09 June 2017

First Church of its Kind

In Lom, Bulgaria, in a part of town where "everyone has heard the Gospel, and we're to blame" there is an unassuming building that houses what I was  told is "the first Roma church in Europe and probably even the world!"  The words of the church's current pastor and the description of the church from my friend, Didi Oprenova, were the beginning of a wonderful time of sharing and hearing testimonies in this church.
Sharing a testimony of faith, sorrow, and joy!
Though details differ, the story of the beginning of the church includes an illiterate Roma man who stole a Bible (some stories say that it was from a Baptist colporteur) because he thought the gilded pages of the Bible were real gold!  Further details vary from this point, but all the stories re-converge at the point when the Roma man hears the message contained in the book of gold he had stolen, repents, and becomes a believer.  Others in his area also became believers as he began to share the Good News with them.  Then, in the early 1900's, a church for Roma was established.
First (Roma) Baptist Church - Lom, BG

During a recent meeting in Sofia of the European Baptist Federation's Freedom and Justice Core Group, the members of the Group visited two of Lom's Baptist churches including the first of its kind Roma church.
Core Group, 2 pastors of 2 Lom Roma Baptist churches and a few members