Mission History in Russia

1990: With the fall of the Iron Curtain, God opens a door to bring the saving gospel of Jesus to millions of people who had long been held in spiritual ignorance under the sway of atheistic governments.

1992: After exploratory trips, a decision is made to place a team of missionaries in the Siberian capital of Novosibirsk.

1993: The Christian Information Confession, a charitable organization, is created as a legal basis for mission activities in Russia.

1994: A Christian Information Center is opened in Novosibirsk, a suburb of Akademgorodok, where free Bibles are distributed and a video course of instruction is offered. Regular Sunday worship begins. Sunday school also begins. By God’s grace, four adults and six children are baptized, and 12 adults are confirmed. The confessional Lutheran church is born in Russia.

1995: The congregation is registered under the name of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Church.

1996: A Christian Information Center opened in Iskitim, a city of about 60,000 people located 20 miles south of Novosibirsk. The Russian Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Church is received into membership in the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference (CELC).

1997: A Bible institute/seminary opens.

1999: Exploratory work begins in Tomsk.

2003: The first two Russian pastors are ordained.

2004: The church registers as a national church called the Concord Evangelical Lutheran Church and begins weekly devotion publications.

2004-2008: Decreasing missionary presence and slow work makes for hard years. In 2008, one Russian pastor and one missionary serve four congregations.

2010: No Russian pastors are serving the church. Missionary Ben Foxen joins Luke Wolfgramm on the field with a focus on evangelism.

2010-2015: Pastor Arno Wolfgramm joins the field as worker training instructor.

2012-2017: Volunteers from the U.S. assist with evangelism by teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.

2014: Russians Alexei Fehringer and Arkady Sedelnikov are ordained as pastors. Concord Evangelical Lutheran Church launches its own website.

2019: The church begins streaming sermons on its website. Vicar Andre Gydkov takes over much of the ministry in Iskitim. The Concord Evangelical Lutheran Church celebrates its 25th anniversary at its annual joint Reformation service.

2020: Big strides made to offer live-streamed services. They begin online mid-week devotions and popular daily Bible readings.

March 1, 2022: Missionary Luke Wolfgramm and his wife Jennifer leave the field. 


Consider supporting mission work in Russia with your prayers and gifts.


Browse through and share pictures of Asia taken by WELS missionaries and national workers.