PERM – On the last day of April, New Testament Church of Perm hosted a reunion of 1997 graduates of its Bible school.
There were a total of 20 graduates and some guests: pastors, musicians. They started the meeting with songs of praise, which were often played in the Bible school during those years.
Eduard Grabovenko, the senior pastor and founder of the church, made a speech. He noted that not all of the graduates came to the event, but only those “who remain in God's calling and ministry. Others weakened, grew cold in their ministry and in following the Lord.”
Pastor Eduard underlined that it's time to become mentors for others, that 25 years later the graduates have enough anointing and influence to raise up young ministers. He especially thanked Anatoly Belobragin, who has always served: in the past he contributed much effort and skill in building and repairing the church building, now as a deacon and mentor.
According to Pastor Eduard, in the early years of the church, when they opened the Bible school, he and the other ministers “didn't have much experience, but those first graduates are still involved in ministry.”
“You held fast to the Lord and are still holding fast. Thank you, for your faithfulness and dedication. Pastor, leader, minister, — someone just helping out in the church in whatever way they can. We believe the Lord has brought us to this point”, said the senior pastor.
Pastor Leonid Novikov remembered the time when the church purchased the old movie theater building at 90 Ordzhonikidze St. He and his wife Catherine got married that year. He remembers that it was the 1997 graduating class that worked hardest to repair the building. The students had time to study and to help restore the building for the church.
“It's good to see you at church events, and to see that we continue to follow Christ together. My main wish is to follow Christ to the end, to come to the Main Graduation, where we will rejoice together with the people we served”, Pastor Novikov concluded.
The evening was filled with many words of encouragement from the guests and the organizers. All of the speakers were given memorable gifts.
Alumni and guests sang a lot, prayed, recalled their class and time of study, joked, played, photographed. At the end of the meeting they watched a videotape of the graduation party from the church archive and prayed to God to give thanks for the spiritual journey of 25 years.
“I always remember my time at Bible school with fondness. The beginning of my spiritual journey as a minister and later as a pastor. I'm glad we have the chance to get together, and it's a pity not all of us came,” said Sergey Sokolov, Bible School graduate and pastor of the New Testament Church in the town of Savino.
Press Center of the New Testament Church of Perm
The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith