Seventh-day Adventist members, leaders, and guests celebrated the opening of a new church building in the remote Siberian town of Severobaikalsk, on the shores of the world-famous Lake Baikal in Buryatia, Russia, on December 18, 2021.
Severobaikalsk and Lake Baikal are always considered together in that remote area, and it is hard to imagine one without the other. Baikal, a vast, ancient lake in the mountains of Siberia, is the deepest lake in the world, with the cleanest drinking water. The water in Baikal is considered the world standard of drinking water. The lake is in the center of Asia on the border of the Irkutsk Region and the Republic of Buryatia, a few hundred miles from the Mongolian border. Severobaikalsk is a town of 25,000 at the northern end of the lake.
On December 18, 2021, a light frost and some snow did not deter the community from meeting for the church celebration. The inauguration ceremony consecrated the new venue to God’s glory and the ministry of the members of the North Baikal Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Local church leaders reported on the activities of the momentous day. “Several members shared their memories about the history of sharing the gospel message in the region, the purchasing of a plot of land, and the construction of the new church building,” they said. “Members paid tribute to pastors who served in the area in the past. They also remembered many brothers and sisters from Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia who supported the initiative. For the past few months, Alexander Rameyko, from Belarus, worked hard with current local church pastor Alexei Alemasov and others to complete the project.”
According to local leaders, of note was the mention of Vladimir Antonovich Vladovsky. He dedicated his talent as a builder to constructing many Adventist church buildings in several cities of Siberia and other regions. “Here in Severobaikalsk, Vladovsky took part not only as a foreman and builder but also as an organizer,” leaders said. He talked about the ongoing construction with his friends, who supported this project with their donations, they said.
Local church members and leaders thanked regional Adventist leaders for their support, including the leaders of the East Siberian Mission (ESM) and East Russian Union Mission (ERUM). ERUM purchased high-quality, comfortable chairs and the carpet for the new sanctuary. Other members and leaders contributed with work hours and donations during the several years that the project required, local church leaders reported.
After the solemn church service, every guest was invited to a festive dinner.
“Thanks be to God!” church leaders said. “We wish our brothers and sisters in Severobaikalsk special blessings as they share the eternal gospel in their area. Maranatha!”