The first evidence on the Reval (Tallinn) Old Believers is from the 18th century. They might have been either refugees that came from the inner provinces of Russia to escape religious persecutions or the people imprisoned in the Rogervik (Paldiski) fortress under Peter the Great and later discharged. According to K. Tiisik, there were a lot of Old Believers in Tallinn at the time. They met support of the local Lutheran authorities.
In 1807, the wooden worship house was built in the Reval 2nd forstadt, in the house 198-c that was the Old Believer merchant Moisey Proklov's property. There was the asylum at the worship house, sponsored by merchants A. Mikheyev and M. Proklov, where single and poor Old Believers spent the rest of their life. There were also the cemetery and the guardroom near the worship house. According to the chief of the Reval merchants Pyhtin's list, 160 Old Believers lived in Reval at the time. Yefim Foteyev (Fateyev), later Semyon Yakovlevich Kuznetsov served as preceptors. Reval was the province capital, and the annual reports of the head of the Reval police department testify that the Reval Old Believers were under particularly strict control in the 1820-1840s. Police kept the preceptor Foteyev under secret surveillance. These conditions were not particularly favorable for the development of the Old Believer community. The number of Old Believers decreased. There were only 20 of them in the city in 1865. The worship house had been sold, and the Old Believers gathered for prayer in private apartments.
The number of Tallinn Old Believers increased at the expense of newcomers due to the development of the local industry. In 1886, 25 Tallinn residents claimed themselves as Old Believers. According to the Russian census of 1897, there were already 46 of them in Tallinn, which, nevertheless, was not enough for the normal functioning of the community. In 1898, the Tallinn Old Believer cemetery, the oldest one in Estonia, was closed. From this time, the Old Believers were buried at the Alexander Nevsky cemetery. As late as in 1936, the Old Believers received a plot for a new cemetery in Liiva.
In 1905, a small group of Old Believers initiated the restoration of the Reval community and its property. However, the community was not registered until 1917.
In the first Estonian Republic, the Tallinn Old Believer Society of the Pomorians of the nuptial concord was officially registered in 1924 (Tallinn Old Believer Society, 11. 07. 1924, Nr. 547). Later, in accordance with the new law on societies, the community was re-registered (Tallinn Old Believer Society, 6. 03. 1926, Nr. 9). In 1936, the Tallinn Old Believer community was registered as a religious society (Tallinn, Kanarbiku Street, 6. 22.04.36. Nr. 102). By the late 1920s, the Tallinn community consisted of 50 families (or 125 parishioners). A number of them were coming from Prichudye. The worship house, built in the 1920s, burnt down. The cause of the fire was a candle carelessly left burning. Until 1930, the community general meetings were held in private apartments. Then the first chairman of the community Filaret Filaretovich Prussakov put at community's disposal the apartment in Tekhnika Street, 12. The evening religious courses were organized to educate the parishioners.
In 1930, according to the Old Believer Stefanida Andreyevna Maeberg's will, her husband, a Lutheran Ado Maeberg built a worship house. A member of the parish Yevfimia Sapozhnikova made a generous donation to support the building. The Baranins' family decorated the worship house.
On December 26, 1930, the church in Kanarbiku Street, 6 was consecrated in honor of the Annunciation to Mother of God, St. Nicholas and Virgin Stefanida. Ivan Mitrofanovich Podgornyi was the preceptor of the new worship house until his death in 1945.
The 12th All-Estonian congress of Old Believers with the participation of 10 communities took place in Tallinn on June 23-24, 1936. P. P. Baranin was elected the chairman of the Union of the Old Believer Communities of Estonia. The board of the Union was in Tallinn until 1938.
In the post-war time, a reader (nachetchik) of the old school Ivan Fedorovich Kashev (1945-1949), Mikhail Aleksandrovich Abakanov (1949-1961) and Andrian Leonidovich Rogozin (1961-1965) served as the preceptors of the Tallinn worship house. Mina Ivanovich Baranin was both a respectable preceptor, who held the post for more than a quarter of century (1966-1992), and an expert in church service order as well as in znamennoe chant. He was a deputy from the Estonian Old Believers in the Ecclesiastical Committee at the Supreme Old Believer Council of Lithuania.
From 1992, Anna Borisovna Van'kova has been holding divine service. Aleksandra Yefimovna Fomina is elected the chairwoman of the community board. The Tallinn community is the only one in Estonia, where the full circle of the divine service (evening and mornings service, hours, prayer) is held on Sundays, Saturdays, before and during the feast days. A number of parishioners are coming from Prichudye, Latvia and Russia. During the census of 2000, 246 Tallinn residents claimed their belonging to the Old Belief Church.
Sources: EHA, f. 29, series 7, record 62; 119, 119а, 185, 370, 571; f. 30, series 5, record 8615, 8622; f. 291, series 1, record 16412 (О Ревельской раскольничьей молельне. 1864); f.291, series 8, record 173, 183; LHA, f. 1, series 3, record 1376.
References: На съезде старообрядческих общин, Вести дня, 5 декабря 1929 г., № 301; Linna vanausulised matmispaika noutamas, Paevaleht, 1936. 5. sept., Nr. 240, Lk. 7; Фомина А.Е., Таллиннская старообрядческая община, СПЦК 2000; Гришаков В.Л., Таллиннскому старообрядческому храму 70 лет, Меч духовный, май, июнь 2001 г., № 3.