Adventist Press Service APD, Switzerland
Adventist Pastors of Euro-Asia Region Meet In
First-Ever Theological Pastoral Congress
Zaokski, Tula Region, Russia, 20.09.2006 / ANN/APD
Headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Euro-Asia Division in
Moscow/Russia An estimated 1,500 Seventh-day Adventist pastors from all
over the church’s Euro-Asia region gathered for a four-day congress in
Zaokski – about two hours outside of Moscow – where they were educated
and challenged, church leaders say. It is believed to be the first time
that such an event has been held for field pastors, many of whom are
serving in remote locations across a region that spans 11 time zones.
"This wasn’t only fellowship, but we all gained a lot of insight,"
said Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson, a general vice president of the world
church who was among a number of speakers at the event.
"I was overjoyed to see the maturing and nurturing that is taking
place in this [region]," Wilson, who was president of the Euro-Asia
Adventist Church region from 1992 to 1996, remarked.
Added Pastor James A. Cress, world church ministerial association
secretary, "this region of the Adventist church has really come
into its own. They have addressed the professional growth, spiritual
development and motivational encouragement of the local pastors with
Cress added, "It augurs well for the local church because their
leaders have been given hands-on training to develop local leaders,
prayer ministries and to reach out to families in need."
Congress presenters and pastors Ted N.C. Wilson, Artur Stele, and
D. Ronald Watts receive memorial gifts. Photo: Valery Ivanov During
the five-day session, Adventist pastors from all over the territory
of the former Soviet Union shared experiences, met old friends,
listened to a number of seminars, held roundtable discussions, and
began preparations for a 2007 satellite program, which will take
place in March 2007 in Kiev, Ukraine. Peter Kulakov, senior pastor
of Lakeview Seventh-day Adventist church in Atlanta, Georgia (USA),
will be the speaker for that evangelistic programm.
One goal in the church region for the next five years is to help
launch 10,000 small Bible study groups with an aim toward introducing
50,000 people to Jesus Christ, and the pastors in attendance shared
their insights and observations about the program during days that,
according to Wilson, were filled with activity. Every evening, two
church areas, as well as attached "fields," gave reports on Adventist
work in their areas.
Some pastors travelled as many as six days to reach the event and
were thus highly motivated to utilize the seminar information.
Pastor D. Ronald Watts, president of the church’s Southern Asia region,
gave three seminars and shared experiences from Adventism’s fastest
Pastor Mark Finley, a general vice president of the world church,
revealed his vision of evangelism and called all those present to
unite their efforts in soul winning and prepare for the upcoming
While listening to the reports from various church areas, Finley said:
"Seeing you and listening to you, it remind[s] me again and again
that we are part of [a] world church, we are brothers and sisters,
united by one church."
Also participating in the events were Adventist pastors Lucial
Cristesku, ministerial secretary and evangelism coordinator of the
Adventist Church in Romania; Paul I. Khiminets, church growth and
development leader for Adventists in North Rhine-Westfalia, Germany;
and Michael P. Kulakov, the first president of the Adventist church
An estimated 144,500 Seventh-day Adventist members worship in nearly
2,000 churches in the Euro-Asia region, including the states of
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova,
Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. [Editors:
Valery Ivanov, Mark A. Kellner and Christian B. Schaffler for ANN/APD]
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress