Russian seminary president to speak in Albert Lea Sunday

Published 8:45 am Friday, June 4, 2010

Anton Tikhomirov is coming to Albert Lea to give Americans a look behind the old Iron Curtain. He is the president of the Lutheran Seminary in Russia, and will be hosting an informal discussion time, with power point presentation at 6 p.m. Sunday in the Grace Lutheran Church Fireside Room, 918 Garfield Ave. All area residents are invited to hear about this work going on in Russia.

Tikhomirov will also preach on Sunday at the 8 a.m. worship service at First Lutheran, as well as the 8:30 and 10 a.m. services at Grace Lutheran, with a discussion time following the 10 a.m. worship. The public is also invited to these services.

The Lutheran church spread to Russia some 30 years after Martin Luther’s death in Germany, with Ivan the Terrible issuing permission for the first Lutheran church to be built in 1576. By 1920, the Lutheran church had grown to 1.3 million members in Russia. Then, under the Bolsheviks, and later under Stalin, the entire Lutheran Church was destroyed, as were all religious groups. Sanctuaries and schools were confiscated, Bibles and hymnals burned, and all pastors either executed or sent into gulags where most of them perished. Most of their families suffered the same fate.

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A new theological seminary was built in 1998, and is now again training pastors to preach the Gospel. Tikhomirov is the first native Russian-speaking pastor to teach and lead the seminary.