1922 - 2013
Joe Melashenko sang bass with the Voice of Prophecy King's Heralds quartet and worked as an instructor in the broadcast's Bible school in 1948 and 1949. He later returned to serve as an evangelist from 1971 to 1982. From the time he left the program in 1949 until his return over twenty years later, Melashenko and his wife, Anne, taught and did pastoral and evangelistic work in Massachusetts, Bermuda, Maryland, and Southern California. He was ordained as a minister in 1961, while in Bermuda.
Joe was born in Saskatchewan, Canada, one of nine children born to Russian-born Peter Zacker and Russian-born Katie Familinow Melashenko. He attended public schools in Arlee, Saskatchewan and then attended Canadian Junior College, now Canadian University College, in Alberta, and the University of Saskatchewan, where he received a teaching certificate. He taught in the public schools of Saskatchewan before joining the VOP.
He married Anne Koleada in 1945 and, beginning in 1947, they would have five sons, Lonnie, Joedy, Dallas, Eugene, and Rudy, over the next five years. From their children's earliest years, the close-knit Melashenko family celebrated their Christian faith with the singing and harmonizing of hymns and gospel songs. The family would become internationally known for its singing and present countless concerts throughout the United States, Canada, Bermuda, and other countries.
Their first record, The Happy Home, released in 1964, was followed by another, The Melashenko Family Sings, in 1974. They would later record other CDs, the first being Generations, Step into the Water, and Brothers in Song. The latter features the two eldest of their five sons, Lonnie and Joedy.
Their first video release, Melashenko Family Singers - Live from Arizona Camp Meeting, included all 23 members of the family, which had grown through marriage and the addition of another generation. A second video, How Great Our Joy, a Christmas release in 2003, received an Angel Award from the National Religious Broadcasting Association.
A third video, God's Leading Through the Generations, which told the Melashenko story by recreating experiences of the family's journey from the wheat fields of Canada to playing critical roles in the SDA church's ministry, received the prestigious Golden Star Halo Award from the Southern California Motion Picture Council. An article published in several church publications hailed the award as a "rare and unique honor."
When Joe and Anne returned to the VOP in 1971, they traveled as many as 40,000 miles a year conducting evangelistic meetings. After their son Lonnie became Director-Speaker of the VOP, they traveled with him and his wife, Jeannie, to Borislav, Ukraine, and Perm, Russia, where they held evangelistic meetings. They retired to Paradise, California, where they were living when Anne died in 2009, at age 89, and Joe died at age 91.
Source: Information provided by online sources; Anne Koleada Melashanko obituary, Paradise Post, 14 August 2009; Joedy Peter Melashenko, July 2011.
The Happy Home The Melashenko Family Singers, Chapel Records, 1964
The Melashenko Family Sings Chapel Records, 1974
Step into the Water The Melashenko Family Singers, 1999
Think About His Love (Brothers in Song) Joedy and Lonnie Melashenko, 1999
Because of Him Joedy Melashenko,soloist 1999
Reflections (Through the Years with Joe Melashenko), 2000
Generations The Melashenko Family Singers, 2002
How Great Our Joy A Christmas CD by The Melashenko Family Singers, 2003
I Believe Matt Melashenko, 2004
Smooth Southern Gospel The Joedy Melashenko Five, 2004
Keep holding On The Melashenko Four quartet, 2006
Live! From Arizona Camp Meeting The Melashenko Family Singers, 2000
God's Leading Through the Generations The Melashenko Family Singers, Part I (Back home with the Melashenkos) 2003
God's Leading Through the Generations The Melashenko Family Singers, Part II (The Legacy Continues) 2003
How Great Our Joy A Christmas Video by The Melashenko Family Singers, 2003
Jesus, Our Cornerstone! The Melashenko Family Singers, 2006