Russian Congregation Celebrates Company Status

On Dec. 17, 2022, the Grace Seventh-day Adventist Russian Church congregation in Troutdale, Oregon, celebrated its official organization into “company” status –– the final step before being organized as a “church.” The history of Grace Russian Church intertwines with the latest wave of Slavic immigration in 2020. The growing Slavic church, Living Word, in the Portland/Vancouver area had reached over 400 members, and a group of 49 adults, 9 youth and 13 children from the Gresham/Troutdale area offered to organize a church closer to home.

The group began meeting together just one month before the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions began, holding their first service on Feb. 23, 2020. Although the pandemic delayed many of their plans, members of Grace Russian Church found ways to navigate their new circumstances. Thanks, in part, to the involvement of their youth, online services were developed and organized, and the congregation continued to move forward.

Church services were recorded and uploaded online, and in the first weeks of quarantine an online prayer group was organized. Early on, the congregation collected funds for mission projects including purchasing food and assisting in mission relief efforts for six projects in Moldova and three projects in Ukraine.

When a few members of the congregation learned one of their neighbors, a disabled widower who lost his wife to lung cancer, was living alone and needed help, they went to investigate. They learned that the man’s property had become so overgrown with grass that his dog had nowhere to walk. He couldn't afford the $500 it would cost to have the issue taken care of.

Several men brought their tools to his home immediately and cleaned the man’s lawn in just two hours free of charge. According to the story, the man walked out on his clean lawn repeating, “Is this even possible?”

Over the past two years, Grace Russian Church has developed children’s programs and various hands-on learning experiences such as baking and music classes, as well as several revival programs. As turmoil and suffering began to escalate in Ukraine in 2022, Grace Russian Church assisted in eight different refugee projects, and is currently striving to help many who have come to the U.S.

We are excited to welcome Grace Russian Church into company status and look forward to all the ways God will continue to work through them in the coming years!

Featured in: March/April 2023