Sanctuary Gateway Cities for Eastern European Slavic and Bulgarian Immigrant Churches in North America

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

bulgarian-churchSince 1994 Cup & Cross Ministries International has assisted churches across the United States and has strategically planned and developed a process which incorporates Bulgarian Evangelical Churches in North America. The first success of this endeavor was the establishment of the Bulgarian Evangelical Church of God in Chicago in 1995.

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). Since 1995 twelve more Bulgarian churches have been started in strategic immigration gateways across the United States and Canada. For the past four years our team have been involved in the process of establishing Bulgarian congregations in Atlanta, Phoenix and San Francisco. Read complete paper (PDF)

Toward Context of Ministry Applications
In the beginning of the 21st century the Protestant Church in Bulgaria is entering a new constitutional era in the history of the country. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the political and economic challenges in Eastern Europe have strongly affected the Evangelical Churches. More than ever before, they are in need of reformation in doctrines and praxes in order to adjust to a style of worship liberated from the dictatorship of the communist regime. In order to guarantee the religious freedom for our young, democratic society, the Protestant Movement in Bulgaria needs a more dynamic representation. Such can be provided only by people who will create a balance between the old atheistic structures and the new contemporary, nontraditional style of ministry.

Similar is the case among Bulgarian Evangelical Churches in North America which also share analogue dynamics with congregations of Latin American immigrants. Several facts are obvious from such comparison. It is apparent that Bulgarian immigrants come to North America in ways similar as other immigrant groups. Large cities which are gateways for immigrants are probable to become a settlement for Bulgarian immigrants due to the availability of jobs, affordable lodging and other immigrants from the same ethnic group.

The emerging Bulgarian immigrant communities share religious similarities and belongingness which are factors helping to form the communities. As a result of this formation process, the Bulgarian Evangelical Churches in North America emerge. It also seems natural to suggest that as this process continues, Bulgarian Evangelical Churches will be formed in other gateway cities and other large cities which meet the requirements to become a gateway city. Such has been the case with Latin American churches. If this is true, it should be proposed that the Bulgarian Churches in North America follow a strategy for church planting and growth which targets these types of cities.

It is encouraging, at the same time, to observer that one of the positive estimates provided by our doctoral project is also coming to reality. In 2002-2004, based on analyses provided by the New Religious Immigrants Project, our research suggested that the next Bulgarian Evangelical Church will be established in the last of the Seven American Gateway Cities which was still without a Bulgarian Church, namely the city of San Francisco. Our resent visit in the area of the Bay Area showed that this prediction is already progressing into a reality as the Bulgarian Diaspora there is already producing a Bible study group out of uniting Bulgarian college students from Barkley and young computer professionals in the area.

Geographical Location of Bulgarian American Churches and Gateway Cities.

Currently, Bulgarian Evangelical Churches are located in cities which have a high concentration of foreign-born immigrants. Such cities are called gateway cities, a large immigrant point-of-entry city to the United States. Immigrants typically enter the United States through one of these cities and settle there. Such cities contain over half of the foreign-born population in the United States. There are Bulgarian Evangelical Churches active in six of the seven gateway cities as follows:

Bulgarian Evangelical Churches in Gateway Cities

Gateway City Foreign Born Percent of Foreign Born Bulgarian Church
1. New York, NY 3,657,269 18.7% Yes
2. Los Angeles, CA 3,944,828 27.1% Yes
3. Houston, TX 460,380 12.3% Yes
4. Washington, DC 578,786 8.6% No
5. Miami, FL 1,072,843 33.6% Yes
6. Chicago, IL 914,58 11.1% Yes
7. San Francisco, CA 1,250,693 20.0% No

usmap

Several facts are obvious from the above comparison. It is apparent that Bulgarian immigrants come to North America in ways similar to other immigrant groups, channeled through the listed gateway cities. Large cities which are gateways are more probable to become a settlement for Bulgarian immigrants due to the availability of jobs, lodging and other immigrants from the same ethnic group. The emerging Bulgarian immigrant communities share religious similarities and belongingness which are factors helping to form the communities. As a result of this process of formation of Bulgarian immigrant communities, the Bulgarian Evangelical Churches in North America emerge. It also seems natural to suggest that as this process continues, Bulgarian Evangelical Churches will be formed in the remaining two gateway cities (Washington, D.C. and San Francisco) and other large cities which meet the requirements to become a gateway city (for example, the city Atlanta). If this is true, it should be proposed that the Bulgarian Churches in North America follow a strategy for church planting and growth which targets this type of cities. With all this in mind, the Unrealized Spiritual Harvest of Bulgarian Churches in North America remains unforgiving in history…

 

Resources for Further Study:

 

 

 

Christmas Book Sale: Bulgarian Congregations in North America

December 1, 2016 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

In the past five years 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.

Our book available on sale today is:

Bulgarian Churches in North America: The Unrealized Spiritual Harvest as a Paradigm for Cross-Cultural Ministries among Migrant and Disfranchised Ethnic Groups in America Today

bulgarian-church ….A closer examination of the ministry and structure of the network of Bulgarian churches in North America will give answers to essential issues of cross-cultural evangelism and ministry for the Church of God. Unfortunately, until now very little has proven effective in exploring, pursuing and implementing cross-cultural paradigms within the ministry opportunities in communities formed by immigrants from post-Communist countries. As a result, these communities have remained untouched by the eldership and resources available within the Church of God denomination. There are presently no leaders trained by the Church of God for the needs of these migrant communities. Thus, a great urban harvest in large metropolises, where the Church of God has not been historically present in a strong way, remains ungathered. Although, through these communities, the Church of God has the unique opportunity to experience the post-Communist revival from Eastern Europe in a local Western setting… (p.84, Chapter III: Contextual Assessment, Historical Background, Structural Analyses and Demographics of Immigration in a Paradigm for Cross-Cultural Ministries among Migrant and Disfranchised Ethnic Groups in America Today) Read complete paper (PDF)

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

Make America PRAY Again

November 10, 2016 by  
Filed under Featured, News

make-america-pray-again

Bulgarian Churches in North America: The Unrealized Spiritual Harvest as a Paradigm for Cross-Cultural Ministries among Migrant and Disfranchised Ethnic Groups in America Today

October 30, 2016 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

bulgarian-church ….A closer examination of the ministry and structure of the network of Bulgarian churches in North America will give answers to essential issues of cross-cultural evangelism and ministry for the Church of God. Unfortunately, until now very little has proven effective in exploring, pursuing and implementing cross-cultural paradigms within the ministry opportunities in communities formed by immigrants from post-Communist countries. As a result, these communities have remained untouched by the eldership and resources available within the Church of God denomination. There are presently no leaders trained by the Church of God for the needs of these migrant communities. Thus, a great urban harvest in large metropolises, where the Church of God has not been historically present in a strong way, remains ungathered. Although, through these communities, the Church of God has the unique opportunity to experience the post-Communist revival from Eastern Europe in a local Western setting… (p.84, Chapter III: Contextual Assessment, Historical Background, Structural Analyses and Demographics of Immigration in a Paradigm for Cross-Cultural Ministries among Migrant and Disfranchised Ethnic Groups in America Today) Read complete paper (PDF)

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

15th Annual Conference of Bulgarian Churches in North America Building Bridges to Church and People in Bulgaria

May 30, 2016 by  
Filed under Events, Featured, News

Huston

Speaking in Tongues in America Prior to the Azusa Street Revival of 1906 (Diamonds in the Rough-N-Ready Series)

March 5, 2016 by  
Filed under Featured, News, Research

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The Azusa street revival swept the globe starting with California

January 1, 1901– The initial phenomenon of speaking in tongues occurred at Parham’s school in Topeka, Kansas

January 6, 1900 – Frank Sanford’s Shiloh school reported that “The gift of tongues has descended”

1896 – Over 100 people baptized in the Shaerer schoolhouse revival conducted by the Christian Union in the North Carolina mountains

1887 – People falling in trances and speaking in tongues were reported at Maria Etter’s revival meetings in Indiana

1874 – Speaking in tongues occurred during healing meetings reported in New York

1873 – William H. Doughty and the Gift People of Rhode Island spoke in tongues

1854 – V. P. Simmons and Robert Boyd reported tongue speaking during Moody’s meetings

8 Things Christian Believers and Churches Can Do in Light of Recent SCOTUS Ruling on LGBT

August 15, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, News

1. State Level

2. Personal Level

  • Inform yourself and your family of the clear Biblical principles for love and holiness applicable in this situation
  • Pray daily for the protection of your family and the salvation of many souls
  • Be faithful to your husband/wife and children

3. Corporate Level

  • Hold on to your Christian standards for doing business
  • Support other Christian businesses
  • Forgive and forget, but watch and pray

4. Local Church Level

  • Join in corporate fasting and praying in the Spirit
  • Uphold the Biblical standard of holy living
  • Preach the truth as you have received it
  • Adopt local church resolutions on the sanctity of the family

5. Denominational Level

6. Christian Alliances Level

7. International Organizational Level

8. Get good insurance with adequate coverage and experience in the matter

• A good example from Brotherhood Mutual Ins. 

READ ALSO: 

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.

Bulgarian Churches in America: Personal Xlibris

June 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, News

bulgarian-church

Excerpt from the chapter “How to Start a Bulgarian Church in America from A-to-Z”

X. Xlibris
Every community leaves a lasting xlibris on its accomplishments, victories and success through a time of celebration. After each major accomplishment, plan deliberately and allow time for celebration. Celebration will renew the motivation of your congregation. Thank God for what He has done, what He is doing and even for the future expectation of what He is about to do. Leave your signature, your identity, and your xlibris where God has placed you to exist. You can even chose a day in which you can celebrate the birth of the new church.

Y. Yielding
As the time of accomplishment and conclusion draws near, prepare yourself for yielding. Yield to God’s leadership for the future, to the needs of the congregation, to new ministers which the congregation has set forth, and to the needs of your family and yourself. This process will provide you with your next step.

Z. Zooming-out
If you have reached the final step in this program you have proven to others and yourself that you are a great leader and church planner. However, if you are a good church planner, you are probably not a good maintainer. It is too hard for an initiator to stop making things happen. It takes a different person to plan, water and grow. This is indeed a Biblical principle and it alludes to the law of the big picture.

If you are not ready to change significantly from planter to a maintainer, you will only hurt what you have planted. Therefore, prepare for change. You will either adapt to being a maintainer or you will have to leave. It is time to zoom-out and see the big picture. When it is the leader’s time to walk away, he/she has to be willing to leave. If this is the case, go back to point A. A new project from God is waiting for you.

2004 Prognoses about Bulgarian Churches in North America 10 Years Later

May 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

bulgarian-church

With the present rates and dynamics of immigration, the growth of Bulgarian immigrant communities across North America is inevitable. As it has experiences a great increase in the past fifteen years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Bulgaria immigrant community is has not only first-generation, Bulgarian-born members, but second-generation of Bulgarian Americans born in North America.

As the community and the churches within it continues to deal with the cultural dilemma, they will discover that that a new generation of immigrants will be eventually assimilated within the American culture. As North American cross-cultural dynamics in the beginning of the 21st century tend to preserve ethnic belongingness rather then assimilate it, they will perhaps present the Bulgarian American churches with an intergenerational opportunity for ministry.

Such change is a historical precedent, which demands preparation from both Bulgarian and American sides. In the past, the children of the immigrants have usually changed the ways their parents lived their lives. However, this dynamics have been reversed to a lifestyle that contains the old immigrant identity. The effect of such metamorphoses is overwhelming, since second generation immigrant must balance between the heritage of their parents and the reality of the new world in which they live.

In a religious context, the new generation is retaining or rather reinventing the old ways of worship inherited from their parents. Thus, while the secular world offers a context for assimilation, the religious community provides an atmosphere for preservation of culture. At the same time, second generation immigrants may switch to a congregation with that promotes a more American style of worship, role of women and social services. Such dynamics provide the context and reasons for church splits.

In their short modern history of the 1990s, the American Bulgarian churches have already experienced a number church splits. Some of the congregations have experienced even more than one split. Such experiences have been painful, but at the same time have brought sense to the reality of church dynamics and have sources of learning for both pastors of congregations. As the Bulgarian American churches grow in number and influence, the second generation immigrants take a more significant role in the church’s life and dynamics. In such context, programs for identity formation and church split prevention must become the focus of the church’s discipleship process.

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