Adventists in remote Siberian town celebrate church dedication
Seventh-day Adventist members, leaders and guests celebrated the opening of a new church in the remote Siberian town of Severobaikalsk, on the shores of famed Lake Baikal in Buryatia, Russia, Dec. 18, 2021.
Severobaikalsk and Lake Baikal are always seen together in this remote region, and it’s hard to imagine one without the other. Baikal, a vast ancient lake in the mountains of Siberia, is the deepest lake in the world, with the cleanest drinking water. Baikal water is considered the world standard for drinking water. The lake is located in the center of Asia, on the border of the Irkutsk region and the Republic of Buryatia, a few hundred kilometers from the Mongolian border. Severobaikalsk is a city of 25,000 inhabitants located at the northern end of the lake.
On December 18, 2021, a light frost and some snow did not deter the community from gathering for the church celebration. The groundbreaking ceremony dedicated the new venue to the glory of God and to the ministry of members of the North Baikal Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Local church leaders reported on the activities of the momentous day. “Several members shared their memories about the history of sharing the gospel message in the area, buying land and building the new church building,” they said. “Members honored pastors who served in the region in the past. They also remembered many brothers and sisters from Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia who supported the initiative. Over the past few months, Alexander Rameyko from Belarus has been working hard with current local church pastor Alexei Alemasov and others to bring the project to fruition.
According to local leaders, it is worth noting the mention of Vladimir Antonovich Vladovsky. He devoted his skill as a builder to the construction of many Adventist church buildings in several cities in Siberia and other regions. “Here in Severobaikalsk, Vladovsky took part not only as a foreman and builder, but also as an organizer,” the leaders said. He talked about the ongoing construction with his friends, who supported the project with their donations, they said.
Local church members and leaders thanked regional Adventist leaders for their support, including leaders of the Eastern Siberia Mission (ESM) and Eastern Russia Union Mission (ERUM). ERUM purchased comfortable, high-quality chairs and carpeting for the new sanctuary. Other members and leaders contributed labor and donations over the several years the project took, local church leaders reported.
After the solemn church service, each guest was invited to a festive dinner.
“Thanks to God!” church leaders said. “We wish our brothers and sisters in Severobaikalsk special blessings as they share the everlasting gospel in their region. Maranatha!”
the original version of this story was published by the Europe-Asia Division.