We build up disciples, found churches and further the Kingdom.
Jonathan and his wife Amy moved to Pleven in August 2016 with the intention of making disciples and planting churches in the city of Pleven and the surrounding region. Jonathan received a B.S. in Youth Ministry and Bible from Welch College in Nashville, Tennessee (2003) and a M.Div in Educational Ministry from Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina (2009). Before arriving in Bulgaria, he served for several years as a youth pastor and a pastor in South Carolina.
Jonathan, Amy, and their two daughters first came to in Bulgaria in 2013. Their first role was to provide support for New Life church in Svishtov. During the three years that they lived in Svishtov, Jonathan preached regularly at the church and helped in other ways where there were needs. He taught English at a local high school and led English clubs for teenagers, university students, and adults. Jonathan and Amy are passionate about helping others find hope in Jesus Christ and come to a deeper understanding of the life-changing truths that are found in the Bible.
God is not just a “higher power” or energy. He is a triune personal God. In Bulgarian Protestant Church “New Life” we believe that God exists and that He has revealed Himself to us through creation, Biblical revelation, and the incarnation of God’s Son Jesus Christ. We believe that the Bible helps us understand more about who God is and what purpose He has for our lives. The truth and wisdom which are found in the Bible can impact every aspect of our lives.
Mission Nov Zhivot Pleven is associated with the Bulgarian Protestant Church “New Life.” We exist to create opportunities for people in the region of Pleven, Bulgaria to learn more about the Bible and to better understand the purpose that God has for their lives. We believe that faith in God’s Son Jesus Christ, whom we learn about through the Bible, not only gives our life meaning and purpose, but also offers hope for the political, economic and spiritual crises that our society faces. As we gather to study the Bible, worship God, and pray together, we learn to better obey Him, love those around us, and make our world a better place.
We invite you to join us on an incredible adventure – come and get to know more of this incredible God, the purpose He has for your life, and the hope that He can bring to our families, our nation, and our world. Join us for an individual Bible study, a community Bible study, or special event hosted by Mission nov zhivot Pleven. We believe that it will change your life!
We build up disciples, found churches and further the Kingdom.
What does this mean?
1. We make disciples
A disciple of Jesus Christ is a person who loves Him, believes in the saving work He accomplished for them on the cross, repents of old life of sin, and commits to live their life for His glory. Mission Nov Zhivot exists to help people know and understand how they can become followers of Jesus Christ. We are here to help followers of Jesus continually grow in their faith and knowledge of Him.
2. We found churches
A local church is a community of believers (disciples) who gather together to worship God, study His word, encourage each other in the faith, and reach out to their community. We are here to establish healthy, strong, God-honoring churches which help disciples of Christ grow in their faith.
3. We further the Kingdom
The “Kingdom of God” is a phrase that is used in the Bible to describe all of those who believe in God, turn to Him for salvation, and submit their lives to His authority (allowing Him to “rule” over their hearts). We want as many people as possible in our city, our country, and our world to hear the Gospel and to choose to follow Jesus Christ—to become a part of God’s “kingdom.” We are here to equip, encourage, and embolden disciples of Christ to not merely keep the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ for themselves, but to share it with others, expanding God’s kingdom.
The name “Free Will Baptists” is used for the first time even the 60s of the 17th century in England to denote baptists who called themselves ‘freewillers’. The name was a term of derision referring to our conviction that every person has free will to accept or reject God.
Free Will Baptists sprang up on two fronts in Colonial America. The southern line, or Palmer movement, traces its beginnings to the year 1727 when Paul Palmer organized a church at Chowan, North Carolina.
The northern line, or Randall movement, had its beginnings with a congregation organized by Benjamin Randall June 30, 1780, in New Durham, New Hampshire. Both lines of Free Will Baptists taught the doctrines of free grace, free salvation, and free will, although from the first there was no organizational connection between them.
The northern line expanded more rapidly in the beginning and extended its outreach into the West and Southwest. In 1910-1911 this body of Free Will Baptists merged with the Northern Baptist denomination, taking along the great majority of its 1,100 churches and all denominational property, including several major colleges. In 1916, a broad Cooperative General Association was formed at Pattonsburg, Missouri. The new association included delegates from the Randallite churches that had resisted the merger, while others owed their origins to the Palmer movement.
Free Will Baptists in the southeastern United States, having descended from the Palmer foundation, often manifested fraternal relationships with Free Will Baptists of the Randall movement in the north and west, but the slavery question and the Civil War prevented formal union between them. The churches in the southern line were organized into various associations and conferences from the beginning and finally organized into a General Conference by 1921. These congregations were unaffected by the merger of the northern movement with the Northern Baptists.
A New Movement
It was inevitable that a fusion between the Cooperative General Association and the General Conference of Free Will Baptists would finally come. In Nashville, Tennessee, on November 5, 1935, representatives from the two bodies met and organized the National Association of Free Will Baptists.
The new body adopted a Treatise, which set forth basic doctrines and described the faith and practice that had characterized Free Will Baptists through the years. After being revised on several occasions, this document continues to serve as a guideline for a denominational fellowship comprising more than 2,400 churches in 42 states and 14 foreign countries.
“New Life” in Bulgaria
The first New Life Church in Bulgaria, as part of the Free Will Baptist Movement, was founded in the town of Svishtov in 2011 by Pr. Timothy & Lydia Awtrey, missionaries of the denomination. In 2013 there came the family of Jonathan and Amy Postlewaite who at present are helping the work in Svishtov. The same year Trif and Vanya Trifonovs founded a New Life Church in Varna.
The new denomination was registered on September 10th 2014. In 2015 a new missionary family, Josh and Lydia Provow, arrived in Svishtov.
Used with permission from Free Will Baptist History.