2011 Historic Pentecostal Revival Tour in Bulgaria

June 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, News

Celebrating 90 years since the first Pentecostal revival in Bulgaria

Exactly 400 years ago, the first King James Bible was printed in June, 1611. The first Bulgarian Bible was printed 140 years ago in June, 1871. The first Pentecostal Revival in Bulgaria took place between Easter and Pentecost of 1921. And finally, exactly 20 years the Pravetz youth group, where I had the privilege to begin my ministry, experienced a spiritual revival in which hundreds of young people were reached and saved.

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To commemorate this great heritage, we undertook a historic revival tour during the month of June in Bulgaria. We started at the Black Sea with the momentous ordination of presbyters in the church of Aheloy – one of the few Church of God congregations with the original doctrine and practice. The special ordination service on Saturday night went on with prayer and praise, communion and foot washing until 2am.

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Then on Sunday we gathered at 6:30am for prayer and followed with the morning service. We continued with services in Pravetz, where our youth group celebrated its 20-year anniversary, then at the church in Verdical near Sofia with a special foot washing and communion service, and finally in Sofia with a prophetic word to the Church of God in the Obelya suburb.

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Pravetz Church of God

May 20, 2007 by  
Filed under News


The Lord called me for the ministry in the end of September 1990 in a small house at the outskirts of a mountain town in Bulgaria by the name of Pravetz. In 1990 I was only 16 years old. At the time, Pravetz was known as a stronghold of communism where the communist president who ruled Bulgaria for 36 years was born. Yet, a small group of Pentecostal believers had kept the faith during the long years of persecution during the Communist Regime. It was there that the Lord called me for ministry, as He later called many others that are today spread around the world.

I began working with a small group of students from the local Computer Technical School. Our number was twelve to be exact. The work was not without the help of more experienced Christians and the pastor of the local Church of God. Coming out of the persecutions, the church had no building, and we met at private homes. We studied the Bible and practiced what we learned from its words. All night prayer meetings were a weekly event, and the chain fasting almost never stopped. No one of us knew or had ever experienced a genuine spiritual revival, yet deep inside ourselves we all wanted to be closer to God.

In the spring in 1991 it all came together. The church was able to rent a small building formerly used for a Communist club. A number of young people from the local schools began attending the services. Many of them were my schoolmates, as I myself was a student at the Computer Technical School in Pravetz. Soon enough we had to start a separate service for teenagers, which was held on Tuesday evening. On some of the services we witnessed up to fifteen people getting saved and baptized with the Holy Spirit. Our number grew rapidly and we had to move our meetings to the larger facility of the Pravetz Youth Center. More and more students were interested in what God was doing. The lives of many who were well known drug addicts and alcoholics were dramatically changed forever as they were delivered from sin and saved.

In the fall of 1991 I returned from my summer break with a fresh strategy. I started a verse-by-verse study on the book of Revelation. I was only seventeen and I had only preached for a year. I was using an old Bulgarian translation of Larkin’s 1919 book on Revelation. At this time our youth group was over 100 and growing. The study continued nine months challenging our desire for deeper knowledge and spiritual growth.

We gathered for prayer every morning before school. Since the dorms did not open until 6:30 a.m., we often had to jump through the windows of the first floor to go to the church for prayer. At that time the church had rented another building known as the Officers Cafeteria for its meeting. In the cold winter mornings we went to the church for prayer sometimes having to walk through the fresh snow that had covered the streets of the small mountain town during the night. In the spring we went up on a small hill outside of the town called Monovetz. It was during this time that one of the school officials spread derogatory remarks about our prayer meetings. Many of us were called into the offices and interrogated for our beliefs. Yet, nothing was able to stop the revival. The youth group was growing rapidly. On some meetings we counted up to 175 people. The year was 1991.

More than ten years later, I am again reporting this story not to brag about its success, but to express my desire for revival. The old times are now gone. Many of the members of the Pravetz Church of God youth group now live around the world. Beside Bulgaria, there are many in the United States, Canada, Austria, United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, Israel, South Africa, etc. Yet, in my thoughts I often return to the small mountain Bulgarian town. I climb the quite hill before dawn breaks and I pray a silent prayer. I pray to God to see and bless every one who participated in the Pravetz Revival wherever in the world they may be. I pray that He somehow gathers us once again in this lifetime, and reconciling every one and each of us with Himself to let us find ourselves again in His presence of love and anointing. I pray that He somehow reaches us wherever we may be and revive us again. I pray for a new revival because revival must go on …

Pravetz 16 Years Later

June 25, 2006 by  
Filed under Events


Thirteen years after graduating from high school I was able to return to Pravetz again for a reunion of the Church of God youth group there. As many of us traveled from various parts of the world to attend the meeting, it was only natural to recall what the Lord had done for us in this small mountain town.

The Church of God in Pravetz was founded as an outreach ministry of the close-by Etropole church. For many years, the Etropole Church of God was known as an underground evangelical congregation that served many in prayer and preaching regardless of limitations set by local and national authorities.

When the church in Pravetz began regular services in the early 1980s none of the secular observers suspected that it would have any influence on the town. Pravetz was the birthplace of the Bulgarian communist prime minister who ruled the nation for over 30 years. In the 1980s, Pravetz was known as a “privileged” city where the Communist Regime had build its own ideological stronghold. Yet, the Church of God in Pravetz survived the Regime and after much prayer and anticipation the church officially opened its’ doors after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

This was also the time of my affiliation with the church. Just having been saved in my hometown Yambol, I returned to Pravetz at the beginning of the school year in 1990 and begun attending the Church of God there. The church had a small group of young people who sought the Lord. In less than a year, their prayers were answered as a great multitude of young people begun attending the church. I remember one of the meetings where over 170 young people were present in the small military cafeteria adapted for church services. Having gathered at the recent meeting, we concluded again that for the period of 1990-1995, over 300 young people where saved in the city of Pravetz. Their stories remain forever recorded as part of the history of the Pravetz Church of God.

These were the events that we remembered at the gathering on June 24, 2006 in Pravetz. Many shared their stories since graduating from the school and beginning a carrier in various professional fields. Pastor Ivan Sabotinov, who has served in the church almost from its beginning, greeted the audience and reminded everyone of God’s love and grace that has remained the same through all these years. We were also given the opportunity to share from the Word and speak about the First Love. The message urged the remembrance of God’s miraculous power and assured those present that although we might have lost our first love, we are never lost from the first love of God. In addition, we were able to hold three more services on Sunday, June 25th at 8:00 a.m. in Pravetz, 10:00 a.m. in Etropole and 12:00 p.m. in Yablanitza.

Pravetz 15 Years Later

September 20, 2005 by  
Filed under Missions, News

pravetz-church-of-god We returned to the town of Pravetz for a weekend of ministry, restoration and celebration. Pravetz was the place where the Bulgarian communist prime minister of thirty years was born and raised. Ironically, it was also the place where the Lord raised one of the largest youth groups in the history of the Bulgarian Church of God in the early 1990s. Pravetz was the place where I began ministering and the visit there marked fifteen years since these humble beginnings. Regardless of the fact that both the town and the church have changed, the anointing for ministry which God placed there is still strong. We were able to visit both Pravetz and Yablanitza where we met with old friends and coworkers. Thus, the visit to Pravetz was more than just another weekend of ministry, but rather a place of reclaiming lost heritage and re-envisioning of a new future. Because even if a man reaches the highest peaks of life, crosses the larges oceans of success or completes the most unimaginable acts of heroism, he must never forget where he has come from …