In May, 2013, Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church joined the Presbyterian Mission Agency's Twinning Program. The program seeks to create a relationship between congregations in the United States and congregations in Russia. We were offered the chance to twin with one of three congregations and, after prayerful consideration by the Session, we decided to twin with the Word of Life Evangelical Baptist Church in Dorogobuzh.

Our sister congregation is a small congregation in Dorogobuzh, a town of about 11,000 along the Dnieper River near Smolensk. It is about 350 miles southwest of Moscow.

The church is small with about 30 members. Their Pastor is Sergei Grokhotov, his wife is Nina and they have 4 children. We have visited them annually since 2015.

Rev. Ralph and Mission-Outreach Moderator, Elder Chris Schleter, visited Dorogobuzh in July, 2015. They found our sister congregation to be a faithful, loving group. In 2016, Rev. Ralph visited Dorogobuzh followed by Rev. Ralph, Deacon Dawn Angarone and Kathie Greear in 2017, Chris Schleter and Elder Gloria McGilloway in 2018 and Rev. Ralph and Elder Scott Florence in 2019.

Since all of us are linguistically challenged when it comes to Russian, we are accompanied on our trips by our PC(USA) Mission Co-Workers, Ellen and Al Smith.

We look forward to our growing relationship with our brothers and sisters in Russia and ask God to nurture our relationship.

We have also discovered some YouTube videos of their congregation, as well as some about Dorogobuzh, itself. To view the videos, use this link to YouTube. The videos titled "Harvest Baptist Dorogobuzh" are of our sister congregation and the one titled "The day to the city, Dorogobuzh" is a walking "tour" around Dorogobuzh (with Russian narration, of course!).

Below are a few photos from our visits and of the church.

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First Visit to Dorogobuzh, July, 2015


Rev. Ralph and the ladies of the church, 2016


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Rev. Ralph, Kathie Greear, Ellen & Al Smith and friends, 2017

Gloria McGilloway teaching English, 2018