First Bulgarian Church in Chicago Opened in 1907

May 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

In May 1907, sponsored by the Chicago Tract Society, Petko Vasilev opened the Bulgarian Christian House in Chicago. The facilities had beds and a kitchen and served as a hotel and a shelter for new immigrants. In 1908, the name was changed to Bulgarian Christian Society and later was relocated several times.

A second similar work was started at the same time by Daniel Protoff called the Russian Christian Mission. Located in Chicago, it supported church services and a Bible school. In 1909, the City Missionary Society called Basil Keusseff to lead the mission. Keusseff was a Bulgarian born minister who was converted in Romania and was a graduate of the school in Samokov and Cliff College in Sheffield, England. In the 1890s, Keusseff pastored the Baptist church in Lom and then moved to Pittsburgh where he worked with Robert Bamber, pastor of the Turtle Creek Christian Church. The mission ministered to Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian and Turkish minorities.

Around 1910, the ministry of the Bulgarian Christian Society was aided by Reverend Paul Mishkoff, a student at Moody Bible Institute. Coming from a poor but strong Protestant family, Mishkoff was called to preach at a very early age. He studied in the school at Samokov and was often sent to preach in the nearby villages. After finishing the school, Mishkoff decided to come and study at the Moody Bible Institute. He was helped by a Methodist missionary who gave him four dollars – the price of a third-class ticket from Sofia to New York where he was put on the immigrant’s train to Chicago. He was denied admission to Moody with the explanation that there was neither room nor funds for him. With no job and no money, the young preacher had to find food at the saloons where it was offered free for ones who drank. During his struggles, Mishkoff had lost all his possessions except a pocket size New Testament. In his personal story, he recalled, “But I had the copy of the Bulgarian Testament in my pocket not only to keep it, but to read it when I was sitting on the benches of the Union Station and other public places night after night. My soul was wakened anew. An ambition was roused in me: I must prepare myself for a preacher any way.” Through a financial miracle, Mishkoff was eventually able to graduate from the Moody Bible Institute. During the course of his studies, he was supported by Chicago Tract Society and he was able to minister to the 5,000 Bulgarians living in Chicago.

Around 1910, the Bulgarian Christian Society established a library which served the Bulgarian community for over twenty years. The congregation of the mission numbered about fifty. The ministry included English classes and immigration law seminars.

Several changes in the leadership of the mission began in 1921. In 1924, the mission was headed by Zaprian Vidoloff and the mission was renamed the Bulgarian Christian Mission. Vidoloff was a graduate of the Samokov School in 1910, a student of philosophy at the University of Sofia and a graduate of Union Theological College in Chicago. He entered pastoral ministry in 1915 and later served as the secretary of the Baptist Union. At the same time, he was secretary of the Bulgarian legation in Washington, D.C. from 1921 to 1923.

All Bulgarian religious organizations initiated by evangelicals before 1930 existed as missions. In February 1932, the First Bulgarian Church pastored by Joseph Hristov was started in Chicago.

chessJuly 10, 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of the first service of the first Bulgarian Church of God in Chicago in 1995.

We have told the Story of the first Bulgarian Church of God in the Untied States (read it here) on numerous occasions and it was a substantial part of our 2005 dissertation (published in 2012, see it here).

From my personal memories, the exact beginning was after Brave Heart opened in the summer of 1995 and the Narragansett Church of God closed the street for a 4th of July block party with BBQ, Chicago PD horsemen, a moonwalk and much more.

The first service in the Bulgarian vernacular was held Sunday afternoon, July 10th 1995 being the true anniversary of the Bulgarian Church in Chicago. Only about a dozen were present and the sermon I preached was from Hebrews 13:5. Unfortunately, to this day 20 years later, we cannot locate the pictures taken that day to identify those present. And some have already passed away.

Using a ministry model that later became a paradigm for starting Bulgarian churches in North America (see it in detail) the church grew to over 65 members in just a few weeks by the end of July. This was around the time the movie Judge Dread had opened and the first edition of Windows 95 was scheduled for release in Chicago. I saw them both at the mall on upper Harlem Boulevard.

The Bulgarian Church of God in Chicago followed a rich century-long tradition, which began with the establishing of Bulgarian churches and missions in 1907. (read the history) Consecutively, our 1995 Church Starting Paradigm was successfully used in various studies and models in 2003. The program was continuously improved in the following decade, proposing an effective model for leading and managing growing Bulgarian churches.

Based on the Gateway cities in North America and their relations to the Bulgarian communities across the continent, it proposed a prognosis toward establishing Bulgarian churches (see it here) and outlined the perimeters of their processes and dynamics in the near future (read in detail).

After a personal xlibris, the said prognosis were revisited in 2009 in relation to preliminary groundbreaking church work on the West Coast and then evaluated against the state of Bulgarian Churches in America at the 2014 Annual Conference in Minneapolis.

We’re yet to observe the factors and dynamics determining if Bulgarian churches across North America will follow their early 20th century predecessors to become absorbed in the local context or alike many other ethnic groups survive to form their own subculture in North America. We will know the answer for sure in another 20 years…

Bulgarian Evangelical Churches in Chicago (2017 Report)

May 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Featured, News

bulgarian-church

Bulgarian Church of God in Chicago
2254 North Narragansett Ave, Chicago
GraceInternational.TV
Active since 1995

New Life Bulgarian Evangelical Church
1480 Oakton St – Des Plaines, IL 60018
http://www.bgnewlife.com
Active since 1997

Word of Faith and Life
916 E Central Rd
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
http://www.bulgarianfamily.org/
Active since 1998

Bulgarian Baptist Church
6334 W Diversey Ave.
Chicago, IL 60639
http://novonachalo.org
Active since 2005

READ MORE:

110 Years Ago the First Bulgarian Mission in Chicago was Started

May 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

bulgarian-churchIn May 1907, sponsored by the Chicago Tract Society, Petko Vasilev opened the Bulgarian Christian House in Chicago. The facilities had beds and a kitchen and served as a hotel and a shelter for new immigrants. In 1908, the name was changed to Bulgarian Christian Society and later was relocated several times.

A second similar work was started at the same time by Daniel Protoff called the Russian Christian Mission. Located in Chicago, it supported church services and a Bible school. In 1909, the City Missionary Society called Basil Keusseff to lead the mission. Keusseff was a Bulgarian born minister who was converted in Romania and was a graduate of the school in Samokov and Cliff College in Sheffield, England. In the 1890s, Keusseff pastored the Baptist church in Lom and then moved to Pittsburgh where he worked with Robert Bamber, pastor of the Turtle Creek Christian Church. The mission ministered to Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian and Turkish minorities.

Around 1910, the ministry of the Bulgarian Christian Society was aided by Reverend Paul Mishkoff, a student at Moody Bible Institute. Coming from a poor but strong Protestant family, Mishkoff was called to preach at a very early age. He studied in the school at Samokov and was often sent to preach in the nearby villages. After finishing the school, Mishkoff decided to come and study at the Moody Bible Institute. He was helped by a Methodist missionary who gave him four dollars – the price of a third-class ticket from Sofia to New York where he was put on the immigrant’s train to Chicago. He was denied admission to Moody with the explanation that there was neither room nor funds for him. With no job and no money, the young preacher had to find food at the saloons where it was offered free for ones who drank. During his struggles, Mishkoff had lost all his possessions except a pocket size New Testament. In his personal story, he recalled, “But I had the copy of the Bulgarian Testament in my pocket not only to keep it, but to read it when I was sitting on the benches of the Union Station and other public places night after night. My soul was wakened anew. An ambition was roused in me: I must prepare myself for a preacher any way.” Through a financial miracle, Mishkoff was eventually able to graduate from the Moody Bible Institute. During the course of his studies, he was supported by Chicago Tract Society and he was able to minister to the 5,000 Bulgarians living in Chicago.

Also in 1910, the Bulgarian Christian Society established a library which served the Bulgarian community for over twenty years. The congregation of the mission numbered about fifty. The ministry included English classes and immigration law seminars. Several changes in the leadership of the mission began in 1921. In 1924, the mission was headed by Zaprian Vidoloff and the mission was renamed the Bulgarian Christian Mission. Vidoloff was a graduate of the Samokov School in 1910, a student of philosophy at the University of Sofia and a graduate of Union Theological College in Chicago. He entered pastoral ministry in 1915 and later served as the secretary of the Baptist Union. At the same time, he was secretary of the Bulgarian legation in Washington, D.C. from 1921 to 1923.

All Bulgarian religious organizations initiated by evangelicals before 1930 existed as missions. In February 1932, the First Bulgarian Church pastored by Joseph Hristov was started in Chicago.

How to Start a Bulgarian Church in America from A-to-Z

20 Years of the Bulgarian Church of God in Chicago

July 10, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, News

chessJuly 10, 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the first service of the Bulgarian Church of God in Chicago in 1995.

We have told the Story of the first Bulgarian Church of God in the Untied States (read it here) on numerous occasions and it was a substantial part of our 2005 dissertation (published in 2012, see it here).

From my personal memories, the exact beginning was after Brave Heart opened in the summer of 1995 and the Narragansett Church of God closed the street for a 4th of July block party with BBQ, Chicago PD horsemen, a moonwalk and much more.

The first service in the Bulgarian vernacular was held Sunday afternoon, July 10th 1995 being the true anniversary of the Bulgarian Church in Chicago. Only about a dozen were present and the sermon I preached was from Hebrews 13:5. Unfortunately, to this day 20 years later, we cannot locate the pictures taken that day to identify those present. And some have already passed away.

Using a ministry model that later became a paradigm for starting Bulgarian churches in North America (see it in detail) the church grew to over 65 members in just a few weeks by the end of July. This was around the time the movie Judge Dread had opened and the first edition of Windows 95 was scheduled for release in Chicago. I saw them both at the mall on upper Harlem Boulevard.

The Bulgarian Church of God in Chicago followed a rich century-long tradition, which began with the establishing of Bulgarian churches and missions in 1907. (read the history) Consecutively, our 1995 Church Starting Paradigm was successfully used in various studies and models in 2003. The program was continuously improved in the following decade, proposing an effective model for leading and managing growing Bulgarian churches.

Based on the Gateway cities in North America and their relations to the Bulgarian communities across the continent, it proposed a prognosis toward establishing Bulgarian churches (see it here) and outlined the perimeters of their processes and dynamics in the near future (read in detail).

After a personal xlibris, the said prognosis were revisited in 2009 in relation to preliminary groundbreaking church work on the West Coast and then evaluated against the state of Bulgarian Churches in America at the 2014 Annual Conference in Minneapolis.

We’re yet to observe the factors and dynamics determining if Bulgarian churches across North America will follow their early 20th century predecessors to become absorbed in the local context or alike many other ethnic groups survive to form their own subculture in North America. We will know the answer for sure in another 20 years…

The Everlasting Gospel: The Significance of Eschatology in the Development of Pentecostal Thought

April 5, 2015 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

faupel everlasting gospelThe Everlasting Gospel: The Significance of Eschatology in the Development of Pentecostal Thought by D.W. Faupel follows the following outline:

  1. The Pentecostal Message: In this chapter Faupel explores the pre-formation of the Pentecostal message. He relates its content to the Full Gospel, which includes: salvation, sanctification, baptism with the Holy Spirit, healing and second coming.
  2. Context of Pentecostal Thought: In this chapter Faupel gives a brief sketch of the American context at the end of the 19th century. His focus on the American culture as ground for Pentecostalism, however, seemed quite narrow especially in retrospect to the original glassolalia experience by the disciples on the Day of Pentecost.
  3. The Pentecostal Message: Faupel offers an interesting observation on the lives, messages, ministries and outcomes of three major pre-Pentecostal American figures. He writes of J.A. Dowie. Frank W. Sandford and Charles Parham.
  4. The Coming of the Latter Rain: Faupel begins the story of Seymuor as a continuation of the historical formation of the Pentecostal Movement linking it back to the ministry of Parham. He explores the beginning of the Azusa Street revival and its affect on Los Angeles, the United States and worldwide.
  5. Defining the Parameters of Pentecostal Though: The end of Faupel’s story focuses on the outcomes of the Latter Rain phenomenon. Main concern of the plot is the ministry of Durham in Chicago, who proposes the idea of Finished Work. Durham claims that thought Calvary there are only two works of grace, the salvation experience and the baptism with the Holy Spirit. The sanctification, he proposes, comes in the life of the believer through the salvation experience.

Scroll Signing Service in Chicago

March 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, News

Chicago

Looking-Over-new25 years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, people in Eastern Europe are still haunted by the spirit of communism. The Regime robbed them not only from happiness and freedom, but from their deep human ability to even imagine a better and free world. For this very reason, we wrote the book Looking over the Wall as our prayer for a new prophetic re-imagination of the present reality. After laboring in Bulgaria for over 25 years, in 2014, we were thrilled to minister to churches and people that are dreaming and re-imagining God’s purpose for Bulgaria along with us. Join us in re-imagining imagination anew:

1. Purchase the book from Amazon
2. Read it with your church family
3. Help us pray for a renewal of a new prophetic re-imagination in the minds and hearts of the people in Bulgaria and Eastern Europe

Bulgarian Churches in North America

April 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

bulgarian-churchBulgarian Churches in North America results from a comprehensive dissertation work on emerging Bulgarian American congregations. The book incorporates some twenty years of research, which the author began while involved with the establishment of the first Bulgarian Church of God in North America initially located in the city of Chicago. The work presents an overview of the historical presuppositions and immigrant dynamics associated with Bulgarian churches is offered to enlighten the current problem of ministry. Next, a detailed contextual analysis describes the churches participating in the project. The project model design explains the research methodology and the study’s findings, which provide the first ever statistical overview of Bulgarian American congregations. The work concludes with a series of prognoses of the explored movement of evangelical churches, various considerations and an A-to-Z church planting proposal to serve as a paradigm for ministry and church planting among Bulgarian immigrant communities in North America.

X Youth Event: 11.11.11 LIVE from Chicago

November 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, News

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Palm Sunday in Chicago

April 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, News

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Ministering at the Bulgarian Churches of Chicago

April 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, News

With the Annual Conference of Bulgarian Churches in North America being just around the corner, we were invited to minister with the Bulgarian Church of God in Chicago.  Last year we were able to hold a weekend training event for their leadership as well as to assist them in the area of web development as a cyber platform for their church.  In postmodernity it is ever important that the church has a voice in every field of ministry. Since then they have been able to broadcast their services LIVE which have been viewed by Bulgarian in the States and abroad.

This year we were also able to meet with their web development and pastoral team to offer further suggestions of how to better implement and modernize their church website to more effectively meet their unique needs. Being directed by the Spirit under the leadership of Pastor Vladimir Georgiev, the church has witnessed tremendous success.  They are currently in a building project to expand their existing building to accommodate this new growth.  It is our prayer that the Lord continues to bless the efforts of the New Life Bulgarian Church of God in Chicago. We were also able to minister at the Bulgarian Baptist Church before we left the Windy City.

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