Missionaries in Lithuania

William Lovelace
Missionary Support Code: 11872Z

Helen Byholt Lovelace
Missionary Support Code: 13078Z

The Rev. William (Bill) Lovelace is a United Methodist missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving as district superintendent and pastor in Lithuania. He formerly held similar positions in Kiev, Ukraine.

Lithuania (along with neighboring Latvia) is one of the recent mission initiatives of Global Ministries. Methodism was reestablished in both countries following the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Lithuania, part of the Northern European Central Conference, currently has 11 United Methodist congregations and an increasing number of preaching points. Diaconal (justice and service) ministries and outreach to children are integral parts of the work.

Bill has served in the former Soviet Union since 1992, first as a pastor in St. Petersburg, Russia. Between 1996 and the year 2011 he served as superintendent and/or pastor in the Southern Russia, Ukraine, and Caucuses districts of the Russia United Methodist Church. His pastorates included the United Methodist congregations in Kerch and Billa Tserkva, Ukraine, and St. Luke's Church in Kiev.
 

Bill was born in Orlando, Florida and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. He entered the ministry after spending almost eight years in computer science, once working primarily in the defense industry. His participation in the secular work sector helped him perceive some needs of people outside the influence of the church, and he eventually joined First United Methodist Church, Carrollton, Texas, and became active in teaching Sunday school, evangelism programs, and home Bible studies.

After leaving the computer science field in 1987, Bill worked as a volunteer with Cambodian refugees in San Diego, California; a summer intern at First Church, Carrollton; a summer chaplain at the Veterans Hospital of Lexington, Kentucky; and a tutor in English for Japanese professionals.

Bill holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from Asbury Theological seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky. He is a student of languages and can speak English and Russian, and is studying Lithuania. He is familiar with Ukrainian and Norwegian.

Rev. Lovelace is married to the Rev. Helen Byholt Lovelace, also a missionary.

Their work is featured on the website of the Norway United Methodist Church (Norwegian).  The United Methodist Church in Lithuania has an English-language webpage at lithuaniaumc.org.

 

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The Rev. Helen Byholt Lovelace is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church assigned as director of diaconal ministry in the Lithuania United Methodist Church. She also mentors and assists church-related children's and family centers in Lithuania.

Lithuania (along with neighboring Latvia) is one of the recent mission initiatives of Global Ministries. Methodism was reestablished in both countries following the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Lithuania, part of the Northern European Central Conference, currently has 11 United Methodist congregations and an increasing number of preaching points. Diaconal (justice and service) ministries and outreach to children are integral parts of the work.

A native of Norway, and an ordained deacon of the Norway United Methodist Church, Rev. Lovelace previously served with her husband, the Rev. William (Bill) Lovelace, also a missionary, in Ukraine, first in the city of Kerch, and then in Kiev. In the latter she developed ministries related to women's issues, social outreach, and programs with families affected by drug and alcohol abuse.

Rev. Lovelace believes the call to ministry and mission must be holistic. "I think the mission task of the United Methodist Church is to take the whole person seriously: not just their spiritual concerns, but also their entire life situation," she says. "The mission of the church is not only to preach the gospel, but to practice the gospel as it brings the outcry of the people back to the altar of the church, to Christ."

She continues, "The United Methodist Church is a church which has concern for people inside and outside the congregation. It is a church which is ready to stand at the barricades to protect the human rights of individuals and groups, politically and spiritually for the sake of the world."

Born in Kragero, Norway, Rev. Lovelace has a lifelong relationship with the Kragero Metodistkirke. She was consecrated as a diaconal minister in June 1995, and ordained as a deacon in 1999. She is the former general secretary of the Norwegian United Methodist Board of Church and Society, and her work experience also includes serving as recreation program director for the Norwegian State School for deaf children.

Their work is featured on the website of the Norway United Methodist Church (Norwegian).  The United Methodist Church in Lithuania has an English-language webpage at lithuaniaumc.org.

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