My father sent me to America to get rich... but instead I got saved!
But what many don't know is that the year before I came to the US, there was another girl from Russia (we'll call her Alyona) who, just like me, came as an exchange student.
The only difference — she was placed in the family of a bank owner and I — in a poor family from Grace Baptist Church in Brookfield, MO.
At first, I envied Alyona, who received many gifts, made a bunch of fun trips and enjoyed plenty of entertainment.
Me? I was taken to church. A lot.
God gave me a host family, who were on fire for the Lord and served Him with all of their heart. On Fridays they organized youth meetings, Saturdays were spent on bus route visitation (yes, they took a lost foreign exchange student visiting with them!), Sunday and Wednesdays — worship services, on Tuesdays we had a workday at the church... I was around God's Word and God's people pretty much every day of the week. I was surrounded by the Gospel!
Because I've never even held a Bible in my hand before coming to America, my host mother immediately found me a Russian Bible. As I started reading God's Word and listening to sound Bible preaching, the Holy Spirit showed me that I was a sinner in need of Jesus. On April 16th 1994, three months after I arrived in the US, I trusted Christ as my Savior and was baptized shortly afterward.
Alyona never had the same opportunities as I had. As far as I know she has never gotten saved... This broke my heart.
But it was not till September of that same year, that God solidified my burden for my people. During our annual Mission Conference God helped me realize how blessed I was: I now had the treasure of my own Bible, the Holy Spirit, who guided me every step of the way, and the peace of God that passed all understanding... but the best part — God was my Heavenly Father and I was going to Heaven!
I asked myself: "What about my parents, my friends, people from my hometown?" They never had the same chance to hear a clear presentation of the Gospel. It was at that Mission Conference, when God broke my heart for the Russian people like Alyona, and called me to preach and start churches in my home country.
While attending Baptist Bible College, I joined Hillside Baptist Church and served as a Sunday School Teacher for Primaries. This was the only church of which I have been a member while attending BBC since God impressed upon my heart to stay faithful and make a difference where I was. Under the leadership of Pastor Cecil Tolbert I was able to learn many practical aspects of the ministry. It was also during this time in college that I got to know and married my wife Debbie. She too, had a desire to serve the Lord in whatever capacity He would see fit.
After graduating BBC in May of 1999 we returned to our home church – Grace Baptist, to serve our missions internship under Rev. John Clapp. I had the privilege of preaching on a consistent basis, being involved with Youth, visitation program, holding nursing Home services and leading the Bus ministry. During my internship, the church was able to enlarge its Wednesday night Bus route from four to over twenty five young people.
On July 30th 2001, by the authority and order of Grace Baptist Church I was ordained to the Gospel ministry. Pastors John Clapp, Cecil Tolbert, Gerald and Galen Berry, Gary Williams, Timothy Banks, Stan Metts and Tom Moore participated on my ordaining council.
In March of 2003 Bible Baptist Church in Alva, OK sent us as church planting missionaries and after completing deputation, we have been serving in Siberia, Russia since May 2005.
I'm often asked if I was a PK (Pastor's Kid) or a MK (Missionary's Kid), to which I always reply: "No, I was a VK — van kid" ?.
Our church had a Bus Ministry and I was picked up one day on the van to come to church with my friend. The next day the teens were going to the Youth Camp and my Pastor invited me to come as well. My family didn't have money for me to go, but thanks to the generosity of God's people, I went to Camp and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior! After graduation from high school my pastor counseled me to go to a Bible College for a year and after attending just one semester I knew that God was calling me to full time ministry. I have a heart for the Russian people and am involved in Ladies' as well as Children's Ministries in our Russian church. I also lead "Step by Step" — a ministry to moms with special-needs children.
Sending Pastor Recommendation
Growing up as a child, the Russians were the enemy. Cold War, nuclear bombs, open hostility was the perception. When I went to Bible College, Russia was redefined for me as closed, the iron curtain, persecution. Then the unbelievable happened. The curtain cracked open. Slowly the door opened to Russia. It would take years for missionaries to be trained, funds raised, languages learn, years to get missionaries on the ground and in the field of Russia. God was at work. Little did I know that as Ronald Reagan urged Gorbachev to tear down a wall, God was raising up a young man in Russia.
Vladimir was on one of the first waves of exchange students coming to America. By God’s guidance and providence, Vladimir was placed with one of the families in the church I pastored. I watched the Lord save this young Russian. I watched Vladimir grow spiritually and soon follow the call of God to go back to Russia as a missionary. He married another miracle of God from our youth department, Debbie. I had the privilege to mentor Vladimir after Bible college and assist him in his final preparations for Russia.
As I took them to the airport for their first term, I was amazed at what God had done. God had raised up a unique missionary for a challenging task — the evangelization of Russia.
Several years have passed since that trip to the airport. Vladimir and Debbie have become experienced missionaries and have done a great job as servants to the Russian people. They have seen the Lord use their efforts to make a difference in many Russian lives and have introduced many to the Gospel of Christ.
As all missionaries do, Vladimir and Debbie need your help. They need your prayer and financial support. The door to Russia may not be open long. The task evangelizing Russia is daunting. Vladimir and Debbie are excellent missionaries for this task.
I highly recommend them to you. It is a privilege to be a part of their lives and I know that the Lord still has much to do with them. Join us as we try to make a difference in Russia.
Supporting Pastor Recommendations
William Rench - Pastor
Calvary Baptist Church
We have supported the Lukyanovs for many years, and will continue to do so, because they are diligent in the work of church planting, winning the lost, baptising, and teaching disciples.
They work harder than most, and always with an excited joyful spirit. I have not seen any indication of them compromising and caving to current culture demands like many have.
Ron Williams - Pastor
Palmetto Avenue Baptist Church
For Vladimir, there was no language barrier or cultural barrier which is tremendous advantage to a missionary.
If you are desirous to fulfill the Great Commission, then you need to have a family like the Lukyanovs ministering to the people who live in the "uttermost part of the earth."
I heartily recommend them as awesome ambassadors of the Gospel. Without a doubt, supporting this veteran missionary family would be a wise investment of your missionary resources.
Keith Taylor - Pastor
Southside Baptist Church
I believe they have a character that is above reproach and God honoring. They work hard and have a heart to win people to Christ and disciple them.
I believe they are genuine servants of the Lord. They are ready and willing to do God’s will, God’s way.
What stands out to us is their obedience to the Lord and their faithful efforts despite set backs they keep keeping on.
Eric McConnell - Pastor
Suncoast Baptist Church
Port Charlotte, FL
The Lukyanovs minister in the bitter cold of Siberia, Russia, but they are faithful in personal soul-winning despite the frigid temperatures. If you follow their ministry, it is clear that they have a passion for souls and a desire to disciple those who turn to Christ.
When I think of the Lukyanovs, I think of faithfulness and boldness in spite of obstacles and hardships that stand in their way.
Jeff Quigley - Pastor
Smoky Valley Baptist Church
The Lukyanovs have exemplified servant leadership from the very first days of their ministry in Siberia. I have enjoyed reading the reports of extraordinary efforts on their part to share the love of Christ with their community. Honestly, the Lord has used their testimonies of service to spur me to greater service in my own Ministry.
While brother Vladimir refuses to compromise from the truths of God's word, he has a very forward-thinking approach to sharing the Gospel. I can imagine he spends plenty of time just planning, preparing and praying for God's leadership in his ministry.
Character traits that I would describe of Vladimir Lukyanov would be faithfulness, firmness, ingenuity and approachability. I can truly say his prayer letters are ones that I look forward to each month because I know they will contain record of a new Outreach effort or a new church event.
I would not hesitate to allow brother Vladimir to preach in my Pulpit anytime. He is a trustworthy student of God's Word and has full control of the English language. His fellowship and friendship are blessings of God.
What We Believe
We are a Baptist missionary family sent by Bible Baptist Church in Alva, OK. The following is our Statement of Faith and it explains, in a concise way, what we believe.
1. The Holy Scriptures
a. God is the Divine author of all Scripture (2 Tim 3:16), thus giving us a completely inerrant and reliable foundation for faith and practice. We believe in verbal, plenary inspiration of Scriptures.
b. Bible is a collection of 66 books from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 and does not merely contain, but IS in essence, the Word of God
c. God has promised to preserve His Word (Matthew 5:17-18, Mark 13:31, Psalm 12:6-7)
2. The Person of God
a. There is one God revealed in 3 persons – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; Gen 1:2,26, Matt 28:19)
b. He is the Creator and Lord of all (Gen 1-2, Psalm 90:2)
c. He is perfect in all of his attributes (love, holiness, justice, etc.) Exodus 15:11; Jeremiah 31:3
3. The Person of Christ
a. Virgin Born (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Gal 4:4)
b. Christ is God (John 1:1)
c. Tempted “in all points” as us, yet perfectly sinless (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22)
d. Was a substitute for our sin (John 1:29; John 3:17-18)
e. Was victorious over Death (Matthew 28:6)
f. Bodily ascended to heaven (Acts 1:11)
g. Is coming again to get His saints at the Rapture (1 Thess 4:16) and to establish his Millennial Kingdom (Rev 19:11)
4. The Person of the Holy Spirit
a. Is God (Acts 5:3-4)
b. Was involved in creation (Genesis 1-2)
c. Essential to new birth (John 3:6)
d. Essential to the security of the believer (Eph 4:30)
a. Although very powerful, Satan is limited, since he is just a creature
b. Was the chiefest of angels, but because of pride cast down to earth (Ezekiel 28:12-19, Isaiah 14:13-14)
c. Took 1/3 of the angels with him (Rev 12:4)
d. Currently, he is a god of this world (Matt 4:8,9; 2 Corinthians 4:4)
6. The Future Events
a. Pre-Tribulational Rapture of believers (1 Thess 4:16)
b. Tribulation (Rev 4-18)
c. Pre-Millennial Return of Christ to establish His Kingdom on Earth (Luke 17:26-27 – Christ returns to an unconverted world)
7. A Literal Heaven for Believers
a. John 14:1-3 – home to be WITH God
b. Rev. 21:2 – new Jerusalem, a literal place
8. A Literal Hell for the Lost
a. Luke 16:23 – literal place distinct from Heaven
b. Revelation 20:11-15 – place of eternal judgment for sin
a. 6 literal 24 hour days of creation + a day of rest (Genesis 1-2)
b. God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit were all involved (Gen 1:2, John 1:1-3)
a. Is by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8)
b. Not of Works (Eph 2:9)
c. Repentance is essential (Luke 13:3)
d. Is a gift of God to all who will receive it (Rom 6:23, John 1:12; 3:16, Rom 10:13)
11. The Blood of Christ
a. Sinless blood (1 Peter 1:18,19)
b. Is a sign of the New Covenant (Matt 26:28)
c. Is a basis for our justification (Romans 5:9)
12. Security of the Believer
a. Salvation provided by God, and kept by God (John 10:27-30; 1 Peter 1:3-5)
b. Nothing and no one shall separate us from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39)
13. Indigenous Church
a. We believe the church is a local, visible, autonomous assembly of baptized believers
b. Christ is the foundation, cornerstone and the head of the church (Matthew 16:18)
c. Started with Christ and His apostles – pre-Pentecost (Matthew 16:18; Matt 28:18-20)
d. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit
e. We believe that it is scriptural for Baptist churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final.
14. The 2 Ordinances of the Church
a. Baptism by immersion (Matthew 3:16) a picture of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5). The proper authority is the local church and the proper candidate is a believer (Acts 2:41-42; 8:36-38)
b. The Lord’s Supper – taken in remembrance of the vicarious death of Christ on our behalf, and thus a saved and baptized member of a local church is the proper candidate for it (1 Corinthians 11:23-34). Its two elements are unleavened bread symbolizing Christ’s sinless body, and the unfermented fruit of the vine (grape juice) symbolizing the unblemished blood of Christ (Luke 22:13-20).
15. Biblical Separation
a. We are to separate from ungodly people and ungodly practices (2 Cor. 6:14-18), but at the same time, love sinners as Christ loved them.
b. Church is to be a local independent entity, free from any denominational control from without (1 Cor 1:2; Phil. 1:1; Gal 1:2)
c. Separation from groups or individuals that teach unsound doctrine (1 Timothy 6:5)
16. The Great Commission
a. The passion of God is to “seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10) and we are to have the same
b. The great Commission was given to the church (Matt 28:18-20), who ought to be active in preparing, sending out, encouraging and supporting missionaries.
c. It is both local and global in its scope (Acts 1:8)
d. Universal responsibility – All born again believers have been given the “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)
e. Its purpose is to make disciples, baptize them and teach them the commands of Christ (Matthew 28:18-20)
This is an abbreviated statements of our beliefs. Should you have any questions, PLEASE, give me a call and I would be glad to talk with you. You may reach me at 1.660.358.8148 or
Our VISION: to reach Russia for Christ
The Local Church is the answer, so we are prioritizing planting churches in strategic areas (such as large cities and county seats). Church planters that we trained with help from supporters like you have started 3 churches in the past 6 years, and by God's grace we are diligently working toward 10 more churches in our region within next 10 years.
As I mentioned above we need more local Baptist churches. However, before a church can be planted, there needs to be qualified and experienced church planters, pastors, Christian leaders, youth workers, etc. to do the work of the ministry. Thanks to you, these men and women are trained through godly biblical teaching and rigorous "hands on" internships in local churches. We aim to multiply our ministry expertise and the burden for Russian people in national leaders.
Of course, all of the above is not the end goal in and of itself. The heart of our ministry is evangelism. In a country, such as Russia, it is not difficult to find people who need the Lord. However, reaching them is not easy. At times, there are great distances to traverse, cultural and religious barriers to cross (there are 168 ethnic groups in Russia, and beliefs ranging from Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Animism and everything in between) as well as general reluctance to make a spiritual decision. Thanks to your fervent prayers, God opened many doors to public schools, orphanages, hospitals and other areas where people are open to the Gospel!
Your support allows us to take these practical steps to make this vision a reality
For the past 2 years we were laying groundwork in Kolosovka - a county seat and the home to over 10,000 people by faithfully holding services there every Sunday afternoon. There are several faithful believers and seekers who come with their children. We are getting ready to officially organize a church there, as well as start planting seeds in another county seat of Sedelnikovo.
We teach our members that each and every one of them is a witness and a representative for the Lord. As such, their jobs, neighborhoods and even hobbies and vacations are mission fields that God has called them to. Utilizing our members' unique gifts, personalities and connections allows our church to influence, serve and be a blessing to our community on a much deeper level.
It is estimated that there are 12 Million people with special needs in Russia. That's roughly 1 out every 12 people. But if you add relatives-caregivers, the number affected by disabilities swells much higher. By comparison, families with special needs are the largest and the most receptive "people group" in Russia and beyond. We've seen God honoring fruit from the ministry to people with special needs.
planting local churches is the heartbeat of our ministry
... likewise, we are extremely focused on community involvement
serving people with special needs and their families
Because in the end, ministry is people.
Maria started coming to the meetings for Moms with special needs kids that were led by my wife. She appreciated the encouragement and support she received not only from moms, but also from members of the church. Of course, she heard the Gospel and soon she gave her heart to the Lord.
Maria - Mom of a child with special needs
Fedor had been a rascal. Growing up without a good influence from his dad, Fedor had his fair share of trouble, including drugs, prison, and nearly dying once. Then, at the age of 28, the Lord redeemed him. After getting saved, Fedor spent a year in a rehabilitation center at a Baptist church in Omsk, which served to disciple him, strengthen his faith, and transform him into a soul-winner.
Fedor - Ministry Student
Roma grew up without a mom or a dad. Imagine his joy when someone from the church introduced him to Jesus and Roma learned just how much he is truly loved! Since then, he comes to every service and sings specials that touch people's hearts. Even though he has a disability, he doesn't let it stop him from serving the Lord!