The original Ravanica in Serbia was built by the martyr and defender Czar Lazar, several years before the Battle of Kosovo. The relics of Czar Lazar were placed in her in approximately 1397. Three hundred years later, because of the Turkish oppression, they were transferred to the Monastery Vrdnik in Fruska Gora, which was then renamed after the original Ravanica. The third Ravanica was built by our Serbs here in America. Just like her predecessors in our fatherland, it was her duty to gather the Orthodox Serbs around her, to guard them from all evil, and to protect and preserve the Serbian name, brotherly unity and the unity of the Serbian faith and church for which the great Czar Lazar gave his life. After World War 11, the relics of the martyred Czar Lazar were removed from the Ravanica Monastery in Srem and placed to rest in the capital of Belgrade. There, before the altar in the Saborna Church, they now rest. Each Tuesday special services are served before Lazar’s tomb and thousands of the faithful congregate to pray to God, and to recommend themselves for Lazar’s interceding prayers to God, to liberate them from their present oppression – the rule of atheism and communism.
The history of our Ravanica Church here in the United States represents the history of our people in Detroit and its suburbs, for she was the center of their entire spiritual and social life. It would, therefore, be impossible to retrace all events in detail in a limited space. It is our aim to briefly outline some of the more outstanding moments of her existence.
Eighty-five years have passed since the day the organized religious life of the Detroit Serbs actually began. Until then, the Serbs of Detroit, as in many other cities, attended and used the services of our brotherly Russian Church. Christmas Day, January 7,1915, marks the beginning of the history of our church life in Detroit. Rev. Dusan S. Trbuhovich arrived in Detroit as the special missionary of His Grace Bishop Varnava, later, our Serbian Patriarch. His first missionary assignment was Detroit, Michigan, where a new Serbian parish was to be organized with the religious, faithful Serbs. Services were first held in a rented building across the street from our old Ravanica, but by May 20, 1917, property was purchased on which there were three small frame homes. One was remodeled to serve as a church, the second as a school, and the third as the parish residence.
Proto Trbuhovich left Detroit in October of 1918 for a parish in Steelton, Pennsylvania but was recalled to help build the Ravanica Church in 1927.