Volga Mission-Defunct

By Jón Hjörleifur Stefánsson

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

The Volga Mission was a Russian church unit that covered the administrative units of the southern Volga region. It started operation in 1911 and lasted until at least 1917 or 1922.

Territory and Statistics

Period: 1911–c. 1922

Territory: The Don-region (“exclusive of that portion between the Don and Donetz”), and the Astrakhan, Saratov, and Simbirsk Governorates1

Population: c. 9,000,000 (1911)2

Membership: 3423

Churches: 15

Organizational History

The territory of what would become the Volga Mission first belonged to the East Russian and Middle Russian Mission, both of which were established in the first decade of the twentieth century.

In 1910 the East Russian Mission was divided into the Ural and Volga Missions. This was a step in creating the Siberian Union with its subfields, all of which started operating in 1911. The European Division meeting in September 1909 had decided to organize Siberia into the Siberian Union, separate from the Russian Union.4 The Russian Union agreed to the plan at its annual session, March 3–8, 1910.5 The changes took effect the following year.6 All the fields of the Siberian Union were organized at the same time (except the Turkmenistan Mission which already existed).7 One of the new Siberian church units was the Volga Mission. It comprised the southernmost Governorates through which the Volga River flowed: The Astrakhan, Saratov, and Simbirsk Governorates, and the region of Don (“exclusive of that portion between the Don and Donetz”).8 The Astrakhan and Saratov Governorates came from the East Russian Mission and the Simbirsk Governorate from the Middle Russian Mission.9 At the close of the first quarter of 1911, membership was 265.10 Initial officers were director J. F. Hinter, secretary Th. Wägele, and other advisory committee members G. Hetze, J. Wuckert, and G. Lehmann. 11

In 1914, the Mission was transferred to the East Russian Union.12

Due to the Russian Civil War, the reports from the Russian Unions are missing from the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook from 1918 to 1921. It was then listed in 1922 (the name only), and after that its territory appears in other church units, so it is uncertain exactly when it was abolished. The Saratov and Simbirsk Governorates were taken over by the Saratov Conference.13 The Astrakhan Governorate and Don Oblast appear only many years later, in the Don Conference (Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook 1929).14

List of Presidents

J. F. Hinter (Ginter), 1911; G. Perk, 1912–1913; J. F. Hinter (Ginter), 1914–1917; church unit not listed, 1918–1921; no listing, 1922.

Sources

Annual Statistical Report. Washington, D.C.: General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 1915.

“Berichte des Sibirischen Unionfeldes vom 1. Januar bis 31. März 1910.” Zions-Wächter, May 1, 1911.

Conradi, Ludwig R. “Progress in the European Division.” ARH, November 10, 1910.

Dail, Guy. “The Russian Union Committee Meeting.” ARH, June 1, 1911.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1911–1922.

Notes

  1. See the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook entries on the church unit.

  2. Guy Dail, “The Russian Union Committee Meeting,” ARH, June 1, 1911, 12.

  3. For membership and churches, see Annual Statistical Report (Washington, D.C.: General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 1915), 6.

  4. Guy Dail, “The Russian Union Committee Meeting,” ARH, June 1, 1911, 12.

  5. Guy Dail, “The Russian Union Committee Meeting,” ARH, June 1, 1911, 12.

  6. Ludwig R. Conradi, “Progress in the European Division,” ARH, November 10, 1910, 6–7; Guy Dail, “The Russian Union Committee Meeting,” ARH, June 1, 1911, 12.

  7. For a description of how the previous fields were divided and for the territory of the new ones, see Ludwig R. Conradi, “Progress in the European Division,” ARH, November 10, 1910, 6–7; Guy Dail, “The Russian Union Committee Meeting,” ARH, June 1, 1911, 12.

  8. “Volga Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1911), 110–11; Guy Dail, “The Russian Union Committee Meeting,” ARH, June 1, 1911, 12.

  9. “East Russian Mission” and “Middle Russian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1910), 110. It is uncertain from which church unit the Don region was taken. The 1910 Yearbook lists Don District I in the Caucasian Conference and Don District II in the South Russian Conference. “Caucasian Conference” and “South Russian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1910), 109.

  10. “Berichte des Sibirischen Unionfeldes vom 1. Januar bis 31. März 1910,” Zions-Wächter, May 1, 1911, 196.

  11. “Volga Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1911), 110–11.

  12. “Volga Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1914), 110.

  13. “Saratov Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1923), 109.

  14. “Don Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1929), 166.

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

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

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