GER-VOLGA-L ArchivesArchiver > GER-VOLGA > 2002-02 > 1014901509
From: "Horst W. Gutsche" <>
Subject: [GV] Our people in Krivoy Rog, Ukraine
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 05:05:09 -0800
The following article appeared in issue # 4 for the year 2001 of "Der Bote"
(The Messenger), the official periodical of the Evangelical Lutheran Church
in Russia, in Ukraine, Kazakstan and Middle Asia. 5,000 copies of the paper
are published in Russia. It is a very attractive entirely bilingual (all
articles appear in both languages) German/Russian magazine. The address for
the Bote is:
Nevski Prospect 22-24
191186 St. Petersburg, Russia
The New Seed
We are the representatives of the Lutheran congregation in the city of
Krivoy Rog in Ukraine. As you have requested, we are happy to tell you
about us and about the history of the congregation.
The city of Krivoy Rog was established because of an enormous deposit of
iron ore. One of the first people to discover it and to mine it was a
mining engineer from Belgium by the name of Alexander Paul.
Several thousand Lutherans lived in the area of Krivoy Rog, but there was
not even a single Lutheran congregation. In order to receive the holy
sacraments, the believers had to travel to Ekaterinoslav (now
Dnepropetrovsk), Odessa or other cities, where there were active
congregations. In 1992, the descendants of ethnic Germans established the
society for the education in the German culture which was called
"Wiedergeburt" (Born again). The Lutheran congregation developed from this
society. The first pastor was Pastor Kuenke (my note: Kiunke?) from Germany
and later on the congregation sent Oleg Fischer to the pastor's seminary in
Odessa in order to study. He continues to serve our congregation right up
to the present day.
At first the congregation met in the basement of a bicycling club, in the
homes of members and in a room in the Frunse Cultural Palace in order to
hold worship services.
In 1997, after the tenth proposed issue of the constitution was presented
for approval to the local government officials, the congregation was finally
officially registered. In this same year, we purchased a house in which our
worship services could be held each year. This happened thanks to the help
of the episcopal Visitor through financial aid from the Evangelical Lutheran
State Church in Bavaria. The house needed to be renovated and we carried
the work out on our own. On October 25, 1998, the house was dedicated by
the episcopal Visitor Gerd Sander and at the same time, three couples were
married on that day.
Today the congregation is growing and despite that fact that many families
are emigrating to Germany, it is not always possible to find a place for all
the believers in the newly-renovated worship facility.
Despite the fact that it is a German Church, Jews, Ukrainians, Russians and
people of other nationalities belong to our congregation. Guests from other
Christian congregations also attend. The center for German history and
culture has been located in our church for the last three years.
In 1999, the Christmas Service was televised by the local television
station. We invited the choir called "Melos" to sing and that became a bit
of good publicity for the congregation. Since 1993, the children are able
to take part in the summer Vacation Bible School camps which are organized
by the German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ukraine. They receive new
spiritual energy by having contact with others of their own age and by being
able to experience nature.
Our congregation is grateful for the chance to praise God in the house which
we now own. For the future, we dream of building a real church with an
May 2001, Krivoy Rog, Ukraine
|[GV] Our people in Krivoy Rog, Ukraine by "Horst W. Gutsche" <>|