Title: David Hathaway
'You shall hear a voice behind you saying: This is the way, walk ye in it!' - Isaiah 30:21
June 1950, aged just 18 and only a few months after starting Bible College, David pastored his first church in Dorking, Surrey. The role should have been for only three weeks - but the pastor, who was assisting in a crusade, didn't return. So now David was the only student in the College with a church to pastor!
Soon the College summer vacation began. Only pastoring the church was not enough, he wanted to do more! So in July 1950, one month after becoming pastor, David hired a tent and began to evangelise. The only people who would help were a Russian ballerina and a Polish ex-SS Officer who had been converted after escaping from behind the Iron Curtain. Not long after, another Russian girl came to Christ - and she became his interpreter in those early years after the War in the displacement camps. - So David's connection with East Europe had begun!
After 11 years as a full-time pastor and evangelist in Britain, David's ministry to Russia and Europe began in 1961 when he organised the first ever expedition to Jerusalem by road - through the Iron Curtain countries. Out of this experience, David began smuggling Bibles into Russia and Eastern Europe until, in 1972, he was arrested, tortured and imprisoned in Czechoslovakia.
The miracle of David's release in 1973 and his experience with God in the prison meant that during the following two years he ministered around the world, leading more than 1/4 million people to Christ, before returning to work in Eastern Europe. Bible smuggling changed into active, then open evangelism with multitudes repenting, with signs and wonders following, even under communist rule!
During the 1980s David travelled all over Eastern Europe - Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, even back into Czechoslovakia - often with John Osteen from Lakewood Church, USA, and regularly with the anointed music ministry of Vinesong. In 1985 David held a series of powerful meetings in Hungary - he got permission to minister in Catholic Churches, which were not only packed, but hundreds were standing outside! - News spread by word of mouth until in Budapest, the Catholic Cathedral was totally packed, five thousand attended!
In 1986 God challenged David to hold a great East-West conference in Karlsruhe, West Germany. This he did in 1988. Four thousand attended, but the miracle was the six hundred who crossed through the Iron Curtain from every communist country! In total four East-West conferences were held: 1988/89 and again in 91/92.
Following the collapse of the Iron Curtain, the programme of crusades and conferences intentsified. Everywhere we saw the Power of God fall, just as God had promised in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Ukraine. Amongst the most memorable in the early years was the EuroVision conference held in Debrecen, Hungary, in May 1990. For the first time in Hungary all the denominations joined in unity to support the evangelism.
These meetings were followed by evangelism in Ukraine, which culminated in the first ever Christian meetings in the Dynamo Stadium, Kiev. For four years David worked ceaselessly across the whole of Europe - but God had promised that at the end of the fourth year, momentous changes would begin to take place. And so it did, in the summer of 1993.
It was going to Chita and Duldurga in Siberia that year that touched David's heart. He found a nation almost totally without God, one of the least evangelised areas of the world; 65 million people, a land mass 52 times that of Great Britain: 4000 miles from east to west, 2000 miles from north to south; a land whose history, under the Czars and under communism, was of exile, prison camps, torture and death. Now God began to unfold a greater vision and an unprecedented challenge - two years to reach the whole of Siberia for Christ!
Eurovision International TV Company was formed as a direct result of an armed attack on David in Ukraine, 2 June 1998. - This attack was intended to stop David ever evangelising there again. To maximise publicity after the attack, and hopefully see the return of his stolen vehicle and its contents, David called a press conference. Amazed by the positive response both in the press and on TV, David realised that if the authorities wanted to stop him evangelising in auditoriums and stadiums, he could reach the nation through the media. The vision had begun! In the first 12 months of operating, Eurovision International TV Company had produced 38 evangelistic programmes, covering 75% of the Ukraine with David's weekly evangelistic broadcasts.
The programme of evangelism expanded again in 2002 with the introduction of Live-TV Evangelism - preaching in a sports hall/stadium and buying time on TV, broadcasting the whole evangelistic meeting live, reaching the entire region via the ordinary, secular TV! Our 2004 Russian Easter TV broadcast was viewed by 10 million in 7 broadcast regions. In 2005, David held the largest TV crusade in Europe, reaching over 101 million in Russia, 50 million in Ukraine, and 7 million in China. The broadcasts became even more effective when, in 2006, a free-phone call centre was introduced to enable the viewers to freely respond to the broadcasts. - In the first nine months over 100,000 people had telephoned! During the 2007 Russian Christmas a special celebration was broadcast - 46,106 people responded by phone - with 95% repenting! In 2007 we signed a 12 month TV contract to broadcast the evangelism on Das Vierte in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on secular TV. As a direct result of these programmes, CNBC Europe - one of the world's largest business and news broadcasters - approved our Gospel programmes for broadcast. The programmes are shown in three languages - English, Russian and German.
In September 2008 David held one of the largest conferences and crusades ever in the Baltic states. Everyday we saw thousands commit their lives to Christ in the Saku Arena, Tallinn, Estonia - the first Christian event ever held in the large arena! This event was followed by evangelism in Vilnius, Lithuania in October 2009 and 2010, and Poland 2012 and 2014 – these were possibly the largest public events in Europe since the great Billy Graham rallies!
Since 2011 we have worked extensively with the Russian Holocaust Survivors living in Israel, providing humanitarian aid, giving them new hope, and healing for the past. We want to make sure that their suffering is never forgotten. We are committed to work and pray for the benefit of these Survivors. Today David's ministry is focused on providing assistance both spiritually and materially to the Russian Holocaust survivors in Israel, and to the former Soviet satellite countries, especially Poland.
David says, 'I will not stop until we reach the whole of Russia, Europe and Israel with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It takes revolutionary faith that will overcome every challenge. But with God and your support we can do it!'
Celebrating 60 Years in Ministry: 'What matters most to me is to finish what God started' (Acts 20:24, The Message Bible)
Bishop Mikhail Kindruk worked with David in the early 1990s to evangelise Siberia. He wrote: 'Your desire to spread the good news have installed in many people of Siberia and the Far East, a new wave of the presence of His power. I remember your fiery evangelistic preaching accompanied by God's power. By this message I wish to testify about the wonderful presence of God's power on all the crusades which y ...