Problems of Evangelism

February 25, 2007 by  
Filed under Publication

The second book of former overseer of the Bulgarian Church of God Pavel Ignatov, was released in February, 2006 under the title Problems of Evangelism. The text overviews the period from the birth of the Bulgarian Protestant Movement to the beginning of the Communist Regime in Bulgaria. This is part of a three volume work dealing with the history of Bulgarian Protestantism with a special focus on the history of the Bulgarian Church of God. The introductory volume published in 2005 under the title The Bloodless Persecution of the Church was a brief overview of early Bulgarian Pentecostalism including the early history of the Bulgarian Church of God Movement. Currently, the series is the most up-to-date historical overview of Bulgarian Pentecostalism. For his research, Pavel Ignatov has been nominated for an honorary doctoral degree by the Bulgarian Evangelical Theological Institute.

Bulgarian Church of God

February 20, 2007 by  
Filed under Research

The prehistory the Bulgarian Church of God is rooted in the rise of the Protestantism on the Balkans in the 1800s when American missionaries were allowed to enter the Ottoman Empire. As early as 1827 The British Bible Society began working on a Protestant translation of the Bulgarian Bible. In 1871 the first Bulgarian Protestant Church was founded in the town of Bansko. In the next year the American Missionary School was established in the town of Samokov. In 1878 Bulgaria was liberated from 500 years of Turkish yoke, and during 1890-1910 a great number of Protestant denominations, among which Methodist, Baptists, Lutherans and Congregationalists started local churches throughout Bulgaria.

In 1923 Ukrainian immigrant Zaplishny traveled to Russia to preach the Pentecostal message. On the way his ship stopped at the Bulgarian port of Bourgas where he preached in the Methodist church and several are baptized with the Holy Spirit. This event marked the beginning of Bulgarian Pentecostalism, which in the next few years spread throughout the country.

In the 1930s the movement called itself the Bulgarian Pentecostal Union (now affiliated with the Assemblies of God). A more conservative Pentecostal group with congregations located mainly in Northern Bulgaria emerged and formed the union called The Northern Brothers (or Tinchevists after the name of the leader Stoyan Tintchev). The group called themselves the Church of God. After the 1944 Communist Revolution in Bulgaria it continued its existence as an underground organization and was severally persecuted. In the 1980s the Bulgarian Church of God established connection and became a part of the Church of God (Cleveland, TN).

Healing Revival in Seneca

February 15, 2007 by  
Filed under Events

In the beginning of February we began a Friday Night Healing Revival at the High Falls Church of God in Seneca. We committed ourselves to spend a month of prayer and fasting before God, studying and preaching the Word while expecting healings and miracles to happen. Services began February 2nd, as we invited other churches to join us in prayer and fasting expecting God’s miraculous intervention through a fresh experience of the power of the Holy Spirit.

Various Healings Reported
Several healings were reported as early as the first Friday night service. Other testimonies followed in the days to come, as people moved in faith and prayed during the altar services. This is no different than our ministry experience in Bulgaria in the past two years, where in the midst of numerous salvations and Holy Spirit baptisms, healings were reported on a regular basis. Just a reminder that God still has the power to save, heal and deliver.

Wave of Healing Revival
We have received responses from churches as far as Mississippi and Maryland who have also prayed and fasted for a move of the Spirit expecting miracles and healings. We are persuaded beyond a shadow of a doubt that in the beginning of the 21st century God is doing a new thing purposing a complete physical and emotional healing of his people. If your church has also prayed for a healing revival, please let us know how we can partner with you in this ministry endeavor.

Bulgarian Evangelical Church of God in Chicago

February 10, 2007 by  
Filed under Missions

This is the story of the first Bulgarian Church of God established in the Untied States. The church was started in the building of the Narragansett Church of God in Chicago which at the time was pastored by Rev. Sean O’Neal. Led by a dynamic cross-cultural vision, the congregation expanded in several ethnic branches. Using a strategy home mission’s approach the church soon became an important religious center for the Chicago metro.

In December 1994, the Lord led me to participate in a step-mission trip to Chicago organized by the students of East Coast Bible College. As preparations were made we learned of several Bulgarians who attend the Narragansett Church of God in Chicago. Unfortunately, they had been hurt by some Bulgarian ministers who had visited them before and were very suspicious of any organized church work. Yet, I was introduced to them and was able to minister to them in several services.

By the end of our mission trip Pastor O’Neal invited me to join him in his attempt to begin a Bulgarian church in the city. Although at this time Chicago was a center for more than 12,000 Bulgarian immigrants no one had attempted to start a Bulgarian Protestant church.

After much prayer I arrived in Chicago on May 27, 1995. In the remaining part of May we created a strategy to reach as many Bulgarians as possible. This included visitation of families, attending Bulgarians social functions, and establishing contact with several Bulgarian organizations active in the Chicago area such as the Bulgarian Club and the Orthodox Church. In June we executed this plan with much success. During this time I lived with a Bulgarian family and slept on the balcony of their apartment on Jackson Boulevard. Often, I had to spend the night in the church building as well. But the most important thing was to carry the vision to the end.

On July 9, 1995 the first organized Bulgarian Church of God was established in Chicago city. I was privileged to preach on the subject of forgiveness as 10 Bulgarians attended. Little I knew that in the years to come much forgiveness will be needed as the church will be torn apart by deep bitterness, personal ambitions, frequent confusion and lack of mission. Yet, while the works of men fails, the work of God remains.

By the end of the summer of 1995 the Bulgarian Church in Chicago had grown to 42 people. Thanks to the faithful and united work of Bulgarians and Americans in the fall of the same year the number was 64. On October 7, 1995, I was able to visit the church in Chicago again and present it to the National Overseer of the Bulgarian Church of God, Pastor Pavel Ignatov who visited the church for the first time. The church became not only the first officially registered Bulgarian Pentecostal congregation in the United States, but also an important social and educational center able to minister to the 100,000 Bulgarians that live in the Great Lake region today.

Called to another mission, I left Chicago on July 30, 1995. The church bulletin upon my departure under Farewell and Appreciation read: “Today we are saying thank you to Dony for a job well done this past summer. He has served our church faithfully, and has been a tremendous blessing to Narragansett Ministries. Immediately following worship this morning, there is a dinner in Dony’s honor in the fellowship hall. And everyone is invited to attend.”

The church congregation presented me with a plaque that represented my efforts and work in Chicago. But for me, this plaque represents much more. It represents the prayers and the vision of many who are continuing the work today, establishing and leading Bulgarian churches around the world to providing pastoral care for many who have left the homeland in search for a better life. To these ministers goes my personal token of appreciation and thanks, “Well done thou good and faithful … “

Bulgaria: General Infromation

February 5, 2007 by  
Filed under News

Location – Bulgaria is situated on the Balkan Peninsula, in south-eastern Europe. It is bounded by Romania on the north, by the Black Sea on the east, by Turkey and Greece on the south, and by the Republics of Macedonia and Yugoslavia on the west

State System – Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic. It is a united and inseparable formation of one nation. The supreme organ of state power is the National Assembly (Parliament), which exercises legislative power and parliamentary control

Geographical Reference – The relief of the country is diverse, including vast lowlands, planes, low hills, high and low mountains, valleys, river basins and deep gorges…The climate of Bulgaria is generally defined as temperate continental with well expressed transition to the south of Stara Planina…The complex relief structure and the small territory of Bulgaria do not create conditions for big rivers

Flora and Fauna – Bulgaria is a land of roses, orchards laden with fruit and vines grown since the settlement of the ancient Thracians. Favorable climatic conditions and variety of relief are factors that account for the diversity of vegetation. The overall number of plant species is approximately 12 400. Forests prevail, representing nearly 27 % of the territory of the country

Religion and Holidays – The traditional religion in Bulgaria is the Eastern Orthodox creed. The conversion to Christianity took place in 864 and the foundations of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church were laid down at the Constantinople Council in 870. In the time of the Ottoman rule the Bulgarian Patriarchate passed under the jurisdiction of the Constantinople Patriarchate

Style of Life – More than half of the Bulgarian population lives in towns as a result of the intensive migration processes in the recent decades. The basic part of the inhabitants (88 %) are Bulgarians – a nationality formed through the amalgamation of Slavs, Proto-Bulgarians and Thracians…The typical Bulgarian dishes…Bulgarian white and red wines…Mineral waters

Monetary Unit – The Bulgarian monetary unit is the Bulgarian lev. Banknotes of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 levs and coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 stotinki are in circulation.

History – The geographical situation at crossroads, the favorable climate and the variety of relief are prerequisites for the interweaving of fates and routes of many tribes and peoples on the Bulgarian lands. The territory of Bulgaria was inhabited since the earliest historical ages – the Stone Age and the Stone-Copper Age

Bulgarian National Culture – In Bulgaria the foreign tourists can get acquainted with original versatile culture that represents an organic entity of various ethnocultural communities – Proto-Bulgarians, Slavs and the ancient settlers on the Balkans, mainly Thracians

Education – By way of tradition the Bulgarians have always valued highly erudition, making efforts to give their children good education. It is not surprising that towards the end of the 9th C. Knyaz Boris invited the students of the founders of the Slavonic alphabet Sts. Cyril and Methodius and they became archefounders of education in Bulgaria

Language and Alphabet – The Bulgarian language – the oldest Slavonic language in terms of written documents – belongs to the Southern group of Slavonic languages of the Indo-European language family

Literature – The Bulgarian literature is considered to be the oldest Slavonic one. Its foundations were laid in the 9th C., after the brothers Constantin-Cyril the Philosopher and Methodius created the Slavonic alphabet (Glagolitsa) and made the first translations of religious texts

Architecture – “Since the creation of the world and up to the 15th C. architecture stands out as the great book of mankind, its major means of expression… “, said Victor Hugo. The architectural heritage of Bulgarian country has written our exceptionally rich history in stone, wood and brick

Fine Arts – The Bulgarian lands are an inexhaustible treasure-trove of artistic works. Part of these are still hidden in the earth, but others, which are already in the museums, drive us thousands of years back to the culture of one of the oldest ancient European civilizations

Music – The legend of the Thracian singer Orpheus, who charmed gods with his music, tells that he was born in the Rhodopes. Bulgarian singers and musicians of today are no less famous than Orpheus. The remarkable opera-singers Boris Hristov, Nikolai Gyaurov, Nikola Gyuzelev, Raina Kabaivanska, Gena Dimitrova and many others make famous the Bulgarian school of singing on the world opera stages

Theatre – The beginning of theatre performances in Bulgaria was laid during the National Revival (the second half of the 19th C.). The first professional theatre company was formed in Plovdiv in 1883

Sports – Though a small country, Bulgaria ranges among the foremost sports nations in the world. It is one of thirteen countries constituters of the contemporary Olympic games in 1896

Tourism – The beautiful scenery, the ancient historical sites and the crossroad situation of the country between the Orient and Europe have been attracting travellers since ancient times. Travel notes left by German, Austrian and Arab authors offer a rich source of evidence for the life in the Bulgarian lands. At present Bulgaria develops as a country of tourism. Despite its comparatively small territory, the variety of treasures of nature is exceptional

Souvenirs from Bulgaria – Buying a souvenir, one can take away a memento of Bulgaria. Works of masters of traditional crafts can be found in the special shops (painted Troyan ceramics, wrought-iron and copper objects, boxes, candle-sticks, etc., wooden objects, decorated with poker-work, hand-made embroideries with folklore motifs, replicas of ancient guns and daggers, etc.)

2007 Miracle Revival Crusade

February 1, 2007 by  
Filed under Events

During the month of February, Cup & Cross Ministries will be conducting a series of Friday Night Healing Services at the High Falls Church of God. While as human beings we do not hold the key to healing and revival, we believe that God does and that He is still the Healer and the Reviver of us all. For this very reason, we have committed ourselves, along with the High Falls Church of God congregation, to spend a month of prayer and fasting before God, while preaching his Living Word and expecting his move in our midst.

We know that this may sound like a call for an old-time religion, but it is much more than that. If God is still in the business of saving, healing, sanctifying and reviving people so must be His Church.

We invite you and your congregation to join us in this ministry endeavor, to pray and fast with us for God’s miraculous intervention. We will be happy if you and your congregation are able to attend our Friday night meetings and join us for a fresh experience of the power of God. Services will be conducted each Friday during the month of February at the High Falls Church of God in Seneca, SC starting at 7:00 pm.