In his book, Roots, Alex Haley reminds us of the importance of roots.  In nature, roots, more than any other factor, determine both the identity and the vitality of living organisms such as flowers and trees.  Roots are equally important for human beings.  Tracing family trees can be an important part of developing self-understanding and personal identity.  Similarly, an awareness of Baptist beginnings and historical development is indispensable to a wholesome understanding of our denominational identity today, and to a sense of direction for tomorrow...The hiddenness of roots is no excuse for our ignorance of them.  One of the major tasks of the historian, and particularly the church historian, is to expose to full view the roots of our spiritual and denominational identity. [ Baptist Roots and Identity, by Dr. Jarold K. Zeman, 1978, Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec, B-95, page 1.  Dr. Zeman was President of the Canadian Baptist Federation for nine years and Peter's instructor in his summer August 1986 [see below] Baptist Heritage Course at Ontario Bible College]

October 31, 1517 - Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the church door of Wittenberg.  A man who combined spiritual passion with intellectual brilliance, led the Protestant Reformation in northern Europe.  He was excommunicated in 1521 after refusing to recant and condemned by the Diet of Worms.  He hid in Wartburg Castle, where he translated the New Testament into German.

March 10, 1528 - The man who more than any other Anabaptist theologian expounded the triple meaning of baptism (Spirit baptism (regeneration), water baptism and blood baptism) was Balthasar Hubmaier, who walked the path of obedience to his baptism by fire at the stake in the city of Vienna, Austria, on March 10, 1528.  Only four years earlier, he had condemned the burning of heretics and had written the first plea for religious toleration in the German language.  His wife accompanied him to the stake, praying for him and encouraging him to remain faithful.  Three days later, his wife was thrown into the Danube river with a great stone around her neck, while she confessed the Lord in her martyrdom.

1500-1550 Dr. Michael Hrushevsky, the most outstanding Ukrainian historian, enumerates one hundred and four evangelistic churches and organizations which had their beginnings around 1500-1550.

1750-1794 - It is upon this leaven that the later evangelistic work in Ukraine grew and thrived.  Its greatest impetus was given by Hrihory Skovoroda (1722-1794) a noted Ukrainian philosopher of that time who for twenty-five years travelled up and down Ukraine with his beloved Bible as his sole and inseparable companion.  The good seed sown by him was soon to bear fruit.

1834 - Johann Gerhard Oncken, a Hamburg bookseller and his wife were baptized by immersion in the River Elbe with five other people, and the next day were formed into a church.  In 120 years that minute company of seven grew into a great international fellowship spread across the face of Europe from Russia(Ukraine) to Portugal, numbering hundreds of thousands of church-members.  Oncken was the father not only of the German Baptists, but of the entire modern Baptist movement on the Continent, and starting from almost any place there where we have a witness today, it would be possible to trace a direct line back to Hamburg and the beginning which he made. [From the book Truth is Immortal, The Story of Baptists in Europe, by Irwin Barnes, 1955, pages 9,22., Dr. Kostiw's library]

1852 - In a little village of Osnova, Ukraine, was baptized the first Ukrainian convert, Ivan Onishenko.  Soon others followed, - Yuhim Zembal, Ratushny, Raboshapka, Chlestun, Rybalka.  Three small churches sprung up, - at Osnova, Carlovka and Lubomirka.  These became the mother churches of hundreds of other churches that sprang up all over the entire length and breadth of Ukraine. Loosely organized at first, with no trained or paid ministers, the number of churches grew into thousands.[The Ukrainian Baptists on the Threshold of their One-Hundredth Anniversary, 16 Page Brochure, Published by The Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Alliance. 1952]

September 23, 1903 - Rev. John Barchuk born in a village in Volhynia, Ukraine

1908 - Rev. Stephen Nischik born in Rakiw-Lis, Ukraine.

May 22, 1917 - Rev. Dr. Constantine Kostiw born in Rivne, Ukraine.

March 29, 2020 - Rev. Olexa R. Harbuziuk born in Berehy, Rivne, Ukraine.

1921 - God uses two men to bring the light of the Gospel to a small village in Ukraine, Rakiw-Lis, near Kowel, Ukraine. Stephen Nischik's father Petro, becomes one of the first converts in the village. The first six saved souls were baptized in a small river in the presence of many thousands of people who came from distant places to witness a baptism for the first time. [ Read Rev. Stephen Nischik's book, This Is My Story, 1958., pages 10-12, in the Ukrainian Baptist Ministers section]

The first man was a Ukrainian soldier, who served in the Russian army during World War I.  Captured by the Germans, he was saved in a Gospel meeting held by German missionaries in a prisoner-of-war camp.  After his return home from prison camp, he began to testify about the Lord Jesus Christ.

The second man, John, who prior to World War I, emigrated to the United States as a youth to find a better life.  While residing in the USA, he met true born-again Christians, became a Christian, was baptized and immediately after the war was over, came back to Stephen Nischik's village with Christ in his heart and with the Gospel in his hand, and the Lord used him mightily.

November 4, 1921 - Rev. Stefan Tymciw born in Szolomienice, Poland (now Ukraine).

1923 - Two years after Stephen's Nischik's father became a Christian, Stephen accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour, then his younger brother and four sisters. Hears a Gospel hymn for the first time, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus", played on the clarinet by John.

June 6, 1924 - Stephen Nischik gets baptized and received into membership of the Ukrainian Baptist Church in Rakiw-Lis, Ukraine, of which John was the pastor and Stephen's father was an elder.

October 11, 1924 - Elijah Kubryn baptized at Voytkova by Rev. John Pidhorecky

March 19, 1933 - Rev. Elijah Kubryn ordained by Rev. Peretiatko and Rev. L. Miksa

October 1947  - Stefan Tymciw invited by Melanie Machnik and Maria Peretiatko to his first Baptist church service in the room of Frank Machnik in Seedorf, Germany Displacement Camp. Rev. John Pidhorecky leads singing and he, Frank Machnik and others lead in prayer.  Rev. Kubryn preaches on Mary and Martha. The Holy Spirit starts its' work in Stefan's life. 

November 4, 1947 - Rev. Stephen Nischik shares Romans chapter 10 with Stefan Tymciw in Seedorf, Germany, Displacement Camp.  Stefan prays with Rev. Nischik for forgiveness of sins and accepts Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour on his 26th birthday, between 5-6 pm. 

August 15, 1948 - Stefan Tymciw baptized in Braunschweig, Germany.

October 26, 1953 - Rev. Stefan Tymciw ordained in Braunschweig, Germany.

1953-1962 - Rev. Stefan Tymciw - President of the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Church of Germany.

November 1962 - Peter's family arrives from Germany and starts attending the Toronto Ukrainian Ev. Baptist Church

1965 - Dr. Kostiw writes history of the Toronto Ukrainian Ev. Baptist Church, 1950-1965, on the occasion of its 15th Anniversary 

August 1st, 1970 - Peter Tymciw accepts Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour under Rev. Dogalev's preaching at Belwood (Russian-Ukrainian) Evangelical Baptist Camp near Fergus, Ontario.  Was invited, driven there and presented with an inscribed New Testament by Steve Poczujko. [See picture below, 40 years later]

October 1979 - After a singing engagement with the Living Hope Singers, while driving home with the group, rededicates his life to serve and live for Jesus Christ.

March 1980 - Peter Tymciw publishes the first issue of BREAKTHROUGH NEWSLETTER, a publication of the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Young People's Association of Eastern Canada [4 issues 1980-1981]

1980  - Dan and Nellie Ciona (previous editor of YOUTH ECHO) transfer to Peter, their entire personal collections of:

  • YOUTH ECHO [Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Young People's Association of Eastern Canada Publication, 1967-1973]
  • YOUTH SPEAKS [Monthly Newsletter published by the Chicago Youth Group, 1972]

Peter has been preserving this collection for 38 years, and thanks Dan and Nellie for their gift and many years of service in the Ukrainian Baptist work, most recently as Directors of the Evangelical Mission to Ukraine.

May 11, 1980 - Peter baptized along with six others [Paul Siery, Dan Shtuka, Nadia Shtuka, Ann Stuka, Bill Hnidec and Peter Tesluk] at the Toronto Ukrainian Ev. Baptist Church by Rev. Wm. Dawidiuk.

JULY 1984  - Attends Ocela '84 and 4th AUEBYF Conference and is asked to join AUEBYF Committee as Treasurer and also becomes Editor of HORIZONS, Official Bulletin of the All-Ukrainian Ev. Baptist Youth Fellowship. Collects past issues since 1976.  Also attends Ocela each year for the next 25 years and displays annual Ocela Posters in Youth Room, and takes many pictures and records Youth Service videos to preserve OCELA history. 

JANUARY 1986 - DECEMBER 1987  Peter attends Providence College [formerly Winnipeg Bible College] in Otterburne, Manitoba and becomes Student Pastor of Roseau River Baptist Church. 

MARCH 13, 1986 - "Pastor John Barchuk's departure to eternity is a great loss for the Ukrainian Baptist Church and the entire Ukrainian nation," said the Rev. Harbuziuk.  "We do not have a person who could replace the great Christian life and ministry of Pastor John Barchuk."

AUGUST 1986 - Peter takes a Baptist Heritage Summer Course at Ontario Bible College, taught by Dr. J. Zeman, who was President of the Canadian Baptist Federation for nine years, and Professor of Church History at Acadia Divinity College. Greatly impacted by Dr. Watson Kirkconnell's quote on preserving your ancestry (heritage) [See section on Dr. Watson Kirkconnell].

JULY 1987 - Peter becomes President of All-Ukrainian Ev. Baptist Youth Fellowship, and shares his dream of translating Ukrainian Baptist publications into the English language, in order that we can preserve our spiritual heritage for the second generation of Ukrainian Baptists in North America who do not speak or read Ukrainian.

1994 - Starts PETER TYMCIW MINISTRIES. For more information, visit

JANUARY 1996 - Peter catalogues every English Ukrainian Baptist publication he has received and sets up a database which is sorted chronologically for the following publications:

  • CHALLENGER [Western Canada UEBYF since 1966]
  • YOUTH ECHO [Eastern Canada UEBYPA since 1967 - 1973]
  • YOUTH SPEAKS [Chicago Youth 1972]
  • HORIZONS [AUEBYF since 1976-1986]
  • BREAKTHROUGH [Eastern Canada UEBYPA 1980-1981]

AUGUST 1996 - April 1997 - Peter switches from part-time to full-time studies at Tyndale Seminary [formerly Ontario Theological Seminary] and completes his M.T.S. degree.

AUGUST 1997 - Peter becomes Vice President & Treasurer of Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention of Canada. Remembers Dan Ciona's presentation upon being elected President of Convention.  "Some of you may personally have a vision, an idea or a small project that you haven't carried out because you may be waiting for confirmation.  Maybe it's time to move ahead now.." [Read Dan's presentation in Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention of Canada section]

NOVEMBER 1999 - Starts reviewing all of his personal Ukrainian Baptist publications and pictures to prepare a binder for the Toronto Ukrainian Ev. Baptist Church 50th Anniversary.

JUNE 2000 - Plans and leads Saturday June 3rd's Toronto Ukrainian Ev. Baptist Church's 50th Anniversary Program, with many past members attending. Many pictures taken and videos recorded. 

AUGUST 2001 - Peter starts BOOKS FOR LIFE, a personal and professional development training and resource company, and currently has a library of 19,000 books and audio programs. 

JUNE 2009 - Starts reviewing and cataloging his father's library: books, Ukrainian Baptist periodicals and publications, pictures, files and correspondence. Visits Dr. Kostiw in hospital with his father. Peter reads an article by Michael Podworniak in the Christian Herald, January - February 1977, page 16-17 (in Ukrainian),where Mr. Podworniak stressed the need for an All-Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Fellowship Archives to preserve our history.  One sentence stood out. Mr. Podworniak received a letter in English from the children of one of our dear members, after he requested in writing if their father left any books or magazines behind. They replied " After our father died, he left many books and magazines that got in the way and were not needed, so we threw them out.  Too bad, that you didn't write to us sooner." Mr. Podworniak discovered prior to 1977, that much of our Ukrainian Baptist history has been lost because the children have thrown out their father's collections.  Peter is currently researching the history of what has become of the libraries of our Ukrainian Baptist ministers.

JUNE 22, 2009 - Peter purchases book, Outwitting History, The Amazing Adventures of a Man (Aaron Lansky) Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books. Peter is captivated and motivated by this true story, to continue to preserve Ukrainian Baptist books and history.

JULY 5, 2009 - Dr. Kostiw passes away at the age of 92. "We have lost an intellectual giant and great contributor, biographer, historian, and writer of Ukrainian Baptist work." Peter prepares a booklet for the Kostiw children - "A GIFT IN PROCESS... - To Honor Their Father's Friendship and Love for God and His Work, and Books.

AUGUST 2009 - In memory of Dr. Kostiw and his work, and the many articles he submitted to the Christian Herald and other Ukrainian publications, especially those articles about individuals who were promoted to glory, Peter started interviewing past and current members of the Toronto Church, including the Kostiw family. Peter thanks the Kostiw family, especially Taras Kostiw, for his time, dedication and commitment in distributing his father's library to several organizations and individuals, (including Peter).  Upon reading about Peter's reference to Mr. Podworniak's article in the booklet prepared for the Kostiw children, Taras Kostiw prepared several containers of "Tato's Treasures", and passed these containers on to Peter, to be preserved for future reference.

JANUARY 8, 2010 - Peter remembers Rev. Walter Kutcher on the 35th anniversary of his unexpected tragic death, which Peter found out, occurred in Barrie, where he has lived for the past twelve years. See MEMORIAL - REV. WALTER KUTCHER in UKRAINIAN BAPTIST MEMBERS section.

DECEMBER 1, 2010 - PETER TYMCIW MINISTRIES website launched  See MISSION STATEMENT - Starting January 2011, by faith, Peter's goal is to devote 20% of his ministry time each week to maintaining and updating the UKRAINIAN BAPTIST HERITAGE CENTRE website.

DECEMBER 7, 2010 - Peter visits Steve Poczujko at New Horizons Fellowship Towers in Toronto, after losing touch with him for nearly 10 years, on the celebration of his 40th anniversary of accepting Jesus Christ.

DECEMBER 15, 2010 - UKRAINIAN BAPTIST HERITAGE CENTRE website launched and dedicated to Peter's father and mother [See WEBSITE DEDICATION]. Finally, a long overdue dream, turned into reality, in celebration of many anniversaries and special dates in Peter's life.

SEPTEMBER 5, 2015 - During his 55th birthday weekend, on September 5th, 2015, Peter suffered a massive pulmonary embolism and nearly died and was hospitalized for 11 days.  Over the the next year, he makes several changes in his life to preserve his remaining years and starts writing full-time in September 2018 and over the next year writes several articles and two 280+ page e-books with hundreds of pictures about his family, church and personal and spiritual life history which have blessed many people.

NOVEMBER 1, 2019 - Peter started working full-time on the UBHC YouTube Channel which he launched on November 1, 2019 which now has 398+ videos with 16,750+ views and features many beautiful Ukrainian songs, Choirs, OCELA videos, interviews and historical videos.

To God Be The Glory for all of the individuals who are remembered on this website and in the UBHC videos who served in the Ukrainian Baptist work and also blessed the Ukrainian Baptist Fellowship with their musical and singing gifts.  May our spiritual heritage never be forgotten.



© Ukrainian Baptist Heritage Centre
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