Ivan Aleksandrovich Lvov was a pastor, church administrator, and editor from Russia.
Early Life and Education
Ivan Aleksandrovich Lvov was born in 1879 in the Gorodkovo, Moscow region. He became acquainted with Adventism in 1906 and soon thereafter was sent to study at the Adventist Seminary in Friedensau, Germany, from 1907 to 1909. Lvov began his pastoral ministry in St. Petersburg, served as pastor in Tallinn (1912-1913), and then returned to St. Petersburg. There he and Sergey Semyonovich Efimov were entrusted with editing and publishing a new magazine, which Lvov entitled Blagaya Vest,1 The magazine was published from 1913 through 1919.2
Career and Imprisonment
Although we do not have details of his marriage, Lvov was married and had an adopted son who never joined the Adventist church. After his service in St. Petersburg, Lvov moved to Moscow as a pastor. He was elected superintendent of the Central Russian field in 1917 while remaining editor of the Blagaya Vest.’ Between 1922 and 1928 he served as president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ukraine (West Russian Union), where he published the magazine Blagovestnik in Kiev from 1926 to 1928. In 1928 the sixth All-Union Session of the Seventh-day Adventist Church elected him as an associate chair (field secretary) of the All-Union Council of Seventh-day Adventists (ACSDA).3
In 1934 Lvov was arrested for his faith and sentenced to three years of forced labor in a camp near the city of Astrakhan. After serving his term, Lvov settled down in the city of Taganrog to lead a local congregation that had survived the preceding years of persecution. However, in 1938 he was arrested again. This time he was sent to a camp in the Karaganda region and later transferred to a camp near the Egende-Bulak settlement in the Kar-Karalensk district of Kazakhstan. Lvov served his sentence there until he was released in 1953. All told, Lvov spent 25 years in hellish conditions where he suffered physical and emotional abuse.4
In 1953, after the death of Stalin, Lvov was permitted to live in city of Karaganda, and it was only in December 1956 that he was rehabilitated and permitted to return to Moscow. He died in Moscow two years later, in 1958, at almost 80 years of age.5
Pastor Ivan Lvov was among the key organizers of the All-Union Council of Seventh-day Adventists (ACSDA). As an administrator, he contributed to the consolidation of Adventism in the former Soviet Union. As editor, he published two major Adventist magazines.
Demidov, A. M. Pamyati brata Lvova I. A. Мoscow, 1969. Personal Archives of Dmitry Yunak.
Garin, P. S. Vospominaniya i dumy bylogo. Moscow, 1971. Personal Archives of Dmitry Yunak.
Heinz, D., Oparin, A. A., Yunak, D. O., and Pešelis, A. Dushi pod zhertvennikom. Kniga Pamyati Tserkvi Adventistov Sed’mogo Dnia, posviashchennaya zhertvam religioznykh repressiy vo vremya Tsarskoi Rossii i Sovetskogo Soyuza (1886-1986). Khar’kov: Fakt, 2010.
Heinz, D., Oparin, A. A., Yunak, D. O., and Pešelis, A. Fotokhronika Tserkvi Adventistov Sed’mogo Dnia v Tsarskoy Rossii, SSSR i SNG. Khar’kov: Fakt, 2002.
Oparin, A. A. Psalmy, napisannye krov’yu. Khar’kov: Fakt, 2007.
Yunak, D. O. Istoriya Tserkvi Adventistov Sed’mogo Dnia v Rossii (1886-2000) (v dvukh tomakh). Zaokskiy: Istochnik Zhizni, 2002.
The magazine’s name in Russian is Благая весть [Blagaya vest’]. It was an evangelistic journal distributed throughout the Russian Empire from 1913 to 1917, and throughout Soviet Russia from 1918 to 1919↩
A. A. Oparin, Psalmy, napisannye krov’yu (Khar’kov: Fakt, 2007).↩
Daniel Heinz, A. A. Oparin, D. O. Yunak, and Andris Pešelis, Dushi pod zhertvennikom [Souls Underneath the Altar] (Khar’kov: Fakt, 2010).↩
D. O. Yunak, Istoriya Tserkvi Adventistov Sed’mogo Dnia v Rossii (1886-2000) (v dvukh tomakh) (Zaokskiy: Istochnik Zhizni, 2002).↩