Fire devastates Dnepropetrovsk church

Fire destroyed a Baptist church in Dnepropetrovsk where Alpha and Omega Student Society held may gatherings

On October 22, Pastor Alexey Navrotsky (Lutheran Church–Canada’s missionary in Ukraine) sent an alarming e-mail. He reported that an electrical fire the previous evening destroyed much of the Central Evangelical Christian Baptist Church in Dnepropetrovsk.

This is only the latest chapter in the dramatic story of this particular church. Prior to its construction, worshippers gathered in a converted house, which they ultimately gave to the Alpha and Omega Student Center for ministry and outreach to students.

The central church had great difficulty acquiring property from the city officials to build. Every time the church was about to seal a deal on property, city officials would not give a final stamp and so the church had to start again. Finally, the city found a piece of property—an old garbage dump that no one wanted—and offered it to the church to build on. 

In 2002, an Alpha and Omega Christmas Eve candlelight service packed the church

In the past ten years, the 1,000-seat two-level church had served as a base for many mission events carried out by the Alpha and Omega Student Center, a group for which Pastor Navrotsky serves as chaplain and one with which LCC has worked since 1993.

“The Central Protestant Church was the church that helped LCC begin its mission work in Dnepropetrovsk and eventually start a Lutheran church in the city,” reported Rev. Roland Syens, former missionary in Ukraine.

The fire began after the evening service and spread quickly. Despite efforts by local fire fighting personnel, after two hours the roof was destroyed. By just after midnight the fire was under control but not before it destroyed the roof, main hall and a number of other rooms at and above the level of the hall.By the grace of God the fire did not penetrate to the ground floor, however that floor filled with water, damaging some of the church documents.

The fire leaves the church and the Alpha and Omega Student Society without any opportunities to conduct large worship gatherings. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that winter is coming, leaving the church no time to rebuild.

The church is now a burnt-out shell and winter is coming.

The congregation needs our prayers so that this building can continue to be a place to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with students and others in the city and surrounding areas.

Posted By: Matthew Block
Posted On: October 29, 2010
Posted In: Mission News,

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