Missionaries in Lithuania
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 Lithuanian. He is familiar with Ukrainian and Norwegian.
Rev. Lovelace is married to the Rev. Helen Byholt Lovelace, also a missionary.