The Unforgotten

The Unforgotten: Historical and Theological Roots of Pentecostalism in Bulgaria

This book tells the story of four early Pentecostal families who brought the message of Azusa to Bulgaria, Eastern Europe and Russia. The research has taken over a decade to complete. It started with a brief article on the beginning of the Pentecostal movement in Bulgaria, where unfortunately many church archives were destroyed during Communism. Consecutively, the research led my wife and I on a long journey from the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives in Nashville, to the Assemblies of God headquarters in Springfield, the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley, Pusey Library at Harvard, the British and Foreign Bible Society in Cambridge, and countless Bulgarian churches.We are grateful to the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center for making readily available their denominational archives. Dr. Albert Wardin graciously opened the door for research in Nashville and Berkeley, where most documentation of Voronaev’s early ministry are preserved. Dr. Cecil M. Robeck, Jr. of Fuller provided tremendous guidance to the life and ministry of Frank and Anna Bartleman through virtually every step of their journey and every address they occupied. We are also thankful to Dr. Oleg Bornovolokov of the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary in Kiev, who helped with various KGB/FSB documents and the NKVD dossiers from Gulag.The papers included in this book were presented at Society for Pentecostal Studies meetings between 2010 and 2021. The first part of the book appeared in vol. 30 (2010) of Assemblies of God “Heritage” magazine and their December, 2010 editorial. The Bulgarian Pentecostal Union published our translation and commentary of Voronaev’s correspondence in their monthly “Evangel.” In 2011, Dr. Vladimir Franchuk, translated our Voronaev’s papers in Russian and included them in his book “Revival: from the center of Odessa to the ends of Russia” just in time for the 90th anniversary of Pentecostalism in Russia. Most of the historiographical data presented in this book is being published openly for the first time.

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Christmas Book Sale

December 1, 2020 by  
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All books by Cup&Cross on SALE

Clearance sale for the year with new titles coming up in early 2021

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BLACK FRIDAY BOOK SALE

November 20, 2020 by  
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All books by Cup&Cross on SALE

Final clearance sale for the year with new titles coming up in early 2021

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CONFESSIONS of a Pentecostal Preacher (9.1.20.)

August 1, 2020 by  
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This book should have been published seven years ago in 2013. Its original subtitle was going to read “7 Years in Bulgaria.” Instead, it took seven years to finish it with all documents, research archives and new cases. Now, it is finally here and it finally reads like a story – not just choppy interviews, deposition documented testimonies or court records, but a story of struggle, strength and solitude. A story of life and a story of us.

1995-96 The establishing of the first Bulgarian Church of God in Chicago and its first split

2000-01 The contracted building of the ministry center for the Central Church of God in Sofia

2002-03 The church split in Southaven and what followed next

2005-06 The post-communist split of the Bulgarian Church of God and consecutive sub-denominations

2010-13 The social media network that cost us millions (of souls)

2016 The vote that forced to kill a church

2019-20 The sale of the ministry center for the Central Church of God in Bulgaria

READ: CONFESSIONS of a Pentecostal Preacher

Preparing to celebrate 30 YEARS in the MINISTRY

July 25, 2020 by  
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25 Years Ago in Chicago…

May 25, 2020 by  
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Exactly a quarter of a century ago today, I arrived in Chicago with a plan to start a Bulgarian church. That was my second trip to the Windy City after a mission’s trip with a few college friends in Christmas of 1994. The Narraganset Church of God in Chicago hosted us with great success and it was there I met several Bulgarians who desired to start a church. A key moment still remembered from 1994 was the “boot sermon.”

On Memorial Day weekend of 1995, I drove my Carolina baby blue Buick Grand National exactly 777 miles north to Chicago. It was still the time of no GPS or phone navigation so the only thing I had to go buy was an old atlas. Not knowing a better way just yet, I didn’t take the North-West Suburbs but exited on North Avenue and ended up driving its whole length through the city. On a warm Sunday the entire population of Wicker Park was in the streets. It was like in the movies. So was the rest of the Summer of 1995.

I had made little arrangements for my stay and ended up with a Bulgarian family living on Jackson Blvd. For the lack of space, I slept on an old couch on their balcony. Yes, during the Chicago heat wave of 1995.

I stayed with the pastor’s family a lot, especially when we started our 5 a.m. prayers in the church for members who would stop by to be prayed for before going to work. Some of those nights I just stayed at the church and slept on the first pew before the altar. It was there one early morning God woke me with the whole Gospel of John open before me, which later became the plan for my Bible translation.

As to the start of the Bulgarian church in Chicago, it came naturally as part of the ministry. The small band of Bulgarian believers would come for the English-speaking morning worship and then stay for a Bulgarian service in the early afternoon. A Spanish-speaking service followed at 4 P.M. as well. Several key events through the summer like the now-traditional Bulgarian 4th of July picnic in Chicago and a block party organized by the Narraganset Church of God helped spread the word of our Bulgarian ministry. Soon migrants of all ages began attending the afternoon services.

The most I remember from those services was prayer. Yes, I preached and there were guest speakers as well, but we mostly prayed. Bulgarians of all ages would come to the alter with their life pain and needs. Deep hurt within immigrant hearts, missing family members left behind in the old country, new struggles with work and existence in their new migrant reality and so on – all became a part of the new life of the Bulgarian church in Chicago. And those prayers were answered one by one. People did not come to attend or become members of a church plant project. They came and found answer to their prayers, direction in their lives and healing for their deep pain. Hidden from everyone else in Chicago, a river of pain flowed at those old church alters and a rain of healing, hope and peace filled the emptiness in those emigrant souls. That much I do still remember.

Through the whole summer as the Bulgarian church in Chicago began, I wrote my parents every Friday. Two regular stamps were what it took for a letter to get to Bulgaria back then. I would walk from the church on Narraganset across the street to Grand and drop the letter in a blue street U.S. mailbox. They all got to their destination. My dad had stored them all in an old shoe box after reading them, and I was able to find them all recently. They ain’t no diary, but still tell the story with details of each week of those humble beginnings. Along with the letters, there were a lot of pictures I had taken with my small 35mm. camera that looked more like a taser. The Metro, Sear’s Tower and under it where we ministered to the homeless, South Side and Cabrini Green, Rigley Field and Comiskey Park, McCormick and LSD. I only wish I had taken better notes now that I am writing this book. Times, places and faces are often mixed and sometimes lost in the timeline, but the story is far from forgotten. Now, a quarter of a century later, it is time to tell this story and tell it right… for the generations.

CONFESSIONS of a Pentecostal Preacher

February 1, 2020 by  
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CONFESSIONS of a Pentecostal Preacher

To Mark Alan
We know not why good people have to die,
but we do know we must tell their story…

Chapter I: Beyond the Church and into God

Be without fear in the face of your enemies.
Be brave and upright that God may love thee.
Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death.
Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong.
That is your oath.
~Kingdom
of Heaven (2005)

 

Separation of church from politics of false religiosity

The phone rang heavy and long. It was 4 AM in Bulgaria, but I was already up. A friend on the other end of the line was calling from South Carolina with a warning of some bad situation. The following morning, I was going to be contacted by the Director questioning why we were ministering in churches outside of our denomination.

The truth was we had ministered in some 300 local churches across the Balkan country of Bulgaria crossing all denominational boundaries and gathering youth from just about every confession. God had used us not only to reach and minister and to lead, but to step into an untouched spiritual realm, to undertake an unfamiliar ministry paradigm and to approach a brand new dimension of reality where He was to be the center of it all. And we had obeyed without questions. Now it was time to pay the price!

* * *

Our denomination, the one to which I remain both critically loyal and loyally critical, spreads over some five generations. Through its century old existence, the struggles and tension between theology and praxis has been in the center. And there, in the very essence of Pentecostalism itself, while some are always celebrating and being celebrated in the office or temple, others are always pushed in the periphery of normal life, hidden from the world behind closed doors and seeking a much deeper experience with God.

These modern day mystics are not only forgotten, but often forbidden. For their riot for righteousness cannot be conceived, contained and controlled by the religious norms of organized officiality. They speak as prophets to a world they so fervently try to escape from, about a reality that does not exist in the normal believer’s mindset. A stage of spirituality that cannot be preached without being lived in the social existence. And a relationship of God that goes far beyond common relationism and into God himself. That God, Who does not abide in offices and temples, but on the cross outside of the city walls…

But I knew nothing of this until that cold winter morning when the phone rang through darkness of the night. Knowing what is coming, rarely changes what we have done to get here.

7 Years in Bulgaria: CONFESSIONS of a Pentecostal Preacher
by Dony K. Donev, D.Min.
Upcoming Releases for United States (October, 2020)

CHRISTMAS BOOK SALE

December 20, 2019 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

Since 2011, we have authored over two dozen books related to our ministry and mission work in Eastern Europe. As several of the prints are now almost exhausted and second/third editions and several new titles are under way, we are releasing all currently available editions in a Christmas sale through the month of December. All titles are available at up to 30% off and Amazon offers free shipping and extra savings for bundle purchases.

books

Children’s Coloring Cookbook

December 10, 2019 by  
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Kariyana’s Kitchen: Children’s Coloring Cookbook

A coloring cookbook for children with recipes, blank cards, conversion charts and more!

  • Paperback: 37 pages
  • Publisher: Independently published (November 28, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1704006821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1704006826
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.1 x 9 inches

5 Bulgarian Study New Testaments Published

December 1, 2019 by  
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We are truly blessed to introduce for the first time the Bulgarian Study New Testament. The text is specifically designed and printed for Bulgarian immigrant churches outside of Bulgaria and specifically for the Goodwin need of Bibles, study guides and leadership literature among the Bulgarian Churches in North America. This first edition contains:

  • Bulgarian NTRevised protestant Bible History of the New Testament texts
  • The Story of the Bulgarian Bible
  • Harmony of the Gospels
  • Prologue to each book
  • How can I be saved?
  • What the Bible says about…
  • Holy Spirit in the life of the believer
  • Prayer Devotions
  • Praise and Worship Lessons
  • Role of the Church in the world
  • Theology in contrasts
  • Names and titles of Jesus Christ
  • Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled
  • The miracles of Jesus
  • The proverbs of the Lord
  • Model and use of the Tabernacle
  • Maps of Biblical places
  • Plan of the Last days and the Book of Revelation

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