SLAVIC GOSPEL ASSOCIATION
Slavic Gospel Association Inc. (SGA) is a mission which serves Bible-preaching churches in the lands of the former Soviet Union, now called the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) by helping equip national pastors and church planting missionaries reach their people with the Gospel.
What does “Slavic” mean?As a synonym for ‘Slavonic’, “Slavic” applies to a number of nations in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Slavic nationalities are: Russians, Ukrainians, Belarussians, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Serbians, Montenegroes, Bosnians, Croatians, Slovenians, Bulgarians and modern Macedonians.
Our HistorySGA was founded in Chicago, United States in 1934 by Rev. Peter Deyneka, who migrated to America in 1914 from Belarus. A few years later, Peter repented of his sins and trusted in Christ as Saviour during a worship service at Chicago’s renowned Moody Church during the pastorate of Dr. Paul Rader. After his salvation and graduation from St. Paul Bible School in Minnesota, Peter returned to Chicago with an overwhelming burden to see his people won to Christ.
In 1925 he went back to his homeland and travelled extensively, sharing the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. While there, he established a strong, enduring relationship with the faithful churches of the Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists (UECB), which today is Russia’s largest evangelical church fellowship. However, in the early 1930’s Soviet dictator Josef Stalin intensified persecution of the churches and it became no longer possible for Peter to travel to his homeland. Convinced that there were ways to help the churches from America, he and a small group of Chicago-area businessmen met in the back of Hedstrom’s Shoe Store and founded the “Russian Gospel Association” - later renamed “Slavic Gospel Association”.
Since its inception, and until the political changes which took place in the former Soviet Union between 1988-1991, SGA produced and broadcasted radio programmes in the Russian language, covertly distributed millions of Bibles and Christian books, and reached out to Russians and other Slavic nationals living outside of USSR where they had settled as refugees from the communist lands. The first Russian language Bible institutes in the world were established to train the Russian immigrants in Toronto Canada; Temperley, Argentina, and other parts of the world.
Throughout the Cold War era, Peter Deyneka travelled the globe holding prayer meetings, often overnight, encouraging the Lord’s people to pray for the opening of the Soviet Union for the preaching of the Gospel. His motto became, “Much prayer, much power. Little prayer, little power. No prayer, no power!” His powerful preaching resulted in the nickname, “Peter Dynamite.” Having poured out his life in service to the Lord, the Lord called him to his heavenly reward in 1987. Then in 1989, the Lord answered Peter’s lifetime prayers and brought the Iron Curtain crashing down - surprising the entire world. SGA leaders and missionaries immediately began to seize the unprecedented new opportunities for reaching the people of the former Soviet Union for the glory of Christ.
SGA AustraliaSGA Australia was established in 1965 and has worked alongside SGA/USA by providing financial support for various projects, and participating in joint ministries. Working primarily in the former Soviet nations of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, SGA provides Russian- language Bibles and Christian literature, sponsorship of pastors, missionaries, church-planters, youth workers and children’s ministries – including outreach to orphans. In response to various appeals, our partners provide financial assistance for church building projects, vehicle repairs, humanitarian aid, and various other needs.
With the goal of reaching as many as possible with the Gospel, SGA currently has five international offices.
International SGA OfficesThere are four other SGA offices - USA, Canada, United Kingdom and New Zealand. Each office works autonomously but in co-operation with each other on the basis of an accepted Statement of Mutual Co-operation. Leaders of all offices meet bi-annually to discuss how we can make our joint ministries more effective.
SGA/UK works primarily in Eastern European countries such as Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Moldova. The other offices, including SGA/Australia, concentrate mostly on Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and to a lesser degree on other smaller CIS countries.
Regional Ministry CentresRegional Ministry Centres (RMC’s) have been established in the CIS in the following cities: Minsk, the capital of Belarus; Irpen - Ukraine; Moscow, the capital of Russia; Omsk, central Siberia; and in Khabarovsk, Far East Russia. These offices assist SGA in our ministry.