The history of the «church of praise»
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In February 1999 Oleg Tikhonov became a believer of God, and in July of the same year he set his mind on helping drug addicts in Tomsk to break free from their addictions. In November of the same year he founded the Church of Praise where he became a pastor.
On June 15, 2000 a local religious organization, church of Christians of Evangelical Faith (Pentecostal) referred to as the Church of Praise in the city of Tomsk was registered at the Tomsk Region Office of the Ministry of Justice with registration number 103.
The first rehabilitation centre was in the apartment of Oleg Viktorovich and his wife for the duration of one year. In 2001 Viktor Kress, the Head of Tomsk Region Administration, provided the Church with a rent-free building in the village of Shtamovo. In 2008 the Church of Praise purchased the building and its land through an auction.
Four years later (in 2012) the church people’s donations enabled the Church to purchase a plot of land and three buildings, which are now under reconstruction and will soon become a temple complex.
In 2004 Bible courses started in Tomsk based on the teaching materials of the Word of Life church in Moscow. In 2006 the first round of "Alpha Course" was held (which is interactive seminars devoted to practical questions about Christianity and God.)
Oleg Tikhonov was ordained as Bishop.
On 13 October, 2010 the Association of the Tomsk Region churches was formed where Oleg Tikhonov was ordained as Senior Pastor, and later on, on December 11, 2010, as Bishop. On May 15, 2012 Oleg Viktorovich was appointed a Tomsk Region Plenipotentiary of the Senior Bishop of the Russian Union of Christians of Evangelical Faith (Pentecostal) to represent the Union in government agencies, municipal authorities, public associations and religious denominations.
To date the Church of Praise already has about 1, 000 congregants
Currently the Church of Praise already has about 1, 000 members and more than 10 missionary churches in the Tomsk Region. As per community services, the Church operates several charitable foundations organized by the Church volunteers, among them are "Helping Hand" (rehabilitation of addicted men and women, feeding the homeless and aid in adaptation, support for ex-prisoners), "Mother and child" (joint rehabilitation of addicted mothers with children), "Pilgrim" (maladjusted teenagers in difficult situations of life). Believers of the Church have created several associations aimed at helping various people. They include the drama ministry proclaiming the love of God through theatre performances as well as visiting orphanages to create festive moments for children; the ministry of mercy visiting the sick and praying for their healing as well as meeting their practical needs; volunteers from the "Feed the hungry" ministry giving food to the homeless in 13 places of the city and distributing warm clothes in cold seasons of the year, and many more. The Church has its own hockey and football teams regularly participating in all Amateur tournaments of Tomsk. All these people involved in social and creative life of the city, helping the needy and telling them about Christ are ordinary residents of Tomsk such as teachers, military men, workers, pensioners, students, housewives and businessmen who know the wonderful and infinite love of God and want to share it with other people.