Bohemian Conference

By Jón Hjörleifur Stefánsson

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Jón Hjörleifur Stefánsson, M.A., is a Ph.D. candidate, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

First organized in 1912, the Bohemian Mission was reorganized and renamed several times until it became the Bohemian Conference after the Second World War.

Territory: Bohemia.

Statistics as of June 30, 2018: churches 77; membership 3,302; population 7,016,460.

Origin of Seventh-day Adventist Work in the Territory

Adventist missionary work in Bohemia began as early as 1890.1 As the work developed it was organized into the Bohemian Mission in 1912.2 It was later organized into various conferences: the North Bohemian Conference in 1919,3 the Central Bohemian Conference in 1931, and the Bohemian-Moravian Conference during World War II. The first two of these conferences are the immediate predecessors to the Bohemian Conference.

Organizational History

During World War II, the Central Bohemian, Moravian-Silesian, and North Bohemian Conferences were merged into the Bohemian-Moravian Conference. Shortly after the war, the three conferences were reorganized. Two conferences for Bohemia proved to be too much, and the Central Bohemian and North Bohemian Conferences were merged into the Bohemian Conference. The headquarters of the conference was at Londýnská 30, Prague, and has remained in the capital since then. There were 850 members. The initial officers were president, J. Doubravsky; secretary-treasurer, V. Kysilko; and J. Cepl, F. Sumbers, O. Wagenknecht, J. Mokry, and J. Svoboda.4

In 1951 the Czechoslovakian government dissolved all the conferences, and from 1952 to 1956 it stopped all public work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and closed all its churches. In 1956 the churches opened again, but it was only in 1968 that the conferences were reorganized. They remain the church units of the Czecho-Slovakian Union to this day.5

In 1975 the headquarters was moved to Zálesí 60,6 in 1978 back to Londýnská 30,7 in 1986 to Liebknechtova 57,8 and in 1992 yet again to Londýnská 30.9 It has been at Peroutkova 57 since 2010.10

Due to the Communist regime, membership numbers are barely extant for the decades after the war. At the end of 1972, membership was 2,021.11 Since then there has been a steady but slow growth; over the next half century membership increased by around 1,300.12

Early mission work
c. 1890–1912
Bohemian Mission
1912–19
Central Bohemian Mission
1919–31

Central Bohemian Conference
1931–38

North Bohemian Conference
1919–38
Bohemian-Moravian Conference
1939–45
Central Bohemian Conference
1946

North Bohemian Conference
1946
Bohemian Conference
1947–

List of Presidents

J. Doubravsky (1946-1948); J. Cepl (1949-1951); Czechoslovakian Conferences dissolved by the government (1956-1968); Otomar Klouda (1968-1983); Ervin Kobiela (1984-1990); Miroslav Kysilko (1991-1995); Edvard Miskej (1996-1999); Bohuslav Zamechnik (2000-2003); Josef Cepl (2004-2007); Pavel Zvolanek (2008-2015); Vit Vurst (2016-present).List of Presidents

Sources

Annual Statistical Report of Seventh-day Adventists. Silver Spring, MD: General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 1946-2018.

“Kolporteurbericht vom Januar 1912.” Zions-Wächter, March 4, 1912.

Rühling, Richard. “Die Abteilungskonferenz in Brünn.” Zions-Wächter, December 17, 1919.

The Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. 2nd ed. 2 vols. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996. S.v. “Czech Republic.”

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1904-2018.

Notes

  1. For a glance at the early missionary work in the Czech lands, see Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, 2nd ed. (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996), s.v. “Czech Republic.”

  2. “Kolporteurbericht vom Januar 1912,” Zions-Wächter, March 4, 1912, 116.

  3. Richard Rühling, “Die Abteilungskonferenz in Brünn,” Zions-Wächter, December 17, 1919, 236.

  4. “Bohemian Conference,” SDA Yearbook (1947), 196.

  5. Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, 2nd ed. (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996), s.v. “Czech Republic.”

  6. “Bohemian Conference,” SDA Yearbook (1975), 131.

  7. “Bohemian Conference,” SDA Yearbook (1978), 147.

  8. “Bohemian Conference,” SDA Yearbook (1986), 83.

  9. “Bohemian Conference,” SDA Yearbook (1992), 85.

  10. “Bohemian Conference,” SDA Yearbook (2010), 71.

  11. Annual Statistical Report (1972), 10.

  12. At the end of 2017, membership was 3,283. Annual Statistical Report (2018), 17.

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Stefánsson, Jón Hjörleifur. "Bohemian Conference." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 13, 2021. Accessed April 15, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AH5D.

Stefánsson, Jón Hjörleifur. "Bohemian Conference." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 13, 2021. Date of access April 15, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AH5D.

Stefánsson, Jón Hjörleifur (2021, April 13). Bohemian Conference. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved April 15, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AH5D.