Spasenie Church in Brest, Belarus sprang from the ministry of Spasenie Band, which began its music ministry in 1989 by playing music in public parks, in churches, or on the street. Choosing the name "Spasenie" or "Salvation" meant that every album, every concert directly declares their personal faith in Christ. Another evangelist, Raiya who was taking advantage of new freedoms under "Glasnost", started leading youth to Christ with her street preaching. She also joined forces with the leaders of the band meeting in a home regularly for teaching, fellowship, and worship with the new believers. When Viktor moved to the area from Riga his experience with small group youth discipleship and leadership training was exactly what the expanding group needed.
Many of these new believers tried to attend churches in the area, but found relationships awkward. Then Billy Graham's Crusade in Moscow, broadcast in many cities throughout the former USSR, reached yet another group of youth in Brest who made professions of faith. Their attempts to find fellowship at the existing local church also failed.
Viktor, Sasha, Pasha, Igor and Raiya observed this and realized they would need to make a choice. Remain in their local fellowship and see most of the new young believers drift away from the faith or continue to study the Bible with them in their homes. After several years, it was realized that a completely new church needed to be planted to give these young believers the grace and solid teaching they would need to grow strong in their relationships with the Lord. So in 1996 Spasenie Church was born.
More than 700 people now attend Sunday services, most coming from atheistic backgrounds. For the last 10 years, the congregation has been working on building a multipurpose center that matches their vision to participate in the life of the surrounding community for sport, music, worship and Bible study. Meeting multiple financial, logistical and administrative challenges the center is close to being fully opened for use this year.
Locally, besides weekly home fellowship groups, Spasenie students reach out at their local university and guests help them conduct summer English camps and other forms of outreach.
Evangelism and follow-up teams sent with the Spasenie Band have planted one new church in the Baikal region and encouraged outreach growth in churches in Ukraine, Central Russia, Russian Far East, the Caucasus, South Africa, Germany and the USA. Additional churches have been planted in the "10/40 Window" among some very unreached people groups.