1930 he was called into the army in Warsaw.

     After his army service, he came back to his native region to do Christian work and again he was called to Bible School in Warsaw, which he completed in 1938.  Michael had a real talent for writing and in 1938 he was already editor of the Christian journal “Evangelical Christian” which was published by the conference of Evangelical Christians in Poland.

     After the Second World War he met and married Walentyna Kucenko in 1946.  They worked a great deal together in the Christian ministry.  In 1948 they immigrated to Toronto, Canada.  In 1950, they moved to Winnipeg where they became members of the Ukrainian Ev. Baptist Church.  During this time Michael became editor of the magazine “Christian Herald”.  He was also instrumental in starting “Doroha Prawdy”, a Christian publishing organization of which he was the director for many years.  While there, he wrote and published many books which even now are being distributed worldwide, reminding us about one who sincerely and with great commitment laboured so that Ukrainian Christian literature would be available.

     Prayers were held 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 31 at Klassen Funeral Chapel.  Funeral services were held on Wednesday, June 1 at the Ukrainian Ev. Baptist Church in Winnipeg, MB.  Rev. John Tkachuk and Rev. Olexa Harbuziuk officiated at both services.  Family and friends came from all over Canada and the U.S.A. to pay their respect to this great, yet humble talented man.  Fond words were spoken about him by all who were present – Rev. Steve Skoworodko, Rev. Kost Screpnek from Saskatoon, SK.  Mr. Kazepula from Chicago, IL., Rev. Stephan Tymciw from Toronto, ON., and many others.  Greetings and letters of condolences were read from the president of the churches in Ukraine, Gregori Komendant.  Special music was brought by a mixed quartet of Violet and Paul Ulaniuk of Saskatoon and Nick and Anne Melnyk of Winnipeg.  Anne Melnyk also brought a message in song both at the prayer service and at the funeral service.  Internment was at Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, after which everyone was invited back to the church for refreshments.

     Michael leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of 48 years Walentyna, his three sons, Walter and his wife Donna of Calgary, Eugene of Winnipeg, and John and his wife Lorraine of Winnipeg, as well as four grandchildren, Nadine, Quinn, Roseanna and Brenden.  He will also be missed by his many friends, relatives, nieces and nephews in the Ukraine.  Michael was predeceased by his son Peter.

     Michael Podworniak has gone for his reward and with his passing a large gap has been left in the Ukrainian Baptist community.  A vacant position that cannot easily be filled any just anyone.  He will truly be missed by all who were touched in some way by him – yet the promises of God are that this passing is only temporary and one day we will meet again over yonder in that bright land where we’ll never grow old.

[CHALLENGER: Published BY THE Western Canadian Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Conference English Fellowship., Vol. 25, No. 4-6, April-June 1994, page 8]  



1.     Christian Herald, Vol. 52, No. 7-9, July-September 1994, page 14, article by Rev. Harbuziuk.

2.     Christian Herald, Vol. 52, No. 10-12, October-December 1994, page 12-13, article by Paul Ulaniuk

3.     Christian Herald, Vol. 52, No. 10-12, October-December 1994, page 13-15, article by Rev. Tkachuk

Please call Peter @ 705-725-8660 (ministry office) or email him @ if you can assist with translating these articles into English.


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