Rev. olexa Harbuziuk Legacy
Пастор олекса Романович Гарбузюк
continues to the present. Officials at Trans World Radio estimate that in Ukraine from 10 million to 15 million people tune in to each program, in addition to many listeners from other European countries – both independent and communist-controlled.
Although the UEBC and its Canadian brethren (co-sponsors) provide the preachers, music and funds, and prepare the programs, financial support also comes from Ukrainian churches and individuals in South America, Australia, England and other places.
In the United States, the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention performs the traditional work of an association, and it supports a domestic missionary who visits the churches. At present, more than 20 churches belong to the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention and provide the bulk of its support, although many friends and sympathizers also contribute financially. These churches are located mainly in the large cities such as Philadelphia, New York, Hartford, Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles. Affiliate organizations include the Western Association, the Women’s Association and the Ukrainian Baptist Youth Association.
The UEBC continues to publish Christian literature and distributes this literature along with Bibles and hymnals all over the world. Some of this literature finds its way into Ukraine and other countries behind the “Iron Curtain.” The Convention also publishes “The Messenger of Truth,” a bimonthly magazine, as its organ. “The Messenger of Truth” originated in Ukraine in 1927 and has been published in the United States since 1947 under the editorship of the Rev. Dr. L. Zabko-Potapovich.
The Ukrainian Voice of the Gospel continues to be broadcast twice-weekly and the UEBC continues to support its missionaries. Having completed 25 years of spreading the Gospel, the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention looks forward to the next 25 years – praying, working, and hoping to do even more for God’s glory.
CALL FOR SILVER JUBILEE
To all Christians and Bible-believing churches in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and Peace be unto you!
Twenty-five years ago, by the grace of God, the Ukrainian Missionary and Bible Society in the USA – as a result of its missionary work, relief work, distribution of Christian literature and support of missionaries – became that moving force, that instrument of the Holy Spirit, in the building of God’s Kingdom among Ukrainians in the United States, South America, Europe, Australia and, to the extent possible, in our homeland – Ukraine.
The missionary spirit was that creative force which, in diverse places, gave birth to Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist churches. As a result of the development of God’s work in the Ukrainian missionary field, the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention (UEBC) arose to unite those churches and now, with the Ukrainian Missionary and Bible Society as its missionary arm, the UEBC continues to conduct the work which was begun 25 years ago.
The UEBC fights for the Gospel faith – “for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). It fights against formalism, atheism and all other apostasy. We proclaim the whole counsel of God, salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and holiness of life for God’s glory.
With joy and thankfulness to the Lord, the Executive Board of the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention proclaims the 25th annual convention, occurring in Crum Lynne-Chester, Pa., Sept. 4-7, 1970, a silver jubilee.
However, instead of limiting the celebration of the founding of the UEBC to the convention weekend, we call upon you to observe the entire following year as an anniversary year, during which time it will be appropriate to pledge support – through your gifts, through your prayers and through your participation in the life of the UEBC and its member churches – so that the UEBC is able to embark on the next 25 years of its Gospel ministry with renewed dedication, renewed vigor and renewed strength. Accordingly, the theme of the convention reads: “Christ is all, and in all” (Col. 3:11).
The UEBC asks for your prayers and for your support, and for God’s help as it continues to proclaim the Gospel.
Yours in Christ,
O.R. Harbuziuk, president
D.W. Marychuk, secretary
This is the executive board of the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention in the USA that was elected at the 30th jubilee conference that was held in 1975 at the Ukrainian Baptist Church in Crum Lynne, Pennsylvania. From left: Rev. Michael Jakubovich of Maine, assistant treasurer (1935-); Rev. Wasyl Kowalik of Minneapolis, committee member (1913-2003); Rev. Volodymyr Domashovetz of New Jersey, assistant secretary (1926-2008); Rev. Dmytro Marychuk of Hartford, secretary (1915-2009); Rev. Olexa Harbuziuk of Chicago, general secretary (1920-1997); Rev. John Piatkowski of Freehold, New Jersey, treasurer (1897-1990); Rev. John Polischuk of Chicago, president (1916-1993); Rev. Jaroslaw Paprockyj of Philadelphia, vice president (1923-2006).
For many years, Rev. Harbuziuk was a leader of the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention, an association of churches in the United States. He served in various positions on the executive board, including secretary, president and general secretary.
The UEBC originally was organized as the Ukrainian Missionary and Bible Society. Rev. Harbuziuk was elected secretary of the UMBS in 1950, in 1951, in 1952, in 1953, in 1954 as recording secretary (Rev. Nischik was re-elected as general secretary), in 1955 as recording secretary and in 1956 as assistant secretary, when Rev. Ivan Berkuta was elected secretary. Rev. Harbuziuk was elected secretary again in September 1961, replacing Rev. Ivan Berkuta, who had served as secretary for several years.
Rev. Harbuziuk was elected president on September 2, 1967 during the annual conference in Chicago. He succeeded Rev. Paul Bartkow (Павло Бартків), who had been president since the founding of the association (for 20 years), except for one year, September 1960 to September 1961, when Rev. John Barchuk served as president and Rev. Bartkow served as vice-president.
Rev. Harbuziuk served as president until September 4, 1971, when he was elected to the newly created position of general secretary at the 26th annual conference. He served as general secretary until 1996.
The historical sketch above was printed in 1995.
No photo available
If you're interested in supporting the ministries of the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention, please mail your check made payable to Ukrainian Missionary & Bible Society [or UMBS] to the treasurer:
William Bartish (1892-1973)
No photo available
UEBC historical sketch (brochure published 1970)
Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention in the U.S.A.
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of its founding
Jesus once instructed His disciples: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15), but the words apply equally to all Christians. The Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention in the United States has sought to fulfill the “Great Commission” by conducting a worldwide ministry among Ukrainians and other Slavic peoples.
Originally, the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention (UEBC) was organized as the Ukrainian Missionary and Bible Society (UMBS) by a group of Ukrainian Baptists meeting in Chester, Pennsylvania in 1945. On June 18, 1946 the UMBS was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois for the following stated purposes: “1. To preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, to establish Bible Schools for training of missionaries, workers and ministers of the Gospel such as the Society might deem qualified and consecrated for the Gospel work among the Ukrainian people in North America, Europe and South America, and to such other nationalities of the Slavonic origin as might be deemed expedient or practical by the Society, and to establish missions in these lands. 2. To translate and distribute the Gospel literature in the Ukrainian language and other Slavonic languages, and other activity involving printed religious matter. 3. To carry on charitable, benevolent, educational, religious and relief work among the above mentioned peoples.”
The first official assembly, with messengers attending, occurred in Detroit, Michigan, on April 13-14, 1946. During the eighth annual meeting, the name was changed to the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention – signifying an association of churches – with the name Ukrainian Missionary and Bible Society retained to denote its missionary arm.
PROCLAIMING THE GOSPEL
Besides the United States, the work of the UEBC extends into South America, Australia and Europe – including behind the “Iron Curtain.” Twelve churches have been established in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, and the UEBC supports five missionaries in these countries. In 1961, the Ukrainian Bible Institute in Argentina opened its doors to train missionaries and Christian workers. In Australia, there are five churches and one missionary who is supported by the UEBC.
Outside the “Iron Curtain” in Europe, missionary activity is concentrated in Germany and France, with one missionary in each country as well as several churches and missions. The UEBC also conducts relief work among the poor and needy in Europe. On several occasions, it has appealed to the United Nations concerning religious persecution in the USSR and Christians who are imprisoned for their beliefs.
In 1954, the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention, along with its sister organization in Canada, established the publishing house Doroha Prawdy (The Way of Truth). Since then, Doroha Prawdy has published approximately 50 books and booklets in the Ukrainian language, including many books by the well-known Rev. John Barchuk and several by noted author Michael Podworniak.
Perhaps the most important and the most rewarding part of the ministry of the UEBC is the Ukrainian Voice of the Gospel, a half-hour radio program broadcast twice-weekly from Trans World Radio in Monte Carlo, Monaco, designed to reach the Ukrainian people in Ukraine (a “republic” of the USSR with a population of approximately 46 million) and in other East European countries with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The first program penetrated the “Iron Curtain” on Sunday, June 23, 1966 and continued to be broadcast every Sunday. The response was overwhelming as hundreds of listeners wrote letters expressing their thankfulness for the programs and requesting more frequent broadcasts. Increased financial support developed as Christians in the free world realized the worth and importance of the programs for people living under communism where the government attempts to eliminate religion.
After approximately eight months of weekly broadcasts, it was decided to add a second program. Thus, on March 2, 1967, the Ukrainian Voice of the Gospel began its twice-weekly schedule, which