Trans-Caucasian Mission-Defunct

By Jón Hjörleifur Stefánsson

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

The Trans-Caucasian Mission was a church unit in the Caucasus that operated from 1912 to sometime after 1930.

Territory and Statistics1

Period: 1912–c. 1930

Territory: Abkhasia, Adjara, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia Soviet Socialist Republics, and the South Ossetia autonomous district

Membership: 390

Churches: 17

Organizational History

The Trans-Caucasian Mission was divided from the Caucasian Conference in 1911. In 1911 the Caucasian Conference was divided into the North Caucasian Conference and the Trans-Caucasian Mission2 (called the South Caucasian Mission for a few years in the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook). The North Caucasian Conference comprised the Governorates of Cuban, Daghestan, Black Sea, Stavropol, and Terek. The Trans-Caucasian Mission covered the Governorates of Baku, Elisabethpol, Kutais, Tiflis, and Yerevan, and the Kars-District. The changes took effect in 1912. At the end of the first quarter there were 226 members.3 Initial officers were Director A. Osol, Secretary W. Dymann, Treasurer P. Brandt, Th. Heyde, and W. Istjagin. The mission was assigned to the Russian Union.4

During World War I and the Russian Revolution, the Trans-Caucasian Mission was listed under various fields in the Yearbook: The Russian Union in 1913,5 the European Division Missions in 1914,6 the West Russian Union in 1916,7 European Division Missions in 1917,8 African and Near East Missions in 1919,9 and the Levant Union Mission in 1920.10 It is improbable that all these various listings reflect actual organizational changes.

In 1920 the Caspian Union was organized and the Trans-Caucasian Mission was assigned to it.11 By then the Kardis District was no longer in the territory description.12 The union was apparently dissolved shortly after. In 1925 the mission was listed under the South Russian Union.13

The Soviet Union did away with the administrative order of Imperial Russia and created its own. Consequently, the territorial description of the Trans-Caucasian Mission changed over the years. In 1925 it was the Transcaucasian Soviet Federation,14 in 1927 Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia,15 and the Abkhasia, Adjara, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia Soviet Socialist Republics, and the South Ossetia autonomous area in 1929.16

No address was listed to begin with. In 1923 it was at ulica meshdu Stepnoj i Galizinskoj, Armavir, Kuban District,17 at a postbox in Rostov-on-Don in 1925,18 and at Tcherkesskaja square II, Tiflis in 1929.19

After 1930 the Soviet church units disappear from the Yearbook until 1982. The first recorded church unit to cover area in the Transcaucasus since 1930 was the Azerbaijan District. It was organized in 1978 and covered Azerbaijan, but was soon renamed the Trans-Caucasian District and covered Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.20

List of Presidents

A. Osol, 1912–1916; H. J. Löbsack, 1917–1920; no listing, 1921–1922; J. M. Pachla, 1923–1926; A. G. Galladschev, 1927–c. 1930.

Sources

“Berichte der Russischen Union vom 1. Januar bis 31. März 1912.” Zions-Wächter, May 20, 1912.

Reifschneider, R. A. “Kaukasus.” Zions-Wächter, March 4, 1912.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Various years. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/.

Notes

  1. Information, besides the period, from “Trans-Caucasian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, (1930), 270.

  2. R. A. Reifschneider, “Kaukasus,” Zions-Wächter, March 4, 1912, 111.

  3. “Berichte der Russischen Union vom 1. Januar bis 31. März 1912,” Zions-Wächter, May 20, 1912, 214.

  4. For information on the territory and officers, see “North Caucasian Conference” and “South Caucasian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1913), 111, 112.

  5. “South Caucasian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1913), 112.

  6. “South Caucasian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1914), 124.

  7. “Trans-Caucasian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1916), 184.

  8. “Trans-Caucasian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1917), 135.

  9. “Trans-Caucasian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1919), 141.

  10. “Trans-Caucasian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1920), 149–50.

  11. “Trans-Caucasian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1923), 108. The Union was called the Caucasian Union the year before. See “Caucasian Union,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, (1922), 103.

  12. “Trans-Caucasian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1923), 108.

  13. “Trans-Caucasian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1925), 119–20.

  14. “Trans-Caucasian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1925), 119.

  15. “Trans-Caucasian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1927), 143.

  16. “Trans-Caucasian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1929), 167.

  17. “Trans-Caucasian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1923), 108.

  18. “Trans-Caucasian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1925), 119–20.

  19. “Trans-Caucasian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1929), 167.

  20. “Azerbaijan District,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1982), 337; “Trans-Caucasian District,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1984), 353; “Trans-Caucasian District,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1985), 363.

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Stefánsson, Jón Hjörleifur. "Trans-Caucasian Mission-Defunct." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AIBC.

Stefánsson, Jón Hjörleifur. "Trans-Caucasian Mission-Defunct." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access May 13, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AIBC.

Stefánsson, Jón Hjörleifur (2021, April 28). Trans-Caucasian Mission-Defunct. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 13, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AIBC.