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Our Church History

The history of Word of Grace Bible church is closely intertwined with the fate of the fourth wave of Russian immigration to the United States. The majority of the first immigrants from the former Soviet Union in 1990 moved to Vancouver, a few families that would form the backbone of the future church. This core group consisted of: Alexander and Valentina Shkarovsky, Benjamin and Irina Portansky, Victor and Natalia Paliy, and others.

1990 - 1994 | The search for people related through the spirit

At that time, the small town had only one Russian-speaking Pentecostal church. For the first few months the new immigrants gathered together. When the group numbered about 40, the brothers were surprised to learn of another small group of Baptists. The Pastor of the 14 members was Mikhail Leontiev, who arrived in the U. S. during the third wave of immigration. At the end of 1991 they began to hold meetings together in Portland, renting a room at Hinson Baptist Church at 1137 SE 20th Avenue.
In 1994, when the number of members exceeded 200 people, about half of the members separated from the church residing in Vancouver. The move was motivated by the desire to have a body of believers in the neighboring state across the river, where many large families lived at the time.

1994 - 1997 | Conflict of Ideas

From 1994 to 1997 the community was going through a particularly turbulent time due to problems common to most immigrant churches. In a short time, the suburbs around Portland were filled with hundreds of Christians, each with their own ideas about what the church should be. Traditions established in Siberia, differed from that of the families from Moscow, the Caucasus, Central Asia or Ukraine. The unique development of each subculture, made their ideas of what a good church should be so different from one other. This created tension between the subgroups, often resulting in conflicts.
The absence of strong and mature ministers who could resolve disputes complicated the situation even more. Because of the lack of a common platform that was sufficiently understandable, robust, and flexible to accommodate the different subgroups of Christians, the churches experienced many splits, uniting around a more or less influential leaders. Slavic Baptist Church originated in June 1997, as a result of one of these quarrels.

Rapid Expansion

Practically from its start and up until the day of the consecration of the present church building, the church gathered at the People’s Church located in the city at the corner of Mill Plain and Andresen. The senior pastor of these 89 members was Sergei Petrovich Elchaninov supported by nine brothers of the church council. They were united by a desire not just to survive after immigration, but to build a church strong enough to become the basis of the spiritual development of their children and youth.
The church grew rapidly, due both to the continuing immigration, and those who would join through baptism. Soon a choir, orchestra, children’s ministry, Russian school, and regular youth meetings were established. At first glance, it seemed that everything was developing no worse than any other church. However, key ministers soon began to see a serious strategic problem, a solution to which they did not know.

Our Pastors


Pastor - teacher


Senior Associate Pastor


Associate Pastor

Eugene Shkarovskiy

English Ministry Pastor


English Ministry Pastor


Pastor / Counselor


Youth Pastor


Pastor of High-school Ministry

Visit us

Our address:
 Word of Grace Bible Church
 1317 NW 12th Avenue
 Battle Ground, WA 98604
Service Times:
Sunday - 9am (russian)
Sunday - 11:30 am (English)
Sunday - 6pm (youth worship)

Office information:
Phone: (360) 687-3962
Office Email:  church@slovo.org
Media ministry Email: infomedia@slovo.org
Office is closed Saturday, sunday and monday

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