Grinenko, Anton Feofanovich (1892–1940)
By Aleksey A. Oparin
Aleksey A. Oparin is head of the therapy and rheumatology department of the Kharkov Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education in Ukraine. Deeply interested in Adventist history, he is the editor of two Russian-language journals, a medical journal and a journal on world issues.
First Published: January 29, 2020
Anton Feofanovich Grinenko was a pastor, evangelist, and martyr for Christ in the 1900s in Ukraine.
Early Life and Marriage
Anton Feofanovich Grinenko was born in 1892 in the village Rusolovka in Man’kovsky District (contemporary Cherkassy Region, Ukraine).1 In 1910 Grinenko moved from his parents’ home to the city of Belaya Tserkov’. There he met Olga, a daughter of Pastor Makariy Markovich Grits. Four years later, in 1914, Anton and Olga were married. They had two children.2
Ministry and Imprisonment
Anton and Olga devoted themselves to pastoral ministry and served in several locations. They first worked in the Belaya Tserkov’ District and then in 1924 in the city of Kherson where they planted a church in the space of two years. In 1926 Grinenko was transferred to the city of Proskurov (known as Khmelnitsky after 1954), and then to Mogilev-Podolskiy, a city without an Adventist presence. After a series of public evangelistic meetings in the city, Grinenko soon planted a church. In 1931 Grinenko was transferred to the city of Tulchin, Vinnitsa Region, where he served until 1937. That same year the authorities arrested Grinenko and sent him to a forced labor camp where he died in 1940.3 He never saw his family again, and his wife, Olga, never remarried.
Anton Feofanovich Grinenko was a devoted minister who planted a number of churches in the large cities in Ukraine, and he died a martyr. Unfortunately, very little documentation exists about Grinenko and others like him who were martyrs for Christ in Ukraine in the early and mid-1900s. Numerous archival documents have been either lost or destroyed. Many martyrs died in secluded places, leaving behind no testimony of their last days. However, their faith and sacrifice are not forgotten.
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.
Heinz, D., Oparin, A.A., Yunak, D.O., and Pešelis, A. Dushi pod zhertvennikom. (Souls Underneath the Altar). Khar’kov: Fakt, 2010.
Yunak, D.O. Istoriya Tserkvi Adventistov Sed’mogo Dnia v Rossii (1886-2000) (v dvukh tomakh). Zaokskiy: Istochnik Zhizni, 2002.