History and Setting
Szczecin is an old port city in the North of Poland about 120km north of Berlin and 280km south across the Baltic Sea from Copenhagen. With the population of about 400,000 people, about 55,000 of those are students and only 1000 are in Protestant churches. Although many people in Poland would list themselves as Catholic, less than half of them attend church, so Szczecin Christian Center is excited for this revival opportunity to reach out to these people in the love of Christ. The Baptists have had a long history in Szczecin, purchasing and erecting Szczecin Christian Center’s building in 1855, and maintaining an active congregation in its chapel ever since. Even during WWII, when the government confiscated the premises to turn into apartments, the church community continued to then pay to use their own facilities and maintain their church services. During and after the war, some of these church members immigrated to places in Canada and the United States of America, taking their mission with them and becoming active in growing God’s kingdom in North America. Szczecin is also home to a NATO base that Szczecin Christian Center is looking to serve through English speaking Bible studies and church services. These are a couple of reasons we reach out to you as brothers and sisters in Christ in our global church to re-connect with our historic Christian family here in Szczecin.
A testament to God’s grace and mercy is reflected in how the church building remained unharmed during the war and surviving several bombing raids that levelled the neighboring buildings on both sides. In the spirit of this survival, the church was delighted to be given the opportunity to take back ownership from the Government in 2002, and have been yearning to serve God and their community ever since. However, renovating the Communist built apartments into usable space for community evangelism has, and continues, to take a lot of time and effort and finances. But everything is possible with God, and so in the past few years an opportunity has presented itself where the Polish Government has offered to match 65% of the funds needed to completely renovate the building if the church is able to raise the other 35%. Szczecin Christian Center is now reaching out to the global Christian community to partner with them in their mission and to provide support both through prayer and financial support.
Building Plans and Mission
Szczecin Christian Center has a vision to be an Evangelical center that not only serves its local Polish, German and English speaking communities in Szczecin, but also to reach out in service to its global community: the international Church. To help it do so, the building renovation plans include:
- An updated Chapel with room to seat 300 people (This space will be open for several churches to meet throughout the week)
- A café to serve retirees and families of inmates at the prison directly across the street (Fresh Start Café will offer discounts to retirees so there is an affordable and friendly space for them to spend their days)
- Classrooms to offer German, English and Spanish speaking classes (These will be free lessons and will provide mission opportunities for native speakers from the UK and North America to come and serve in partnership)
- A Christian bookstore (Which can offer materials in Polish, German and English)
- Study room and accommodation for ministerial retreats and study (This is one main way to minister and create partnerships to and with the rest of Europe)
- A smaller chapel space for an international English speaking church (Szczecin is home to a NATO Base where already 30 people have expressed interest in attending an English speaking Bible study and international church)
- Room for a Christian Radio Station (To provide teachings from a variety of Evangelical ministers as well as Christian music
Szczecin Christian Centre is encouraged by the assistance the Polish Government is willing to provide, but are still in need of your financial support. We are looking to raise $440,000.00 so that the Polish Government will provide $780,000.00. Praise God we have already raised $120,000.00 but still need to raise $320,000.00. We believe very strongly in the mission God has given us, and so are stepping out in faith to begin renovations this 2018 Fall. Therefore, we pray in faith for funding to be complete as soon as possible so that our building work may be completed by the end of 2019. We ask that you will pray for us and our ministry and ask God to guide you and your church in how you may support us in our ministry particularly financially.
Be Creative in Giving
There are many ways to give, but you may want to consider giving a donation in someone’s name for a birthday, Christmas or in memory of a loved one. Many of our relatives are hard to shop for because they already have everything they want. This may be a creative way to give them the gift of being a part of this mission to grow God’s kingdom.
You can donate via
- Kentucky Baptist Foundation, KCHB Szczecin Fund, Account number: 01104
- Kosciol Chrzescijan Baptystow Zbor w Szczecinie; Swift Code: INGBPLPW; Account number: PL60105015591000002326629629
- Paypal email@example.com