Northwestern Conference

By Aleksandr A. Salov

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Aleksandr Salov is Northwestern Conference president.

First Published: November 8, 2022

Northwestern Conference was organized in 1994. It is a part of West Russian Union Conference in the Euro-Asia Division of Seventh-day Adventists. Its headquarters is in Saint Petersburg; Russian Federation.

Territory: Karelia Republic, and the regions of Arkhangelsk (including Nenetsky District), Murmansk, Novgorod, Pskov, Saint Petersburg, Tver, and Vologda.

Statistics (June 30, 2021): Churches, 49; membership, 2,888; population, 12,600,9331

Arkhangelsk Region

Arkhangelsk

In 1922 Grigoriy Afanasyevich Latukhin, an old believer, came to know the Adventist message from the exiled Adventists from Ukraine. Sometime after that an Adventist congregation was organized in Arkhangelsk. Prior to the Second World War, the leaders of that congregation were arrested and convicted.

Until 1979 a small Adventist company existed in Arkhangelsk. Its development owed a great deal to the efforts of the Mikhail and Olga Murga family who arrived at the city by the request of the Siberian Union. The worship services were held at 1 Zelenaya Street.

On April 24, 1991, this congregation of 31 members received state registration. In 1992 an evangelistic program was conducted in Arkhangelsk by Pastor LaVerne Tucker. In 1999 a prayer house was built and dedicated on the banks of the Northern Dvina River.

Plesetsk

In February and March 1994, independently from each other, two companies of believers who studied the Bible appeared in settlements of Plesetsk and Puksoozero. After a year a total of 16 people were baptized. In 1995 three members of the company moved from Puksoozero to the city of Mirny, where they met fellow believers–Oleg Kharlamov and his family.

On July 26, 1999, the Local Religious Organization "Community of Seventh-Day Adventists of the settlement of Plesetsk, Arkhangelsk Region" was registered.

Onega

The Adventist movement in the town of Onega began in early 1995, and the first Adventist who brought the teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church was Valentina Petrovna Orlova, who came to Onega from Arkhangelsk. The same year the gospel message was preached in Onega by a Norwegian evangelist Magne Krekling. After this program, in November 1995, a missionary, Mikhail Vadimovich Stepanov, moved to Onega with his family.

Severodvinsk

The history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Severodvinsk began with a small note in the city newspaper Severny Rabochiy, which reported that on March 15, 1992, at the Lenin Komsomol Palace of Culture, the Bible courses “It Is Written” would be held for all comers. The first who preached the truth of God’s Word was Pastor Vyacheslav Pavlovich Patsukevich from Arkhangelsk. Toward the end of 1992, the Severodvinsk congregation numbered already 23 believers.

As of 2022, the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is performed in the following cities and localities of Arkhangelsk Region: Arkhangelsk, Kotlas, Koryazhma, Puksoozero, Mirny, Savinskiy, Severoonezhsk, Oktyabrskiy, Naryan-Mar, Bobrovo, Bereznik, and Novodvinsk.

Vologda Region

The first Adventist congregation in the city of Vologda was organized in late 1950 by Pentecostals who accepted the three angels’ messages. In 1982 a church building was purchased at 4A Gryazovetsky Lane. The congregation received state registration on December 9, 1987. In 1993 the evangelistic program "It Is Written," with Pastor David Farmer, was held at the Zheleznodorozhnik Palace of Culture.

As of 2022, the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is performed in the following cities and localities of Vologda Region: Vologda, Sokol, and Cherepovets.

Novgorod Region

According to the existing archival documents, the history of Seventh-day Adventists in the city of Novgorod (Velikiy Novgorod) began in September 1919. It was on September 6, 1919, that the Adventist congregation was registered with the Novgorod Region government. The Adventists had no house of prayer of their own and conducted worship services in rented premises. In 1925 the services were conducted at 33 Dvortsovaya (Uritsky) st., 20 Leningradskaya st., 21 Legoshchey (Sovetskaya) st., and 3 Voskresenskaya st. Most likely these were home churches. The preacher was Gerasim Alexandrovich Netevich, who resided, together with his wife Evelina Ottovna, at 33 Uritsky street.2 This is where the history of this congregation ends.

Regarding the activities of Seventh-day Adventists in Novgorod Region after the Second World War, we find the following comment: “There is no information about Adventists in the reports of the Commissioners for Religious Organizations in the Novgorod Region through 1950 to 1970. However, a report submitted by Captain Ivanov from the Department of State Security Committee for Novgorod Region, dated January 9, 1959, contains information about a group of Sabbatarians in the town of Saltsy. Moreover, the minutes of the general meeting of the Baptist congregation in the town of Borovichi, dated March 1, 1975, contains a reference to the situation when one of the Baptists joined the Sabbatarians. However, the most reliable information refers only to the 1985 to the 1986 period, when a group of Seventh-day Adventists began to meet illegally in the house of a believer (later an elder) N. S. Smagin in the Oktyabrskiy District of the city of Novgorod.”3

The revival of the Adventist movement began well and truly when Nikolai Stepanovich Smagin and his family members engaged in missionary service in Novgorod. A small Adventist company gradually grew in size to more than ten members in the beginning of 1991 and received state registration. The worship services were held in N. S. Smagin’s house in the village of Volkhovsky, a suburb of Novgorod. The year 1991 brought freedom of religion, and already in March 1992 the congregation was immediately replenished with seven baptized members. In July 1992, after the evangelistic campaign, N. S. Smagin baptized 13 people.

As of 2022, the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is performed in the following cities and localities of Novgorod Region: Novgorod, Staraya Russa, Valdai, Borovichi, Okulovka, and Chudovo.

Republic of Karelia

The history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Petrozavodsk began in 1981, when Vasily Ivanovich Romanov, a Bible worker, and Sergey Vasilyevich Nikulin, a young pastor, arrived at Karelia to preach the gospel. In the Soviet years, the church was not able to actively preach and freely conduct worship services; so, all the denominational work was done behind the scenes. But even in those difficult times God found His children in the world, and the first significant event, the baptism of the first two Seventh-day Adventists, happened in Petrozavodsk on June 12, 1988. Several more people were baptized later on, and the church membership increased, albeit little by little. The Seventh-day Adventist congregation received state registration in 1991, and the same year an evangelist from Finland, Pastor Sulo Halminen, came to Petrozavodsk. He got acquainted with the city, the municipal authorities, and members of the local church, and held several evangelistic campaigns in the Mashinostroitel Palace of Culture.

As of 2022, the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is performed in the following cities and localities of the Republic of Karelia: Petrozavodsk, Kostomuksha, Medvezhiegorsk, Kem’, and Velikaya Guba.

Murmansk Region

Murmansk

The Adventist message first came to Murmansk in 1976. In July, by decision of the Siberian Field Committee, Pavel and Svetlana Khiminets arrived at Murmansk as missionaries and settled at 17 Pechengskaya Street, where they were holding the first worship services.4

Severomorsk

The Adventist congregation in Severomorsk was organized in 1994, following the Bible program held in April in the Stroitel Palace of Culture, which resulted in the baptism of 10 persons. In 1997 the congregation of Severomorsk consisted of 56 members. In November 1998 it was officially registered with the Ministry of Justice.

As of 2022, the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is performed in the following cities and localities of the Murmansk Region: Murmansk, Apatity, Severomorsk, Monchegorsk, Snezhnogorsk, and Umba.

Leningrad Region

As of 2022, the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is performed in the following cities and localities of the Leningrad Region: Vyborg, Svetogorsk, Priozersk, Primorsk, Pikalevo, Tikhvin, Luga, Kingisepp, Slantsy, Vsevolzhsk, and Gatchina.

Pskov Region

According to the information received from Latvia, the first Adventist congregation in the city of Pskov was organized by 18 Latvian refugees at the time of the First World War in 1916. The congregation was headed by Pastor Karl Sutta. In 1922 two Adventist congregations were registered in the territory of the Pskov Region:

  • The Katezhinsky congregation (Gorskaya volost, Porkhov District) registered on September 25, 1922. This congregation, consisting of 13 members, was led by Elder Ivan Petrovich Kann.

  • The Pskov congregation registered on March 10, 1922. The worship services were conducted in the village of Borisovo. This congregation, consisting of 15 members, was led by Sister Yulia Genrikhovna Ginter.

In 1926 another congregation, led by Pastor Dmitry Kozhurkin, was organized in Pskov, which conducted services in a house located near the railway station. During the years of repression, the congregation's ministry was suspended.

The three angels’ messages resounded again in Pskov during the war in 1943, when the city was occupied by the Germans. Pyotr Solovyov, a prisoner of war, was an Adventist, and he was allowed under escort to attend worship services conducted by the Evangelical Christian Baptist community at the house of Matryona Osipova (45 Nikolay Ostrovsky st.). After a while, 18 people, together with a Baptist minister Ivan Alekseevich Zhukov, accepted God’s message and organized an Adventist congregation.

Until 1982 the Adventist congregation in Pskov existed on the fringes of the law, with its services conducted in small groups that gathered at members' homes. In 1982 the congregation received state registration.5

As of 2022, the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is performed in the following cities and localities of the Pskov Region: Pskov, Velikiye Luki, Nevel, Ostrov, Nelidovo, and Opochka.

Tver Region

Tver

The Adventist congregation was organized in the city of Tver in 1911. From 1919 to 1935, this congregation conducted worship services in a Lutheran Church building located at 64 Sovetskaya Street.6

As of 2022, the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is performed in the following cities and localities of the Tver Region: Bologoye, Vyshniy Volochek, Ostashkov, Emmaus, Udomlya, Spirovo, Krasnaya Gora, and Bezhetsk.

St. Petersburg. See “Summary of the History of the SDA Church in St. Petersburg” that is the appendix to the article “West Russian Union Conference” authored by Pavel V. Gonchar (https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=FD76&highlight=West|Russian|Union).

Executive Officers Chronology

Presidents: A. I. Romanov (1993-1997); N. S. Smagin (1997-2004); I. I. Velgosha (2004-2010); V. T. Manilich (2010-2014); V. M. Vachev (2014 to 2015); V. M. Bogdanov (2015-2019); A. A. Salov (2019-Present).

Sources

Il’ina, P. I., and Litvinova V. A. Istoriya Obshchiny ASD Goroda Pskova i Pskovskoy Oblasti. Pskov, 2007.

“Kogda Bog Vperedi.” Adventistsky Vestnik, # 4 (91), 2016.

Nikolskaya, T. Russkiy Protestantizm i Gosudarstvennaya Vlast’ v 1905-1991gg. St. Petersburg, 2003.

Notes

  1.  “Northwestern Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (2022), https://www.adventistyearbook.org/entity?EntityID=10074. This article was originally written in Russian and was translated into English by Marina Stanovkina.

  2. State Archive of the Novgorod Region. Archival reference #64. February 27, 2001.

  3. T. Nikolskaya, Russkiy Protestantizm i Gosudarstvennaya Vlast’ v 1905-1991gg. (St. Petersburg, 2003), 261.

  4. “Kogda Bog Vperedi,” Adventistsky Vestnik, # 4 (91), 2016.

  5. P. I. Il’ina, and V. A. Litvinova, Istoriya Obshchiny ASD Goroda Pskova i Pskovskoy Oblasti (Pskov, 2007).

  6. Contract for the perpetual, free use of the worship building of the Lutheran Evangelical Church as of November 27, 1919. Certificate #10 of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation in the Tver Region, June 15, 2007.

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Salov, Aleksandr A. "Northwestern Conference." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. November 08, 2022. Accessed May 24, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=8DAT.

Salov, Aleksandr A. "Northwestern Conference." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. November 08, 2022. Date of access May 24, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=8DAT.

Salov, Aleksandr A. (2022, November 08). Northwestern Conference. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 24, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=8DAT.