Lithuania Mission Initiative
Lithuania United Methodist Church Newsletter (PDF, 8 pp., 570 KB)
June 2010, Volume 3, Issue 2
Lithuania gained independence in 1991. In November 1994, two members of the the General Board of Global Ministries staff, accompanied by the Rev. Arthur Leifert - a Lithuanian-born German pastor - went on a fact finding mission for traces of Methodism in Lithuania. They visited eight cities, located three former Methodist parsonages, and found two Methodist church buildings (in Kaunas and Pilviskiai). The team met three surviving Methodists; one of whom said her only link to her past was the Lithuanian Methodist hymnbook published in 1923.
Based on the mission team's findings and a consultation between Global Ministries and Bishop Vaxby of the Northern Europe Central Conference, it was decided to launch an initiative to renew Methodism in Lithuania. The first Methodist service was held on August 30, 1995, in Kaunas. Over fifty years, Methodists in Lithuania had been denied their places of worship and existence as a religious body. A new day began. Nine congregations were started: Kaunas Sanciai (1995), Siauliai (1996), Taurage (1996), Pilviskiai (1996), Birzai (1997), Kybartai (1998), Kaunas Eiguliai (1999), Vilnius (2000), Kazla Ruda (2000)
The Lithuanian church reported in 2006 plans to build new churches in Birzai, Taurage and Kybartai, and to enlarge its building in Siauliai. Property is also being sought for the Eiguliai congregation in Kaunas.
An Inspirational Vignette
Joana Frolova attended the United Methodist church in Kybartai one day. The prayers of the pastors and people moved her deeply and started her on her personal journey of faith. Finding strength in prayer and service, she is still growing in her faith, proclaiming the light of the gospel, and witnessing to Christ.
Hallelujah Moment from Lithuania
11/14/08 Gražina is the sixth indigenous and the second woman pastor in a country where a short time ago there were none.Download the PDF Bulletin Insert Now (60K)
Global Ministries Missionaries
- S.T.Kimbrough, Methodism in Russia & the Baltic States, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1995.
- John L.Nuelson, Geschichte des Methodismus, Bremen 1929.
- Karl Steckel/Ernst Sommer, Geschichte der Evangelisch-methodistischen Kirche, Stuttgart 1982.
- J.Tremayne Copplestone, History of Methodist Missions, Vol. 4, New York 1973.