Headlines from First Thoughts

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

From Knoxville to St. Petersburg....18 years Later

What were you doing 18 years ago? First Baptist's own Bob Hall can tell you. In 1990, he led the first team of Baptists into St. Petersburg to renovate the Temple of the Gospel Baptist (now called "Evangelical") Church. Accompanying Bob was a young college student named Matthew Evans and several other students from the UT BCM. They arrived in the city still opening from perestroika to help a man named Dr. Sergei Nikolaev. Sergei had been given a bombed Orthdox Cathedral to start a Baptist church. Structurally, the building was sound. The interior, however, needed plenty of TLC. Bob's team began the renovation process, and I am grateful to say his efforts paid off.

Under Dr. Nikolaev's leadership, this same church started the Evangelical Theological Academy that now trains pastors and church leaders from across the Russian Federation. And I am teaching this week in their seminary that is a direct result of Bob and Matthew's work.

Yes, it is a small world after all.

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