Title: Minister and Evangelist
David Hathaway: Founder and President of Eurovision Mission to Europe, Editorial Director of Prophetic Vision magazine, has ministered worldwide for over 60 years.
After 11 years as a full-time pastor and evangelist in Britain, David's ministry to Russia and Europe began in 1961 when he organised the first ever expedition to Jerusalem by road, through the Iron Curtain countries. Out of this experience, David began smuggling Bibles into Russia and Eastern Europe until, in 1972, he was arrested, tortured and imprisoned in Czechoslovakia. After serving just one year in prison, David was released by Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
Over the following 40 years since his release, David's heart has continued to burn for Eastern Europe, the last words of one of his fellow prisoners continually ringing in his ears: 'David, don't forget us. No one knows, no one in the West cares.' In 1976 he organised the successful worldwide campaign for the release of Georgi Vins, a renowned Russian pastor from Kiev, sentenced to long years in a Siberian prison for his faith. After this, David continued to go into the underground churches to preach until eventually, in the 1980s, he began to openly hold services and conferences in the communist countries; this grew and developed throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.
Today, 2013, David's ministry is focused on providing assistance both spiritually and materially to the Russian Holocaust survivors in Israel, and to the former Soviet satellite countries, especially Poland.
To watch a documentary on David's ministry, Through the Iron Curtain, click here.
Celebrating 60 Years in Ministry: 'What matters most to me is to finish what God started' (Acts 20:24, The Message Bible)
Bishop Mikhail Kindruk worked with David in the early 1990s to evangelise Siberia. He wrote: 'Your desire to spread the good news have installed in many people of Siberia and the Far East, a new wave of the presence of His power. I remember your fiery evangelistic preaching accompanied by God's power. By this message I wish to testify about the wonderful presence of God's power on all the crusades which you organised. For me personally it was an honour to organise and participate in the ministry.'
John Watson, founder of music group Vinesong, ministered with David on many occassions throughout Europe. These are his memories... 'Congratulations to David on his 60 years in ministry. David has always been a constant source of encouragement, motivation and inspiration to me. It is incredible how he is using the gift God has given him to reach the nations. The awesome experience we shared together as communism crumbled in Eastern Europe will never be forgotten and I am sure the angels in Heaven are still rejoicing. I remember one specific occasion when a whole city stood on the streets as we sang. The words beckoned the people to kneel and to our amazement everyone knelt as a stillness settled over the multitudes and we experienced the Presence of the Lord. ...The many EuroVision conferences that we shared with David and his team were, I believe, vital in what God was doing in the communist countries and Europe.'
Rev Michael Wieteska, Pastor of the Church of the Living Saviour, Geneva, Switzerland, wrote the following tribute. 'Having come to the Lord in Australia back in 1964, I have met, and had the privilege to know some outstanding men of God from numerous nations since that time. I can truthfully say that the ministry God has entrusted to David Hathaway is second to none... It would take too many words to talk about all that God has done through him, but just read one of his books and you will begin to comprehend the length, width and depth of the ministry.'
Henry Modava, Pastor of Kiev Victory Church, was a student from Zimbabwe and studying in the former Soviet Union, when he acted as David's interpreter in the pioneer crusade meetings in Kiev in 1992 and 1993. When David preached in his church (February 2010), Henry said: "How many of you here have been in prison for your faith? Only David Hathaway, and it was not in his home country, but here in a communist prison!" He went on to recall the great crusades in Kiev in 1992 and 1993 and how the old communist ministers of Religious Affairs continued to harass and persecute David in Ukraine, until in 1998 gunmen were sent to attack him. They took his car and everything in it: - "It was a whole war against him! But David is the kind of man who came out stronger because of it!" Henry concluded: "David was an example to me. I thought if God can move through an Englishman, He can move through me, a black student from Zimbabwe."
Dodie Osteen, Co-Founder of Lakewood Church, Houston, USA, wrote in tribute: 'David Hathaway has been our friend for many years and is a man who is reaching people who seem to be unreachable. He has a heart for the world and was so respectful and loving to my husband. David considered John as a spiritual father. I salute him on 60 years in the ministry and know he has made Jesus proud.'
Bob and Ann Searle, Pastors of Oasis Christian Centre, Dwygyfylchi, wrote: 'We thank God for the multitude of souls that are and will be in Glory because David has been faithful to his calling. ...We eagerly await the future days when it's going to get even better!'