International Ministries Print E-mail


Bishop Sonny Cathey
Chairman - AWCF
International Ministires


Bishop Peter Rowe
Vice Chairman - AWCF
International Ministires


International Ministries Mission

The Apostolic World Christian Fellowship has developed the Department of International Ministries as a global mission’s agency. Our mission is to enable the indigenous international church to fulfill the Master’s “Great Commission” as the only mission of a true Apostolic Fellowship. As the AWCF is a diverse fellowship of almost 200 Apostolic Organizations and Denominations worldwide, we understand that many of our constituents support world missions, missionaries and organizational missionary agencies from their local ministries and Churches. However, as an Apostolic Brotherhood, we sense the changing paradigm in world evangelism.

After 100 years of the Azusa outpouring, the Holy Spirit has swept the earth in a wave of Glory! No longer does the burden of evangelism, teaching and financing rest solely on the shoulders of North America and Europe. Dedicated men and women of God around the world have propagated this Glorious Gospel as Missionaries and Apostles. Now, they have left spiritual sons and daughters who have become leaders of national Churches, Bible Schools, and even Organizations and Ministerial Fellowships. These indigenous believers are now becoming the greatest missionaries in the earth today. Even Europe and North America are challenged by apostolic voices from regions that were once considered illiterate of the Gospel!

The Mission of the Department of International Ministries is to identify and support these existing ministries and agencies worldwide. Our aim is to Equip, Encourage, and Empower the Local Indigenous Church to fulfill its full potential while maintaining its own separate and unique identity. We are dedicated to building on foundations that have already proven strong, stable, and consistent to the Apostolic Message. Our goal is to network those with a heart for Missions and World Evangelism with credible national ministries that are already existing and prospering, but still need covering, fellowship and support. 

May we all be ONE!



AWCF Asian Conference

AWCF South African Conference - Pretoria, South Africa

AWCF European Conference - Bedford, England

AWCF Eastern European Conference - Poland

Chairman - Board of International Ministries

 

Bishop Donald (Sonny) Cathey
254-722-5581


Vice Chairman - Board of International Ministries

 

Bishop Peter Rowe
2221 S. Ironwood Drive
South Bend, IN 46613
574-289-3150


Secretary - Board of International Ministries

 

 


Western

 

Pastor Reynaldo Leal
Address: 7413 Jaboneria Dr.
Bells Garden, CA 90201
562-746-2304


North Central

 

Bishop Allen Julien
3501 Balsam N. E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49525-2889
616-243-9719


Southeastern

 

Pastor Leroy Kelly
3816 Edgewater Street
High Point, NC 27265
336-575-2117


Southwestern

 

Pastor Steve Barley
P.O. Box 73092
Houston, TX 75604
281-435-1505


South Central

 

Pastor David Peters
2433 Rivermont Dr.
Kingsport, TN 37660
423-360-4045


APOSTOLIC BONFIRE IN WEST AFRICA!
THE SIERRA LEONE VERSION


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Out of the Dark

Pentecostal visitors take in once-inconceivable scene

By Steve Arney
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Pantagraph/B MOSHER

The visit by Vitaly Kisel, right, and his brother Dimitry show contrasting styles. The Russians clap calmly while area Pentecostals, including Tiko Hardy at far right, become demonstrative.

 

Above: The church led by the Kisel family in Maykop, Russia, has a finished exterior, but still lacks furnishings.
Below: Guest preacher Vitaly Kisel: During the Soviet period, he and his Apostolic brethren knew nothing of Apostolic churches existing outside their own, underground church. "Can you imagine our surprise?"

BLOOMINGTON -- On a Friday night at a Pentecostal church downtown, a visiting preacher received rousing cheers and affirmations as he was greeted with songs, prayers and a Bible reading.

"Maybe my English isn't perfect," said the preacher, Vitaly Kisel, from Maykop, Russia, as he began a one-hour talk.

"It's good enough," someone from the crowd shouted.

About 40 people from four Pentecostal churches assembled at House of Prayer Apostolic Church of God on East Monroe Street.

The sizzling welcome -- loud if not large in size -- seemed perfectly in place. Christians tend to make fast friends among those within the faith, and Pentecostals are known to be very vocal when doing so at church.

But for the visitor, Kisel, it is a scene inconceivable to him and his church brethren less than a generation ago.

Officially, Apostolic Bible Church in Maykop, Russia, is 10 years old. But it traces its roots to 1913, when evangelist Andrew Urshan baptized Kisel's great-grandfather. The great-grandfather, grandfather and father kept a congregation breathing as an underground church from 1917 to 1992, the period in which the Communist Party ran the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

"We were living but almost in a coma," Kisel said after his talk.

Above: At the House of Prayer, black and white Pentecostals worship together, without hint of racial barrier. Pictured are Justin Ayers, left, of Normal, and Kamal Sharif, 8, of Bloomington.
Below: Vitaly Kisel takes a moment to compose himself on an emotional night in Bloomington.

Kisel's father Leonid currently is pastor of the church. Vitaly is the assistant pastor.

The fall of Russian Communism in 1992 marked a coming out of the wilderness, the Kisels having been isolated in both a Muslim-dominated area and in a nation that controlled information and allowed only sanctioned churches.

Kisel spoke here, on July 14, about how Christians worshipped in forests and caves during those Communist decades. He said his family members were so isolated they were unsure whether any Apostolic churches existed outside their own group.

Kisel said, "Can you imagine our surprise?"

This spring in Indiana, Kisel attended the international conference of the Apostolic World Christian Fellowship, which represents 170 organizations, 12,500 ministries and 3.2 million believers. There, he briefly met Joseph Jarvis, the pastor of House of Prayer Apostolic Church of God.

Russian society and law has opened possibilities since dark days in which, as described by Kisel, Christians might have to share one Bible among an entire congregation and in which outspoken Christians could be jailed or murdered.

But Kisel described continued struggles.

The church started as a dozen people and now numbers about 100. To pay for a building, he said, church members gave up a month of salary. One sold his car, another his apartment.

This month, Kisel and his brother Dimitry are traveling church to church in the Midwest to raise awareness, prayer and money for their congregation's new church, which still lacks furnishings.

Jarvis accepted Kisel's request with some conviction. He and his church haven't taken enough notice of the world beyond their own community, he told his congregation.

On this night, they welcomed the Kisels by pouring themselves into songs while girls waved flags and members of the congregation rattled tambourines. Pentecostal churches from Bloomington, Galesburg and Peoria were represented.

Above: Betty Fields of Bloomington raises her hand in praise during a rambunctious Pentecostal service while her grandson, 5-year-old Ronald Fields, incredibly sleeps though it.
Below: Apostolic Church of God Pastor Joe Jarvis, left, plays his trumpet as Sequita Bridges, right, of Bloomington, sings and claps along to the music during Friday night's service in downtown Bloomington.

Podium-pounding prayers, in the American Apostolic tradition, introduced the visiting pastor.

The Pentecostal church in Maykop never developed the rambunctious worship style of Western Apostolics, but Kisel adapts to it during his travels. At times, he raised a hand in praise, clenched a raised fist and raised a hand that held his Bible.

At the podium, he became emotional at points in his talk, causing him to pause rather than continue in tears.

He beseeched his listeners to read their Bibles, reminding them how rare Bibles were in the Soviet Union.

"There is no excuse for us when we say, 'Lord, we have no time to read the Bible.'"

He spoke of miracles in present tense, as he emphasized that his church will officially open its new building -- on a main street -- next month. The dedication is Aug. 13, and Kisel invited all at the gathering to attend.

(U.S. support for the Maykop church is being handled by Fountain of Joy Church in Cedar Bluff, Va. For information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it )


In Russia, the door is only half-open

By Steve Arney
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In the Soviet Union, a young person seeking career success would be best off if he showed no interest in churches or religions, said Russia specialist Ron Pope of Normal.

But in today's Russia, a politician benefits from being seen -- and photographed -- with popular religious leaders, Pope said.

Above: House of Prayer Apostolic Church of God pastor Joe Jarvis, far right, annouces Vitaly Kisel, far left, of Russia, to the congregation at the Apostolic Church of God in downtown Bloomington Friday night.
Below: During songs at the House of Prayer Apostolic Church of God, on Bloomington’s East Monroe Street at the edge of downtown, churchgoers commonly play tambourines during songs – as is done here by Ruby Price of Normal.

Religious repression has been reduced monumentally, though it has not ended, Pope said.

He heads a private English program in Vladimir, Russia, called Serendipity Russia, and he is an associate professor of politics and government at Illinois State University. Pope has visited the Soviet Union/Russia 40 times.

According to Pope:

Throughout the Soviet period, official churches were monitored, and it was widely known that the KGB infiltrated the Russian Orthodox Church to discourage any anti-government statements. The level of repression varied under the various central leaders and by location.

Some underground churches functioned with government knowledge; they survived by avoiding politics.

Some religious people who held to their beliefs firmly and stood against the Communists paid with imprisonment and death. Pope believes resistance of the religious people helped embolden the society and speeded the collapse of the USSR, which essentially dissolved with President Gorbachev's resignation on Dec. 25, 1991.

Gorbachev during his administration had lifted some religious repression, and that door opened wider in Russia after the USSR's collapse. Some repression remains, multiple sources say.

The U.S. State Department's annual human rights reports say minority religions such as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and Jehovah's Witnesses are particularly susceptible to government interference.

Apostolic Church of God Minister Roxy Davis embraces a song during the Friday night Mass in downtown Bloomington.

The reports also question some repression of Islam, done in the name of squelching Islamic extremism, and cites examples of anti-Jewish sentiment and anti-Christian rulings against groups such as the Salvation Army. Further, the State Department reports that religious freedom isn't equally enforced, and that states and cities enact restrictions that contradict national law.

The report for 2005, released this spring, summarizes: "The law provides for freedom of religion, and the government generally respected this right in practice; however, the authorities imposed restrictions on some groups. Although the law provides for the equality of all religions before the law and for the separation of church and state, the government did not always respect these provisions in practice."

 

 

 

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