Moravia-Silesian Conference

By Jón Hjörleifur Stefánsson

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

The Moravi-Silesian Conference covers the areas of Moravia and Silesia in the Czech lands.

Territory and Statistics

Period: 1919-1938, 1946-1951, 1968-present.

Organized 1913; reorganized 1968.

Territory: Moravia and Silesia.

Statistics as of June 30, 2018: churches 71; membership 4,226; population 3,614,540.1

Origin of Seventh-day Adventist Work in the Territory

Adventist missionary work in the Czech lands began as early as 1890.2 A little more than 20 years later, the Bohemian and Moravia-Silesian Missions first appeared in the field list of the West German Union in the colporteur report for January 19123 and in the union’s first quarter report of the same year. Membership was 132 and 191, respectively.4 In the summer the missions were moved from the West German Union to the newly formed Central European Union. This occurred at the annual session of the West German Union, July 19-28, 1912, and took effect on .5

Organization

Due to growth, it was decided to change the Moravia-Silesian Mission into the Moravia-Silesian Conference.6 This was done at the annual meeting of the mission at Teschen, September 10-14, 1913.7 The territory of the conference remained the same, Moravia and “Austrian Silesia.”8 Headquarters for the conference was not listed in the SDA Yearbook until 1921, and was then at Dr. Dietrichgasse 3, Troppau.9 Membership was 355 on September 30.10 Initial officers were president, J. Muth; secretary, P. Englert; treasurer, N. Schlatterer; and P. Niedoba, A. Posch, J. Berke, and A. Kudelka.11 The conference continued to be a part of the Central European Union.

Development

After World War I, Czechoslovakia declared independence. This new political reality called for a reorganization of the church units in the Czech lands and Slovakia. Therefore, the Czechoslovakian Union was organized a year later at a meeting in Brno, November 13-19, 1919. The Moravia-Silesian Conference became part of the union, along with the North Bohemian Conference (German believers), the Central Bohemian Mission (Czechian believers), the Polish-Silesian Conference, and the Slovakian Mission.12

Shortly after the creation of the union, Poland gained part easternmost Silesia. Consequently, the Polish-Silesian Conference was dissolved and the now Polish territory was organized into the East Silesia Conference.13 Depending on the original territory of the Polish-Silesian Conference, part of the territory may have been annexed to the Moravia-Silesian Conference as well.

In 1923 the conference headquarters was moved to Wilsonova 8, Královo-Pole, Brno,14 and the year after to Badergasse 12, Troppau.15 In 1928 it was relocated to Ostrava, where they remained for a while, at various addresses. In 1928 it was at Riegrova 784, Hulváky, Ostrava;16 in 1930 at Riegrova 841;17 in 1932 at Družstevní 841;18 and in 1935 at Družstevní 1079.19 In 1936 it moved to Střední 10, Brno.20

During World War II, the times called for a simpler organization. The Moravia-Silesian Conference was united with the North Bohemian and Central Bohemian Conferences into the Bohemian-Moravian Conference, which was detached from the division.21 Shortly after the war, in about 1946, the pre-war Czechian church units were restored, but as part of the Southern European Division.22 The conference headquarters was the same as before the war. Three Czechian Conferences turned out to be too many, so a year later they were reorganized into the Bohemian and Moravia-Silesian Conferences.23

In 1950 the conference headquarters moved again to Ostrava, where it has been ever since, at various addresses. In 1950 the address was Sidova 1.24 It was quickly closed down, however. In 1951 the Czechoslovakian government dissolved the conferences, and from 1952 to 1956 it stopped all public work of the Adventist Church and closed its churches. In 1956 the churches opened again, but it was only in 1968 that the three conferences—the Moravia-Silesian, the Bohemian, and the Slovakian—were reorganized. They remain the church units of the Czecho-Slovakian Union to this day.25

Since the conference was reorganized in 1968, the headquarters continued to move within the city of Ostrava. In 1969, a year after the conference was reorganized, the headquarters was moved to Porazkova 22;26 in 1970 to Hornorybnicka 16;27 in 1972 to Kopaniny 11;28 and in 1973/1974 to Kopaniny 13;29 then back to Kopaniny 11 in 2001;30 and to Newtonova 725/14 in 2015.31

Before World War II, membership was a little more than 1,500. Due to the war and the Communist regime, the numbers are barely extant for the next few decades. At the end of 1972, the membership was 3,825. Since then there has been but little growth—over the next 55 years, membership increased by 400.32

Institutions

After four years of building, the Moravia-Silesian Conference opened a nursing home in Zlín in 1994. In 2007 the home became the Old People’s Home Efata (Domov pro seniory Efata) with a capacity of 19 beds.33

List of Presidents

J. Muth (1913-1919); Emil E. Frauchiger (1919-1922);34 R. Rühling (1923-1926); Josef Doubravský (1927-1935); J. Popelka (1936-1938); conference did not exist during World War II (1939-1945); J. Popelka (1946-1948); Dimitrij Krynsky (1949-1955); Czechoslovakian conferences dissolved by the government (1956-1968); Dimitrij Krynsky (1969-1974); Alois Barta (1975-1983); Jiri Vesely (1984-1992); Jan Dymacek (1993-2011); Karel Stanek Jr. (2012-present).

Sources

“Berichte der Tschechoslowakischen Union vom 1. Januar bis 31. März 1920.” Zions-Wächter, July 1920.

Conradi, Ludwig R. “A New Union in Central Europe.” ARH, September 19, 1912.

“Domov pro seniory EFATA.” http://mss.casd.cz/domov-efata/, accessed May 20, 2019.

Frauchiger, Emil E. “Report of the Czechoslovakian Union Conference.” General Conference Bulletin, May 28, 1922.

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

Niedoba, Paul. “Bericht der zweiten Konferenz des Mährisch-Schlesischen Missionsfeldes.” Zions-Wächter, November 3, 1913.

Polednik, K. “Konferenzbericht der Mährisch-Schlesischen Vereinigung.” Zions-Wächter, December 1921.

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

Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Second revised edition. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996. S.v. “Czech Republic.”

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1904-2018. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/.

Staubert, Otto. “Wintersitzung des Westdeutschen Unionausschusses.” Zions-Wächter, March 18, 1912.

“Vierteljahrsbericht der Mitteleuropäischen Union vom 1. Juli bis 30. September 1913.” Zions-Wächter, November 3, 1913.

Notes

  1. “Moravia-Silesian Conference” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (2019), 154.

  2. For a glance at the early missionary work in the Czech lands, see Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, 2nd rev. ed. (1996), s.v. “Czech Republic.”

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

  4. “Berichte der Westdeutschen Union vom 1. Januar bis 31. März 1912,” Zions-Wächter, May 6, 1912, 188-189.

  5. Otto Staubert, “Wintersitzung des Westdeutschen Unionausschusses,” Zions-Wächter, March 18, 1912, 130; Ludwig R. Conradi, “A New Union in Central Europe,” ARH, September 19, 1912, 13.

  6. The Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook sometimes also gave the name of the conference as the Moravian-Silesian Conference. In 1920-1921, the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook listed the conference as the West Silesia and Moravia Conference. “Czecho-Slovakian Union Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1920), 136; “West Silesian and Moravia Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1921), 87.

  7. Paul Niedoba, “Bericht der zweiten Konferenz des Mährisch-Schlesischen Missionsfeldes,” Zions-Wächter, November 3, 1913, 497-499.

  8. “Moravian-Silesian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1914), 98.

  9. “West Silesian and Moravia Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1921), 87.

  10. “Vierteljahrsbericht der Mitteleuropäischen Union vom 1. Juli bis 30. September 1913,” Zions-Wächter, November 3, 1913, 514.

  11. Paul Niedoba, “Bericht der zweiten Konferenz des Mährisch-Schlesischen Missionsfeldes,” Zions-Wächter, November 3, 1913, 498.

  12. Richard Rühling, “Die Abteilungskonferenz in Brünn,” Zions-Wächter, December 17, 1919, 236; Emil E. Frauchiger, “Report of the Czechoslovakian Union Conference,” General Conference Bulletin, May 28, 1922, 304.

  13. “East Silesia Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1921), 100; Emil E. Frauchiger, “Report of the Czechoslovakian Union Conference,” General Conference Bulletin, , 304.

  14. “Moravia-Silesian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1923), 91.

  15. “Moravia-Silesian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1924), 92.

  16. “Moravia-Silesian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1928), 107.

  17. “Moravia-Silesian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1930), 137.

  18. “Moravia-Silesian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1932), 119.

  19. “Moravia-Silesian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1935), 79.

  20. “Moravia-Silesian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1936), 83.

  21. “Czecho-Slovakian Union Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1939), 95-96.

  22. “Czechoslovakian Union Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1946), 211-212.

  23. “Bohemian Conference” and “Moravia-Silesian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1947), 196.

  24. “Moravia-Silesian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1950), 212.

  25. The Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, second revised edition (1996), s.v. “Czech Republic.”

  26. “Moravia-Silesian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1969), 244.

  27. “Moravia-Silesian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1970), 250.

  28. “Moravia-Silesian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1972), 129.

  29. “Moravia-Silesian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1973/74), 129.

  30. “Moravia-Silesian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (2001), 95.

  31. “Moravia-Silesian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (2015), 165.

  32. At the end of 2017, the membership stood at 4,225.

  33. “Domov pro seniory EFATA,” http://mss.casd.cz/domov-efata/.

  34. K. Polednik, “Konferenzbericht der Mährisch-Schlesischen Vereinigung,” Zions-Wächter, December 1921, 212.

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Stefánsson, Jón Hjörleifur. "Moravia-Silesian Conference." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BH9X.

Stefánsson, Jón Hjörleifur. "Moravia-Silesian Conference." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access May 13, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BH9X.

Stefánsson, Jón Hjörleifur (2021, April 28). Moravia-Silesian Conference. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 13, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BH9X.