|Golden symbols on Stony Point Road
Rev. Krassovsky’s Russian Orthodox Church a gleaming religious landmark
You can’t miss the golden domes of Saints Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Church on Stony Point Road, less than a mile north of Todd Road. The entrance road is Olga Court on the west side of Stony Pt. Road.
In another sense, you can’t escape the influence Russians have in Sonoma County, from Ft. Ross in the north, to the Russian River and the widespread number of Russian Orthodox churches in the entire county.
Rev. Alexander Krassovsky of Peter and Paul Church says, “We’re a tight-knit community.”
We found him inspecting the exterior of his church and adjacent buildings. There had been gale force winds the night before, breaking a few tree branches and scattering a few collections of autumn leaves back to previous scattered places on the grounds. That was all.
Twists and turns to priesthood
His official title is Archpriest Alexander, Rector of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Santa Rosa, but Krassovsky’s career took some unexpected twists and turns, bringing him to his ordination a bit earlier than he had originally planned.
He was born in Hong Kong in 1954. His father, Vadim Krassovky was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and he and his wife, Larissa, had four sons. When the Russian revolution broke out in 1906, the communists under Karl Marx, V.I. Lenin, Josef Stalin and their cohorts took over. Dissidents like Leon Trotsky, fled to Mexico and other countries.
The war between Red and White Russians was a horrific struggle and even involved a few divisions of U.S. Army troops who went to Vladivostok, on Siberia’s eastern shore, to protect the Bering Straits and Alaska.
Vadim Krassovsky was employed by an American shipping company which later became Matson Lines, and was stationed in Shanghai. Communists were gaining a foothold in China and the Krassovsky family with their sons fled to Hong Kong where Alexander Krassovsky, the third of four boys, was born.
Deeply attached to church
Through Matson Line connections they were transferred to Long Beach with the infant Alexander.
The elder Krassovskys were always deeply attached to the Russian Orthodox church and so were their sons. They moved further north to Burlingame where Alexander went to high school.
His college years were spent at San Francisco State College where he got a degree in biology. A Master’s degree in Physiology was added at Sonoma State College. Both later became universities. Krassovsky’s work history included many years as Communications Director for Sonoma County’s administration offices.
A religious man who found science
This work history brings up the long controversy between religion and science. Was Krassovsky a scientist and communications man who found religion? Or was he a religious man who found science? It was the latter. For during all those years of college and business he was immersed in the Russian Orthodox religion. He took classes at the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in upstate New York, is a longtime member of the congregation at Sts. Peter and Paul, and on Pentacost Sunday in 1987 was ordained as a Deacon.
He was named as an assistant to Father Paul Gribanovsky who’s health was declining.
In 1987, the new golden-domed church was finished and Father Paul and Deacon Alexander celebrated the first Divine Liturgy here.
“I always admired Father Paul’s great intellect and education … he served as a role model for me,” said Krassovsky. Father Paul later died. In October 1988, Krassovsky was called to the priesthood to replace him
By this time he had his own family with a marriage to Anya, (or Anna) who graduated from Lowell High School in San Francisco. She was also raised in a Russian Orthodox family. They have three children, two girls, Sasha and Kathryn, and a son Alexie. They’re all adults, carving out their own careers in Orange County or New York, members of the Russian Orthodox Church and still unmarried. All three went to Rohnert Park elementary schools and are Rancho Cotate High School grads.
Alexander Krassovsky and Anya live in RP’s G Section. They have a home on the southern edge and on the other side of their fence is the Northeast Specific Plan, a huge field still undeveloped.
”Our yard has a beautiful view and I’m growing grapes,” said Krassovsky. “It gives me a chance to ferment some merlot wine, but it’s not for sacramental purposes.” He paused for a moment.
“You know, the more I think about it, our church is a parish of Russian (old and new), American, Eritrean and Palestinian, Orthodox Christians, all united by our faith. As it is true of any family, we have our momentary disagreements, trials and tribulations.
“But as a family should always do, we work them out in the spirit of our heavenly patrons – the Holy Apostles – who also had their disagreements, but always worked them out by seeking God’s will and what was best for the Holy Church, not what was expedient for themselves.”