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Adventist congregation in Almaty, 1957 resembling an Adventist congregation in Georgia in those times.

Photo courtesy of Euro-Asia Division.

Georgia

By Sergo Namoradze

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Sergo Namoradze, Ph.D. (Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, Silang, Cavite, Philippines). Namoradze served as a pastor and education department director at the Transcaucasus Union Mission, Tbilisi, Georgia. He has published a number of articles about Protestantism in the Caucasus region and contributed to the Seventh-day Adventist International Bible Dictionary (forthcoming). Currently, he is an applied theology professor at Ukrainian Humanitarian Institute, Bucha, Ukraine.

 

First Published: December 3, 2020

Eastern Orthodox Georgia has been deeply influenced by Christianity in culture, history, and worldview. Adventist mission came into it a century and more ago, on the heels of older Protestant missions. A documented history of her mission in the lens of the Russian empire and Soviet Union has scarcely been written. An accurate account of the beautiful and heart-warming history of Seventh-day Adventist missions and pioneers is needed for a more focused contextualized mission.

Introduction

Adventism came to Georgia in the early 1900s, and today is represented by 368 church members. However, so far the historical account of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in this country is fragmented, because no written document was produced that would reassemble the events and important individuals of the past in chronological order.1 This research presents the attempt to recollect the historical account based on primary and secondary sources available to the author, such as documents, photos, and artifacts. In-depth interviews with people who lived during the time of the early development, or who knew individuals who shaped the history of Adventism in Georgia, significantly shed light on the study.2

Georgia, also known as the “cradle of wine,”3 is mentioned in many ancient documents. These documents record the development and influence of the kingdoms of Kolkha and Iberia (western and eastern kingdoms of Georgia respectively) that were later united under King Bagrat III in the 10th century.4 Christianity was introduced from a very early period and became the national religion in A.D. 319.5 Since then Georgian Orthodoxy has permeated every sphere of life, shaping national identity, history and tradition. Melton and Bauman correctly assert, “As various conquerors (most of whom were Muslims) moved through Georgia, the struggle for independence became largely identified as a struggle for the defense of Orthodoxy, since many clerical and laypersons died as martyrs for their Orthodox faith.”6

Protestants in Georgia

Despite the dominance of the Georgian Orthodox Church, by the end of the 19th century the first Protestants had settled in Georgia. They were not Western home-based missionaries but German settlers, mostly adherents of the Lutheran creed and pietistic spirituality. The settlers never intended to evangelize the local people but pursued economic purposes supported by the Russian imperial powers.7 Among the German settlers were groups inclined to apocalyptic religious notions, which sometimes created tension between the settlers and the authorities.8

Notably, Protestant settlements did not make any significant missionary progress in converting locals to the Protestant faith. In this regard, Sonġulašvili asserts, “Contact and potential evangelism were also inhibited by the fact that the German settlers never learned the local languages.”9 Even when the governor asked the Lutheran pastors to attempt a mission work among mountain tribes, the pastors hesitantly rejected the offer, understanding that there was not much they could do due to being unprepared.10 The settlers refrained from mingling with the locals, and were even forbidden to marry someone from outside their country and faith.11

Later developments of the Protestant Church in Transcaucasia were linked to the so-called Russian revivalist religious groups, such as the Dukhobori, Malakan, Subotniki, and the old rule Orthodox.12 They were persecuted by the imperial powers and forcefully relocated to the countries of Transcaucasia.13 This religious persecution and exile significantly furthered the Protestant faith in the region.14 Although they did not belong to the European Protestant branches (but were rooted in Russian Orthodoxy), they were still inclined to the Protestant style of worship and Bible reading.15

These groups did not succeed in communicating the gospel to the locals either, perhaps also mainly because of the language factor. Johann Gerhard Oncken, one of the most influential leaders of the Baptist movement in Europe, underscored the importance of knowing local languages as the channels of communication in Georgia: “It is very desirable that any missionary appointed to labor in this district should not only understand the Russian language, but also be conversant with Armenian, Georgian and Turkish.”16 Thus, these minor religious groups have disappeared, or are disappearing, in Georgia, because they did not succeed in communicating the gospel to Georgians. This was due not only to the language barrier, but also to their Russian ethnic background, which made Georgians think that conversion implied an identity change.

Over time, several branches emerged within the Molokans. One of these branches was called Subotniki.17 They observed the Sabbath and followed some Jewish customs, including the prohibition of certain foods listed in the Old Testament. Despite no direct historical evidence, it can still be assumed that these believers had the potential of serving as a bridge toward acceptance of Adventism by other branches of Molokans. Thus, although German colonists and Russian essentialists (Russian originated Protestant groups) apparently did not convert anyone from the local population (Georgians, Armenians, and Azeri), they paved the way for Western Protestantism, which in turn attracted the indigenous nations of Transcaucasia, including the Georgian population.

The Beginning of Adventism in Georgia

One of the first known Christian missionaries in Georgia, who actively preached about the Second Advent and thus could be regarded as the precursor of Adventism in this country, was Joseph Wolff (1795–1862).18 Thereafter, in the late 1800s, the Adventist message reached Georgia through Russian emigrants in the United States, who sent letters and tracts about Adventism to their relatives.

Dr. Vagram Pampaian, the first official Seventh-day Adventist missionary in Georgia, was an American medical doctor with an Armenian background. He arrived in Tbilisi with his wife and brother in 1904.19 Being fluent in Armenian and Turkish, he spent around two years in Tbilisi giving out pamphlets and working with the people who spoke these languages. They even attempted to study the local language, Georgian. However, in 1906, the Pampaians moved to Armenia, and then to Turkey, to continue the work among the Armenians there.20 He converted five people, but managed to baptize only one because of persecution from the clerical authorities.21

At that time, in Sukhumi, West Georgia, Pastor Tsirat, who was not yet an ordained Adventist minister, began colporteur ministry. As a result of this work in 1906 six people of German origin were converted.22 In 1911 he was sent for mission work in Tbilisi. He stayed there until the spring of 1912.23

Albert Ozols (1878–1916): Experience of Resistance in Hospitable Georgia

Pastor Albert Ozols, a talented young man of Latvian origin and a medical doctor, contributed most in terms of church planting in Tbilisi. Upon conversion, studied in Germany and graduated from Friedensau Mission Seminary. Though fluent in German and Russian, he was aware of the importance of learning the local language in the mission field, so studied Persian.24 He arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1907.25 His earliest missionary endeavor in Georgia among German speakers and Latvians was fruitful. He organized evangelistic seminars attended by an average of over 45 people.26 Yet, success was not without sacrifice; in 1907 and 1908, his missionary work faced resistance by the local population and suspicion from government authorities. However, at the end of 1908, there were 23 church members in Tbilisi.27

In 1908 and 1909 Pastor Heinrich Löbsack visited Tbilisi and conducted evangelistic meetings. Recalling the event, he wrote, “Here we see how Europe encounters Asia. In spreading the Good News, this city in Transcaucasia has the same importance as Jerusalem had for spreading the Gospel during the life of our Savior.”28 In the same document, he recalls that in 1909, Pastor Conradi visited Tbilisi twice in order to meet Dr. Pampaian and discuss the work among Armenians.29 In 1912 the Caucasian Conference was divided into two parts because of the difficulty in visitation. This division made Transcaucasia into a separate mission field of eight congregations with 226 members under the leadership of Pastor Ozols.30 This decision was finalized on January 1, 1914, when the Transcaucasia Mission Field was attached to the European Division.31

The activities of Pastor Ozols irritated the local clerical authorities, who asked the police to help get rid of him. As a result, not only Pastor Ozols but also other Adventist missionaries were arrested and jailed.32 One of the reports of Pastor Ozols is preserved in Maslina,33 where he recollects,

Regarding the indigenous tribes, our field is very diverse. Near the Black Sea in Kutaisi gubernia (region in west Georgia), we witness the revival among Mingrelians and Georgians. I was able to baptize one brother who was willing to be baptized since spring, after his registration of exit from the state church. We went to visit his relatives, who observed the Sabbath, but were still registered members of the state church. After we went there, someone informed the local priest that Adventists came to that village. The priest came and ordered the local authority to arrest us. The local authority saw that we were innocent but could not do anything to free us because of the fear of the priest.34

This account presents the significant fact that Georgians were converted into Adventism as early as 1913. Yet in 1914, Pastor Ozols was arrested and sent to Siberia. On his way to exile, as a medical doctor, he treated patients among the prisoners. One day in 1916, he contracted a deadly disease and at the age of 38, the man with a “golden heart” died.35

Adventism in Georgia under the Leadership of Pastor Galajev, 1925–1939

Taking place on October 8–10, 1925, the first constituency meeting in the Transcaucasia Mission Field marked the beginning of a new period of Georgian Adventism. Due to the lack of finances, only 20 delegates were able to attend the meeting. According to Yunak, Georgians, Armenians, Russians, and Germans were represented. At the meeting, Pastor Alexei Galajev was elected chair of the committee to oversee Transcaucasia.36 He was an ethnic Armenian and probably one of the most capable persons for this position as far as cultural sensitivity was concerned.37 According to Pastor Panchenko, Pastor Galajev had spent his childhood in Tbilisi, Georgia, before his parents moved to Rostov, Russia.38

Gaajev’s grasp of the Georgian language is likely one of the reasons for his successful ministry in the region. Galajev was able to replant the church in Georgia with the help of other ministers. Yet the 10-year gap (since the arrest of Pastor Ozols in 1914 and Galajev’s arrival in 1925) significantly affected the Tbilisi Adventist Church, weakening its influence and reducing its size. Panchenko in this regard asserts, “All our old members, with whom I worked, confirmed that Galajev replanted the church and was eventually arrested here. They remembered him well.”39

A Bible worker was hired in 1926 who was Georgian, as is apparent from his last name, Shavadze.40 This was the first Georgian surname among all the ministers who worked in Georgia. There is no other mention of him later, by any additional document, or a photo that would help trace his origins and the story of his conversion. However, having a Georgian among the Bible workers was an important breakthrough. It suggests that there were a number of Georgian converts as early as the 1920s, or even before.

Pastor Galadjev’s arrest in 1939 was the start of an 18-year gap leaving Georgia without any leader or minister. Not much is known about what happened from 1939 to 1957, except that a few ministers from neighboring countries visited the Adventist congregation in Tbilisi from time to time. This second gap heavily affected the Adventist mission to Georgians.

Filling the Gap: Laity in Charge

In 1957 Pastor Pavel Panchenko was commissioned to Tbilisi from Rostov. The time between the Galajev’s arrest in 1939 and Panchenko’s arrival in 1957 became a significant period in the development of the Adventist mission in Georgia. Not much is known about this period, except that the lay members did not give up and took charge of the work. The interview with Nikolai Dragan unfolded unknown pages of Adventist history in Georgia. Dragan was an elderly member of the Adventist church in Tbilisi and recalled his mother’s conversion to Adventism in the 1940s. His family’s house became the underground headquarters for the Adventist mission in the region.

Dragan recalls that as a child, he would often see two strangers, men who had a distinct accent41 and whose clothes were different from the locals. He called them “Sibiriaki” (from Siberia) because of the thick coats and hats they wore. They would come late to their house and leave very early in order not to be seen by anyone. For several years in their basement, unknown people would type something using a lot of paper.42 Gradually, the persecution of his mother intensified. Dragan recalled that he was very afraid because his mother would always warn him not to tell anyone that people worshipped in their basement. Nevertheless, around the 1960s, persecutions against his mother became more severe, prompting her to sell her house and leave Georgia.43

Unknown Georgian Adventist Ministers

It has been generally accepted that the first Georgian speaking Adventist ministers emerged in the mid-1990s, when the first students from Georgia enrolled in Zaokski Theological Seminary, the Adventist educational institution in Russia. However, the interview with Mrs. Levich (née Mayevskaya) and the personal documents she presented reveal that the existence of Georgian ministers can be traced back at least 100 years earlier.

In 1911, Pastors Tsirat and Ozols were in Tbilisi, and may have given Bible studies to Kote Karalashvili and conducted his baptismal service in Baku in 1911. In 1917, when the Russian revolution took place, he was 22 years old. Georgia’s short-lived independence lasted until 1921, when the Red Army invaded the country. Perhaps at this time, Karalashvili – still a young man of 26 years – decided to escape and reached Siberia in order to exercise his faith freely. Perhaps this decision to be closer to an Adventist community was made after the detention of Pastor Ozols in 1914.

Mrs. Mayevskaya recollects that he would often mention Tbilisi. He studied at the Orthodox seminary, where one of his fellow students was none else but Joseph Jugashvili (Stalin). Interestingly, both of them were dismissed from that seminary for distinct reasons: Karalashvili for his inclination to Adventism, which eventually made him a pastor, and Joseph Jugashvili (Stalin) for his inclination to revolutionary ideas, which eventually made him the Soviet Union’s brutal leader.44

There could actually be other Georgian ministers who have not been documented. For instance, the 1925 graduation photo of Harbin Bible School in China45 depicted faces of the graduates, where along with Karalashvili there was someone by the name Matikashvili, who was apparently a young Georgian minister and a graduate from the same school. However, so far no written or oral evidence has been found about this person that could tell elements of his life story.

Pastor Panchenko: Mission Impossible (1957–1959)

On January 20, 1957 Pastor Panchenko arrived in the capital46 and became the pastor of Tbilisi Adventist Church.47 One year prior to his arrival, a group of young people from Rostov, inspired by Pastor Pavel Matsanov, decided to go for a mission trip in Transcaucasia in order to encourage members who were scattered and dispersed without leaders.48 Perhaps the reports from this trip inspired Matsanov to send someone to Georgia. This is how Matsanov recalled the trip to Georgia about 50 years later:

From Batumi, we arrived at the capital of sunny Georgia, Tbilisi. … We were accommodated at a very convenient, nice apartment and treated with a lot of food on the table. …. When we took our seats before the worship and bowed our heads for prayer, many of those who gathered with us began to cry for the unexpressed pain accumulated in their hearts because of the many years of loneliness and persecution.49

Loneliness and persecution were the major internal and external challenges of Adventists in Georgia. The Tbilisi Adventist Church, after experiencing 18 years of persecution and without any minister or missionary, was devastated both physically and emotionally.

At first, members were cautious about accepting the young man as their new leader because of fear that the KGB might have installed an agent under the cover of an Adventist leader.50 Later, he was fully recognized as a leader of the church, but the threat of being infiltrated by KGB agents was real: some KGB agents were present in the church and some were among the baptized members, too.51

In 1957, the first baptism in Tbilisi Adventist Church after so many years of stagnation coincided with the second visitation of leaders from Caucasia and Transcaucasia, Pastors Peter Kulakov and Pavel Matsanov.52 Indeed, it was a great event for the church, especially because the leaders visited them during a baptismal ceremony. The baptism occurred in Lisis Lake up in the mountains. Pastor Panchenko describes an unexpected incident which occurred during the baptismal service there:

We arrived at the place that we had chosen and prepared ahead of time. … Brother Kulakov stepped into the water. At this moment, something happened that made us worry. From across the lake the engine of the boat started and a group of police officers headed toward us. …. Now when the police officers were approaching, we became nervous. … My heart sank when I looked at the aged pastor, who experienced so much grief and torment, and I wondered what would happen. I prayed to God as I had never prayed before and asked for protection for this hour. …. When the pastor gave a sign to start the baptism, one after the other, the candidates entered the water. …. The police looked and were extremely puzzled since they did not understand what was going on. In addition, when the last church member came out from the water, the engine of the boat moored and the police officers left, which I believed was due to divine intervention.53

Withstanding the Persecution: The Power of the Laity

Glazova Luba was one of those baptized by Kulakov on August 26, 1957.54 From an interview with her, several significant details can be highlighted about the mission and outreach to the Adventist Church in Tbilisi before, during, and after Panchenko’s ministry. Her house became the place of religious services during the persecution that erupted after the detention of Pastor Galajev. The mother of Mrs. Glazova became one of the most active leaders. Later, her religious activity was noticed by the KGB, who murdered one of her daughters under mysterious circumstances.55

Mrs. Glazova recalls when KGB officers unexpectedly came to their house during Sabbath worship. By coincidence, Pastors Kulakov and Panchenko were leading the worship at that moment. Sisters Vera and Luba Glazova engaged in an argument with KGB officers, while Pastor Kulakov tried to calm them down. Vera said, “We are not doing anything wrong, we praise God here.”56 But Pastor Kulakov asked her not to argue, and she finally cooled the conversation.

The next day both sisters were called to the KGB office for further interrogation. Vera would often say, “I don’t know how to live”57 because external persecution from the KGB and the persecution from her own husband made her life miserable.58 As a result, both of them were fired from their respective jobs.59 Sadly, soon thereafter Vera Glazova, the sister of Mrs. Glazova, disappeared from her house at night, and was found dead after four days in the river Mtkvari in Tbilisi.

1959 saw the rise of persecutions instigated by the Premier of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev. Many religious workers were deported from their cities of ministry in Caucasus and Transcaucasia, causing Christians to suffer again. Panchenko recalls the day of his arrest and the closing down of the Tbilisi congregation:

One of the Sabbaths during the sermon, two individuals entered the hall of our worship. One was in uniform, the other was dressed casually, the third stopped at the entrance, and the fourth (as we later found) was guarding at the gate. We were surrounded, but it was clear that nobody was going to run away. Those two (one in uniform and another in casual clothes) approached the pulpit and stood by both of my sides. The one casually dressed requested my documents, it was clear he is from Osobi Otdel (the special department of KGB). After he was convinced that my documents are errorless, he asked if I had the permit for conducting the worship. I was prepared for this question, because. . . in those days there was a small brochure color blue, which contained the speech of Nikita Khrushchev during his visit in India. In his speech, Khrushchev underlined the freedom of religion in USSR. Therefore, when I was asked for a permit to conduct the worship, I pulled that brochure out from the pulpit, opened the page where I highlighted the excerpt from the speech and read it aloud, “In the Soviet Union, believers can conduct their worships without any prior permit from the governmental entities.” The one who was asking for the permit remained speechless for a few seconds and did not know what to do. They were shocked. Then, the one in casual dress came back to his mind, snatched the brochure from my hand and said, ‘It is not written for you. You are arrested, follow us.’ The police officer grabbed my hand in order to take me out. I freed my hand and addressed the congregation, ‘Let’s end the worship with a prayer!’ Everybody stood up. … When I finished the prayer, I stepped down from the pulpit and headed toward the exit. Sisters began to cry. One sister who had a heart condition fainted, everybody was worried. I stopped at the door for a second, but the police officers kicked me from the back.60

Most of those who were present still remembered the arrest of Pastor Galajev, and this déjà-vu made them worry for both the pastor and the church, because they knew what consequences could follow. Within 72 hours, Panchenko and his three small children were deported from Georgia.61 The ensuing 18-year gap left the Tbilisi Adventist church without a leader again, and caused it to almost disappear.

New Beginning of the Church and the End of Soviet Regime in Georgia

The Adventist Church in Georgia was re-established in 1977 and has continued to flourish. Two ministers arrived in Tbilisi at the time, the Dreiling family from Armenia and the Lagutov family from Azerbaijan. They began to replant the church, and worship resumed at Glazova’s house. Toward the end of the 1980s, the Soviet system began to fall apart, and religious interest could no longer be suppressed by the civil powers.

Seventh-day Adventist members gave a large amount of their savings in order to buy a lot and build a church at Lotkini.62 Volunteers from Belorussia and nearby countries helped put up the church because the Tbilisi congregation still consisted of mostly elderly women. The small group grew rapidly. In 1980 they were able to obtain registration from the government and started building the church, utilizing the land that had been purchased a few years earlier. By the end of 1990, there were 73 church members in Tbilisi, with a few Georgian converts among them. In Sukhumi, there were 69 members in the same year, mostly from the Russian-speaking population.63

Insights and Assessment

From the beginning, Protestants (both German and Russian) were ethnically, linguistically, and culturally alien to the local population, which prevented them from significant communication and inclusion with locals. The same is true with Adventists. The first Adventist ministers and missionaries in Georgia faced not only persecution but the challenge of communication, as the country is rich with various ethnic minorities living side by side with the Georgian population.

Despite these unfavorable circumstances, Adventist activities in Georgia were promising, which is evident from several written sources. For instance, Löbsack wrote quite early, “We are greatly hoping for the development of the work in Tbilisi.”64 Other records say, “We witness a revival among Mingrelians and Georgians.”65

The conversion of Kote Karalashvili in 1911 leads to the conclusion that Georgians were responsive to Adventism even before the 1920s. Pastor Yulius Teodor Betkher, chairman of the Russian Union between 1907 and 1913, was so excited about how the “work is also advancing among Georgians” that he commented, “In future we will have printed materials in this language.”66 Sadly, the first Adventist Georgian literature was published almost a century later.

Matsanov, while visiting Tbilisi in the mid-1950s, underscored two essential hindrances of the Adventist congregations: “Many years of loneliness and persecution in their hearts accumulated so much unexpressed pain.”67 Loneliness as an internal factor and persecution as an external factor significantly prevented the church from growing during several periods of Adventist history in Georgia. Nevertheless, despite decades of struggles with identity issues, persecution, and many other unfavorable circumstances, the Seventh-day Adventist church in Georgia managed to continue its existence through the selfless life of its ministers and members. However, the low growth rate during recent years demands a re-thinking and re-modeling of the Adventist mission strategy in Georgia in the future.

Sources

Bondyrev, I. V. Davitashvili, Z. Singh, V. P. The Geography of Georgia: Problems and Perspectives. Basel, Switzerland: Springer International, 2015.

Buachidze, D. Religious Confessions and Denominations in Lithuania and Georgia (Comparative Analysis): Cultural, Historical and Theoretical Issue of XIX (Conference Materials). Tbilisi, Georgia: TSU, 2004.

Chkhartishvili, M. On Georgian Identity and Culture: Nine International Presentations. Tbilisi, Georgia: Publishing House Universal, 2009.

Coene, F. The Caucasus: An Introduction. NY: Routledge, 2010.

Grigorenko, A. U. Eskhatologia, Millenarism, Adventism: The History and Modernity. St. Petersburg, Russia: Evropeiski Dom, 2004.

Heinz, D. et al., Photochronics of Adventist Church in Tsarist Russia-USSR-UIP in 1882–2012. Riga, Latvia: European Archives of History of SDA, 2012.

__________. Souls under the Altar, 2nd ed. Riga: European Archives of History of Seventh-day Adventists, 2015.

Kacharava, D. D. Kvirkvelia, G. T. Chi, J. Wine, Worship, and Sacrifice: The Golden Graves of Ancient Vani. Princeton, NJ: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, 2008.

Kopaleishvili, T. Protestant Churches in Georgia. Batumi, Georgia: Shota Rustaveli State University of Batumi, 2014.

Löbsack, Heinrich J. Великое Адвентистское Движение и Адвентисты Седьмого Дня в России [The Great Adventist Movement and Seventh-day Adventists in Russia] (2nd ed.). Rostov, Russia: Caucasus Union Mission of SDA, 2006.

Maisuradze, R. German Religious Separatism and Lutherans in Georgia. Tbilisi, Georgia: TSU, 1990.

Matsanov, A. G. and Matsanova, P. A. Through the Thorny Path. Kaliningrad: Iantarni Skaz, 1995.

Melton J. G. and Baumann M. “Georgia.” Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2010.

Mikaberidze, A. Historical Dictionary of Georgia. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2007.

Namoradze Sergo, “Church Growth Theory and the Development of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Mission in Georgia: A Case Study.” PhD diss., Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, 2018.

Panchenko, P. G. Look Who Are You the Called! Nizhni Novgorod: Diatlovi Gori, 2007.

Sonġulašvili, M. Evangelical Christian Baptists of Georgia: The History and Transformation of a Free Church Tradition. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2015.

Suny, R. G. The Making of the Georgian Nation. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1988.

Topchishvili, R. ed. Ethnography/Ethnology of Georgia. Tbilisi, Georgia: Universali, 2010.

West, B. A. “Georgia.” Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania. New York, NY: Facts on File, 2009.

Yunak, D. O. “Возвожу очи мои к горам. История Церкви Адвентистов Седьмого Дня в Закавказье” [“Lift My Eyes to the Hill: The SDA History in Transcaucasia”]. Tula, Unpublished manuscript, 2012.

Zaitsev, E. V. The History of Adventist Church. Zaokski, Russia: Istochnik Zhizni, 2008.

_______________ История Церкви АСД [The History of Adventist Church]. Zaokski, Russia: Istochnik Zhizni, 2008.

Zhukaluk. Remember Your Mentors (The History of SDA by Individuals). Kiev, Ukraine: Dzherelo Zhitia, 1999.

Notes

  1. This article largely draws on the author’s doctoral dissertation. See Sergo Namoradze, “Church Growth Theory and the Development of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Mission in Georgia: A Case Study” (Ph.D. diss., Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, 2018).

  2. The interviewees gave permission to the author to use their names. These in-depth interviews with Pastor Panchenko, Mrs. Glazova, and Mr. Dragan are to be considered most valuable information, as well as the interview with Konstance Mayevskaya, who personally knew Pastor Kote Karalashvili.

  3. D. D. Kacharava, G. T. Kvirkvelia, and J. Chi, Wine, Worship, and Sacrifice: The Golden Graves of Ancient Vani (Princeton, NJ: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, 2008), 23; R. G. Suny, The Making of the Georgian Nation (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1988), 11.

  4. M. Chkhartishvili, On Georgian Identity and Culture: Nine International Presentations (Tbilisi, Georgia: Publishing House Universal, 2009), 17.

  5. I. V. Bondyrev, Z. Davitashvili, and V. P. Singh, The Geography of Georgia: Problems and Perspectives (Basel, Switzerland: Springer International, 2015), 37; A. Mikaberidze, Historical Dictionary of Georgia (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2007), 89; s.v. “Georgia.”; B. A. West, “Georgia,” Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania (New York, NY: Facts on File, 2009), 37.

  6. J. G. Melton and M. Baumann, “Georgia,” Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2010), 1192.

  7. T. Kopaleishvili, Protestant Churches in Georgia (Batumi, Georgia: Shota Rustaveli State University of Batumi, 2014), 30, 34, 40.

  8. Kopaleishvili, Protestant Churches in Georgia, 42, 43.

  9. M. Sonġulašvili, Evangelical Christian Baptists of Georgia: The History and Transformation of a Free Church Tradition (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2015), 33.

  10. Sonġulašvili, Evangelical Christian Baptists of Georgia, 33, 34.

  11. R. Maisuradze, German Religious Separatism and Lutherans in Georgia (Tbilisi, Georgia: TSU, 1990), 21.

  12. D. Buachidze, Religious Confessions and Denominations in Lithuania and Georgia (Comparative Analysis): Cultural, Historical and Theoretical Issue of XIX (Conference Materials) (Tbilisi, Georgia: TSU, 2004) 34; F. Coene, The Caucasus: An introduction. NY: Routledge, 2010); R. Topchishvili, ed., Ethnography/Ethnology of Georgia (Tbilisi, Georgia: Universali, 2010), 44.

  13. A. U. Grigorenko, Eskhatologia, Millenarism, Adventism: The History and Modernity (St. Petersburg, Russia: Evropeiski Dom, 2004), 11, 12; E. V. Zaitsev, The History of Adventist Church (Zaokski, Russia: Istochnik Zhizni, 2008), 93–99.

  14. Sonġulašvili, Evangelical Christian Baptists of Georgia, 40, 41.

  15. Kopaleishvili, Protestant Churches in Georgia, 99–101.

  16. Sonġulašvili, Evangelical Christian Baptists of Georgia, 78.

  17. D. O. Yunak, “Возвожу очи мои к горам. История Церкви Адвентистов Седьмого Дня в Закавказье” [“Lift My Eyes to the Hill: The SDA History in Transcaucasia”] (Tula, Unpublished manuscript, 2012); E. V. Zaitsev, История Церкви АСД [The History of Adventist Church]] (Zaokski, Russia: Istochnik Zhizni, 2008), 82.

  18. Heinrich J. Löbsack, Великое Адвентистское Движение и Адвентисты Седьмого Дня в России [The Great Adventist Movement and Seventh-day Adventists in Russia] (2nd ed.) (Rostov, Russia: Caucasus Union Mission of SDA, 2006 [1st ed. 1918]), 152; Yunak, “Lift My Eyes to the Hill,” 10, 11; Zaitsev, The History of Adventist Church, 113.

  19. D. Heinz et al., Photochronics of Adventist Church in Tsarist Russia-USSR-UIP in 1882–2012 (Riga, Latvia: European Archives of History of SDA, 2012), 11, 12. Zaitsev, The History of Adventist Church, 214.

  20. Yunak, “Lift My Eyes to the Hill,” 83.

  21. Ibid., 84.

  22. See Heinz et al., Photochronics of Adventist Church in Tsarist Russia, 10; Löbsack, The Great Adventist Movement and Seventh-day Adventists in Russia, 228, 229; and Zaitsev, The History of Adventist Church, 214.

  23. D. Heinz et al., Souls under the Altar, 2nd ed. (Riga: European Archives of History of Seventh-day Adventists, 2015), 166.

  24. Zaitsev, The History of Adventist Church, 214.

  25. Heinz et al., Photochronics of Adventist Church in Tsarist (2012), 10; Löbsak, The Great Adventist Movement, 11.

  26. Yunak, “Lift My Eyes to the Hill,” 27–28.

  27. Ibid., 83.

  28. Ibid., 85–86.

  29. Ibid., 85.

  30. Löbsak, The Great Adventist Movement, 285; Yunak, Lift My Eyes to the Hill, 216.

  31. Yunak, “Lift My Eyes to the Hill,” 217.

  32. Ibid., 83–85.

  33. In 1905 Maslina magazine began to be published in Russian, where various topics and first hand mission reports were covered.

  34. As cited in Yunak, “Lift My Eyes to the Hill,” 30.

  35. Heinz et al., “Souls Under the Altar,” 55; Löbsack, The Great Adventist Movement, 296; Zaitsev, The History of Adventist Church, 238.

  36. Yunak, “Lift My Eyes to the Hill,” 90–93. Yunak is a major historian of Adventism in several regions of the former Soviet Union. While further primary sources apparently do not exist, his account appears reliable.

  37. Zhukaluk, Remember Your Mentors (The History of SDA by Individuals) (Kiev, Ukraine: Dzherelo Zhitia, 1999), 56.

  38. P. G. Panchenko, Look Who Are You the Called! (Nizhni Novgorod: Diatlovi Gori, 2007), 1.

  39. Ibid.

  40. Yunak, “Lift My Eyes to the Hill,” 91.

  41. Dragan, in-depth interview, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2016, Folder 13, 14.

  42. Dragan, in-depth interview, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2016, Folder 13, 4, 5.

  43. Dragan, in-depth interview, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2016, Folder 13, 7, 14.

  44. Mayevskaya, in-depth interview via Skype, Australia, Sydney, Folder 16, 3.

  45. From the personal photo collection of Mrs. Mayevskaya.

  46. Panchenko, Look Who Are You the Called!, 7.

  47. Yunak, “Lift My Eyes to the Hill,” 107

  48. See A. G. Matsanov and P. A. Matsanova, Through the Thorny Path (Kaliningrad: Iantarni Skaz, 1995), 114.

  49. Ibid., 115.

  50. Panchenko, Look Who Are You the Called!, 9–10.

  51. Ibid., 16.

  52. Matsanov and Matsanova, Through the Thorny Path, 112, 118, 124.

  53. Panchenko, Look Who Are You the Called!, 53.

  54. Glazova, in-depth interview, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2016, Folder 14, 1.

  55. Ibid., 5.

  56. Ibid., 17.

  57. Ibid., 10.

  58. Ibid., 10

  59. Ibid., 18.

  60. Panchenko, Look Who Are You the Called!, 55–56. Emphasis in original; Panchenko, in-depth interview, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2016, Folder 15, 35.

  61. Zhukaluk, Remember Your Mentors, 178.

  62. Glazova, in-depth interview, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2016, Folder 14, 23–27.

  63. Yunak, “Lift My Eyes to the Hill,” 121.

  64. Ibid., 86, cited from appendix to Maslina, (February 1909), 19, 20.

  65. Yunak, “Lift My Eyes to the Hill,” 30, cited from appendix to Maslina, (March 1913), 46–48.

  66. Yunak, Lift My Eyes to the Hill, 90, cited from appendix to Maslina, (June 1913), 107, 108.

  67. Matsanov and Matsanova, Through the Thorny Path, 115.

×

Namoradze, Sergo. "Georgia." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. December 03, 2020. Accessed May 21, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=DB95.

Namoradze, Sergo. "Georgia." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. December 03, 2020. Date of access May 21, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=DB95.

Namoradze, Sergo (2020, December 03). Georgia. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 21, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=DB95.