A Page in History Parousia Congregation Officially Organized as a Church
The Russian-Ukrainian Parousia congregation in Auburn, Wash., officially became an organized church of Washington Conference in February.
The historical impact is significant for both the congregation and the conference. This is the second Russian church to organize in western Washington, and a third organized church in Tacoma is soon to follow. Leaders in the Russian community hope to soon begin a church in the Everett area.
“Russian is the third most often spoken language in the Puget Sound region behind English and Spanish,” said Bruce Koch, ministerial director. “Some sources indicate that there are upward of 100,000 Russian-speaking people in this area.”
In the 1990s, Roland and Leslie Lehnhoff, of the Auburn City Church, held evangelistic meetings in Belarus, Latvia and the Ukraine. Leslie Lehnhoff learned Russian and soon offered English as a second language classes through the Auburn Church's community service center.
Eventually, a weekly Bible study class was offered in Russian, and church services were translated until the group grew too large and required additional leadership.
“We wish to thank the mother church—Auburn City—for their patience, kindness, love and help,” said pastor Victor Krushenitskiy. “This is what a family is for.”
Conference leaders encouraged the congregation to be a lighthouse to the community, to seek a permanent sanctuary and to continue supporting Adventist Christian education.