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The Journal of John Long
About the Early Days
Newspaper Articles
Read about the Early Days
1893 - 1965
1966 to Present
REPRESENTING THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF 2X2 HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS ON THE INTERNET

Letterhead used by workers titled Christian Conventions

Perry, Oklahoma Conv, 1942

First Missions
Romania & Moldova
Revised November 5, 2010

Romania & Moldova

Moldova is attached to the work in Romania, since they share a common language.  There is possibly one Moldovan sister in the work in Romania.  John Johnston from Ireland is Overseer in Romania.  There are a number of native Romanian workers, both brothers and sisters.  There are two conventions held at Sibiu, Romania on consecutive weeks.

The workers probably did not go to Romania before WW2.  The communist regime there was a bit more open than most, and workers began to go there in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  They were able to register as students in the universities and get permission to stay that way.  Some of the early ones were Richard Davis (deceased), Loran Skaw (now in Poland) and Dan Sherick (now in Ukraine).  All three of these were from Iowa.  There were others from U.K. also. Jim Wood (from California) was in Romania and also in Morocco, Austria & Turkey between 1968-71. The communist government fell in December 1989.

John and Maria Hartig (siblings) were also among the early workers there.  The Hartigs were German settlers in Romania from several generations back.  After WW2, many Germans were deported from Romania, even though they were people whose ancestors had left Germany several generations ago and settled in Romania.  John and Maria were born in Romania, though they were always German-speaking, and not Romanian-speaking.  The Hartig family ended up as refugees in Austria, where they first met workers.  Then they emigrated to Colorado, where they got in touch with workers again and professed.  Both John and Maria started in the work in Austria and then eventually returned to Europe, and now both are back in Colorado (2010).  Because they were born in Romania, they were able to go in without as many restrictions as others.

From the beginning of the time the workers went to Romania, there was good response and a number professed, with several churches being formed and workers going out in the work--even before communism fell.  

The foreign workers attended universities year after year, in order to be allowed to live in Romania, which was Richard Davis idea. Some deliberately stretched out their studies, getting their degree as slowly as possible so they wouldn't lose their student status and have to leave.  Some may have deliberately failed some classes so they would get to repeat them, while others went ahead and earned advanced degrees in different fields.

The native workers may possibly have had to hold registered jobs. By the time communism fell, there was already a well-established group of friends and workers there. They even had several small conventions, where up to 100 friends would go up to remote areas in the mountains on "camping trips" and hold a convention.  In those years they had several weeks of conventions at the same campsite in the summer, with friends rotating in and out.  Now that there is liberty to meet openly, they have two conventions in a rented facility in Sibiu, with several hundred at each one.

They worked under Bert Todhunter's guidance from Austria, though they weren't listed on the Austrian list.  Glen Watkins from Indiana may have been the first actual overseer of Romania. When Glen left the work to get married, John Johnston from Ireland became overseer.  

There are workers in Romania from USA, Canada and the U.K. but most of the workers there are natives.  Quite a few native Romanians have gone in the work and a number of them have gone out to work in other European countries, including Poland, Armenia, Spain, U.K., Germany, and perhaps some other countries.  A Romanian sister came to the USA for a few years.  Several of the Romanian friends have emigrated to the States also.  It seems that interest and growth has continued at quite a pace there, and Romania and Ukraine are definitely the areas of Europe that are seeing the most continued growth in numbers in the fellowship (2010).


When did the workers first arrive?  Some time after WW2. Maria Hartig and Ruth Christian (from Australia or NZ) arrived in early 1960 or 1963.

Who were the first brother workers? Some of the early ones were Richard Davis (deceased), Loran Skaw (now in Poland) and Dan Sherick (now in Ukraine).  All three of these were from Iowa.  There were others from U.K. also. John and Maria Hartig (siblings) were also among the early workers there.  Richard Davis and Jim Wood went in 1968. Dan Sherick and Loren Skaw went around 1971 or 72.

Who were the first sister workers? Maria Hartig

Who was the first to profess? The Hatsack family in Sibiu, a mother, son and daughter.

 Who was the first native to go in the work? TitiBocancea

When & Where was the first meeting?  UnderCeaucescu, they weren't allowed to have meetings and would visit each other and have fellowship that way. Unknown what Dan and Loren did in this respect.

When & Where was the first baptism? In 1970 or 1971

When & Where was the first convention?  Unknown

Where is the convention currently held?  Now that there is liberty to meet openly, they have two conventions in a rented facility in Sibiuon consecutive weeks, with several hundred attending each one.

Who have the Overseers been? During those early years, they worked under Bert Todhunter's guidance from Austria, though they weren't listed on the Austrian list. Glen Watkins from Indiana may have been the first actual overseer of Romania.  When Glen left the work and married, John Johnston from Ireland became overseer.   

From Wikipedia: Communist Romania was the period in Romanian history (1947–1989) when that country was a Soviet-aligned communist state in the Eastern Bloc, with the leading role of Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its successive constitutions. Officially, the country was called the Romanian People's Republic from 1947 to 1965, and the Socialist Republic of Romania from 1965 to 1989. The communist government fell in December 1989.

See also Wikipedia: Nicolae Ceauşescu, Romanian Communist Dictator. Ceauşescu's government was overthrown in a December 1989 revolution, and he and his wife were executed following a televised and hastily organized two-hour court session.



TTT Editor's Note: In the absence of a written account, the above information has been compiled by the TTT Editor from various sources. Corrections or additions are most welcome; as well as other historical accounts for this country Email TTT

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