A small essay from the history of origin and development of The Light of Life Church
In 1979, the believers, baptized by the Holy Spirit from the Baptists, the immigrants from the western part of Ukraine and those who believed in the Promise of God about Holy Spirit, united in a small meeting in Poltava. The ordained servants from Kharkov region held the first meetings at believers’ own places and also some meetings were often carried out away in the village Minovka.
The politics of the USSR towards such meetings were extremely negative, though the believers had and have the constitutional rights about the freedom of religion. That was expressed by the rejection of the church registration and the persecutions in every possible way, right up to the threat of prison. However, God, who started this cause, gave our brothers and sisters, which were standing at the sources, strength and courage of faith.
In 1989 the time of perestroika and glasnost came. The church acquired right of official registration. And in March, 16, 1989 the church was officially registered as a Church of Evangelical Christians in Poltava town. Victor Borodenko was a ruling elder pastor until 1998 and then he immigrated with his family to the USA. In 1991 the USSR, the great power which retreated from God and shed rivers of innocent blood, collapsed. The idea of creating “a brighter future” without God was not realized. Ukraine celebrated its independence. In 1992 by presidential decree all religious organizations were reregistered. The church was reregistered with a new name “The Church of Evangelical Christians “The Light of life Church”. Reversing our view on the history of the Pentecostal churches in our town, we can confidently say that The Light of Life Church is the first Pentecostal church in Poltava. In 1998 Dmitriy Laptev, who has been a member of the church from 1992, was elected as a pastor . He performed duties of the pastor’s helper and was a deacon of the church from 1994. In 1998 he was ordained as a ruling elder pastor.
Since then The Light of life Church has become to develop dynamically. In 2004 the church for donations of parishioners and members of the church purchased the privatized land on one of the main streets of the city to build a temple. And now this land is an eternal property of The Light of life Church. In April, 2007 having drawn up all the necessary documents the church began to construct the temple which was successfully finished and on May, 31, 2009 there was a solemn opening of the temple of The Light of life Church.
During all the time of serving the church shares the Gospel with inspiration, it organizes meetings with church pastor in yards of the town and in villages of the Poltava region. Also the church holds children and youth programmes. Indeed it is so: “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it”.
In December, 2007 the Association of The Light of life Churches in Poltava region was registered and Dmitriy Laptev had became a bishop of this association. The association includes daughter churches located in the villages of Poltava region: Takhtaulovo, Stasi, Serdyuki, Mashevka, Tereshki and in the village Klyusivka which is situated in Novye Sanzhary district. For the period from 2007 to 2010 the church acquired some plots in villages Takhtaulovo, Stasi, Tereshki, Klyusivka. Also there are the equipped meeting houses of the church in villages Tereshki and Klyusivka.
The pastors Dmitriy and Natalia Laptev preach the Gospel in Poltava, in Poltava region and outside it. They have the international ministry as well. They were invited to serve in Sweden, Norway, Poland, Germany and Israel.
"As a pastor of The Light of Life Church, I think that church should keep and bring not only historical, cultural and confessional shade to our generation but the Truth. Our message to this world is defined as following: “To bring people the Gospel of Jesus Christ by using modern methods: repentance for sins, confidence in salvation and eternal life through the Word of God and Holy Spirit.
I am giving thanks to all members and parishioners of our church for the prayers, faithfulness and a contribution to the building and developing of our church. Special thanks to my colleagues - office workers and to my much-loved wife Nataliya Lapteva, who has been a devoted member of the staff and my personal assistant.
I believe that church as an Institution of God remains an isle of Spirit, ethics and culture in our society nowadays. It is the place, where everyone can be spiritually and physically renovated and stand on the way that leads to the eternal life.
From the bottom of my heart, as a God’s servant, I would like to bless all, who turns their eyes on Jesus Christ, our Lord, and follows Him. I also pray for those, who lost his way in sinful darkness, in order to the light of life, through the faith in Jesus Christ, shines in your hearts as the light of justification, healing and blessing".