USA (MNN) — In 75 years of ministry, pastors have been trained, churches have been planted, and now a thriving church is reaching out. This year Slavic Gospel Association is celebrating 75 years of service through worship and training where it all started — in the United States.
It started as the Russian Gospel Association, founded by Russian immigrant Peter Deyneka, Sr. He came to Christ at Moody Church in Chicago at the age of 21 and soon after made a commitment to reach the lost in his home country.
President of SGA Bob Provost says during the days of communism radio was used to get the Gospel into that nation. "From HCJB, Trans World Radio and Far East Broadcasting Company bombarded the Soviet Union which was trying to get rid of all the Christians. But they were being encouraged. The same radio broadcasts were evangelizing millions behind the iron curtain."
Since the wall came down in 1989, Provost says God has blessed the ministry. "The Lord has allowed SGA partners to work together to train more than 5,000 for the Gospel ministry and to plant more than 2,000 churches that are preaching the Gospel all over the former Soviet Union."
Because of God's faithfulness, SGA will be honoring Him. "Beginning on September 25, SGA partners from around the world–New Zealand, Australia, England, Canada, German, France plus the former Soviet Union–will join and celebrate the great and mighty things that God has done."
It'll kick off with a ministry conference looking at the past and setting a path to the future. That will take place at the Awana Clubs International headquarters in Field Stream, IL. Sunday, they'll celebrate at Moody Church in Chicago, where it all began. That service will be broadcast live via the internet.
While more than 500 North American pastors have gone to the former Soviet Union to train pastors, that's now coming full circle. "This will be the first time in all of history that there's been a conference where Russian pastors will be teaching Americans. The general focus for the conference is serving Christ victoriously in troubling times."