Ukrainian Church Grows from 7 to 17,000

As a student in 1987, Sunday Adelaja, a 19-year-old Nigerian, was invited to study at Belarusian State University in Minsk. He had been a Christian only weeks before traveling to the former Soviet Union but managed to plant two churches while there, which he handed over to local pastors. "Following my graduation in 1993, I moved to Kiev where I worked as a journalist for a TV company," Adelaja explained. "Then God called me to plant a mega-church."

He started Kiev's Word of Faith church in 1994 with seven members. Today the church is one of the largest in Europe with 17,000 members. The church has since spawned 30 churches in the Kiev area. "Our Bible school has 600 students and has trained more than 1,500 since 1995," Adelaja says. "Through the work of the church more than 200,000 people have shown new interest in Christianity. Our community help project provides food for 1,000 people every day, and our drug rehab program has reintegrated 700 ex-addicts into society." A church TV program also has brought many to Christ from all walks of society.