Slavic and Romanian immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the expanded Russian Empire including peoples from modern day Russia, Ukraine, Bukovina, Belarus, Carpatho-Ukraine, Slovakia, Lithuania and Poland were drawn to the Flint area in the early 1900s because of work available in the factories. The Slav-Rus community settled predominantly in the north end of Flint clustered around St John Street. Most of the new immigrants came from agricultural backgrounds in the old country and frequently knew dire poverty. They now experienced the pluralistic freedom of America. The need for a place of worship where their spiritual needs might be fulfilled in the Orthodox faith of their ancestors was soon felt.