About the Bible and Life Church, Kyiv
The church is a Reformed Baptist Church and is one of several evangelical churches in Kyiv, planted around 20 years ago by an American missionary, Scott Carter, who initially set up youth clubs but then as these grew and drew in adult members, a church. The church has a pastor, Borys Borysovych, who works part-time, and now two co-pastors, Vitalii and Yevgeniy.
They currently number about 65 members, with many young families, and are very active both in discipling Christians as well as reaching out to non-Christians, through
- Youth clubs
- Ladies meetings
- Home Bible study groups
Vitalii leads one of the bible study groups in their home, which has proved a great opportunity to share the gospel with several non-believers.
Vitalii's role in the church is mainly to be responsible for the teaching - teaching preachers, counsellors and deacons within the church. He shares the preaching with the other pastors, alongside a number of other gifted men in the church.
Even though the church is growing, they are, however, concerned that in the past couple of years they have not seen many unbelievers coming to saving faith, and they request prayer as they think through their focus in outreach.
About the Mariash Family
Vitalii is married to Liudmyla and they have 2 children - Marianna who is 10 and Mark who is 8.
Liudmyla (who herself was a missionary in Russia before marrying Vitalii) also works part-time at KTS, and is studying for a masters degree in Biblical Counseling. She also plays an active role in the church, leading the ladies meetings, teaching the Sunday school, and involved in a counselling group for ladies. She also administers the home Bible study groups. All in her spare time from being a mother with young children!
About Vitalii and his work at KTS
Vitalii is the full-time Academic dean of Kyiv Theological Seminary, and will take up his role as co-pastor of the church in addition to his demanding role in the seminary. Vitalii has studied at many places, including the EMF School of Biblical studies and London Seminary. He took up the role of Academic Dean of KTS in 2016. As Academic Dean, he is responsible for the organisation, admission and administration of the Seminary, as well as participating in the teaching. With the pandemic, it has mainly fallen to Vitalii to organise how the teaching should be moved online, and this has seen some extraordinary blessing, as they have been able to reach and train more people online than they were able to do before, albeit with some limitations elsewhere.
KTS is one of the leading evangelical theological seminaries in Ukraine, with around 500 students, including around 280 undergraduates, 76 masters students. The other students are part of an extensive church-based training programme across Ukraine. KTS will be celebrating its 25th anniversary on 16th April 2021, with an online service. It sees its main role in support of the evangelical church in Ukraine as:
- Enabling Church Planting
- Training for Pastoral leadership
- Training for Biblical studies.
As part of its programmes in support of church planting, they have seen around 200 churches planted across Ukraine, some of which have now grown to be amongst the largest evangelical churches in Ukraine.
During the pandemic, they started an online programme to encourage bible-based discipleship, mainly engaging graduates of the seminary, which resulted in audiences of more than 1,000 people participating in bible teaching webinars, from across Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Moldova. Partly in response to this, they are now considering launching a new bachelor-level course in media discipleship - training people how to reach people with the gospel, and disciple people, using internet-based media.