I was baptized…

As we are approaching 30 years in ministry in 2020, the centennial of Bulgarian Pentecostalism, a quarter of a century since we started the Bulgarian church in Chicago and several other important anniversaries, I have felt compelled to finally complete several books that have been long in the making. As I was digging threw some old documents just recently, I came to my first recorded account of being baptized with the Holy Spirit. Being a fifth generation Pentecostal, this experience is important too me and I have written and spoken about it in many occasions. However, this first account I have recoded many over 20 plus years ago is a personal recollection I would like to share today:

That night my cousin started to talk to me after church asking me if I was saved. I obviously was not, so she told me that God could change my life in one prayer. I refused to pray, but she kept on talking and I realized if I did not pray the prayer then, I never would. When I repeated the prayer after her, she asked me if I felt anything. My answer was, “No.” She assured me I would feel something soon.  After this, everyone went home. As soon as I got home I took my pack of cigarettes and I threw them out the window. Indeed that night, something happened. For the first time in my life I felt free. It was August 11, 1990.

The next day was Sunday, and I took my first communion in church. On Monday I started fasting for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I talked with my cousin that night telling her about my decision to fast three days for the baptism. She said that I did not need to fast because the Holy Spirit was already given to the believers and the only thing I needed to do was to receive Him.

On Thursday night (August 16, 1990) we had a healing meeting during the first Pentecostal conference after the fall of Communism. After the sermon, the preacher said we were going to do three things: first – we would all prayer together, second – he would pray for us and third – he would tell us to do what we have not been able to do and we would do it. And so we did. We all prayed. Then he prayed. I remember praying for the baptism. When he said, “Do what you were not able to do before” the Holy Spirit filled me, and I started to speaking in tongues and have not stopped since then.

A month later I returned to school. Everything was different then. I witnessed to all my school-mates the first night I was there, telling them about the change in my life. Only one decided to go to church with me. He got saved that following Friday. It was on the night when I preached my first sermon.

I had been involved in the church for a few months, when my pastor asked me to start working with the youth group. I started with twelve people, many dreams, and no experience. The results were likewise. Our youth meetings on Tuesday night were filled with prayer and praise, rather than long sermons. We would often get together for prayer, and pray all night long. Our expectations were great. I remember praying that everyone I looked at would get saved.

A few months later, in the spring of 1991, when the Lord blessed us abundantly, people from our school started coming to the little building at the end of the town, a former communist club, where we had our meetings. Many were saved during our meetings. A number of skinheads, drug addicts, people that everyone knew in school, came to our meetings, were delivered and joined the youth group. Everyone in the group received the baptism with the Holy Spirit. I distantly remember one night when 26 people were filled during and spoke in tongues the prayer. The youth group grew quickly with the hundreds in attendance. For all of us that had prayed for revival, this was a time of refreshing and encouragement

1992 in the city of Pravetz, we experienced one of the greatest student revivals

1993 I graduated from the school there

1994 I came to the States to start college

1995 The Bulgarian church in Chicago started

1996 Bibliata.com was started

Now 30 years later, the time to tell the story has finally come…


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