Tim and Nancy Lovelace, natives of Boiling Springs and Shelby, NC, have two married daughters and three granddaughters.
From 1992-1996, they served in Russia and Hong Kong. In Russia they started three bible schools and helped 17 churches in the Volga Ural region grow to 43. In Hong Kong, they served as Personnel Directors for 138 international missionaries with Revival Christian Church Ministries Int. In April 2002, Tim and Nancy moved to Go To Nations’ World Headquarters and served as Vice President of Ministries, where Nancy continues to oversee the training and health of GTN missionaries, as well as the development of work in the nations.
In March 2009, Tim launched GloDev Inc, the Relief and Development Arm of Go to Nations, as Founder and CEO. Tim is helping GTN missionaries build Sustainable Microfarms to feed the poor with food and to train children and adults, not only how to feed themselves nutritionally, but how they can become entrepreneurs and leaders to help their own people.
Eurasia- former Soviet Union Countries
After the wall came down the first Missionary arrived in Latvia April 1990 and planted the first church. In January 1991, 7 missionary units moved to Jelgava, Latvia and opened Calvary Bible Institute with 132 students. It was one of the first pastoral training schools in the former USSR. Calvary's strategy was to send the new graduates to plant churches in targeted cities – population centers of one million or more people - in regions all across the former USSR, which they did. By the summer of 1991 eighteen churches had already been planted.
In October of 1991, a missionary base was opened in Moscow with 4 missionary units. Over the next two years this team grew and and began the following initiatives: Church Growth Conferences, Calvary Correspondence School, a Jesus Film program, Calvary Christian Academy, and 2 Calvary churches launched in Moscow . In addition, Calvary Bible Institute - Moscow was established along with several in-church Bible Schools. By May of 1993, Jelgava Bible School merged into Moscow Bible Institute and over 300 graduates of these schools were now ministering in C.I.S.
By December of 1993 Calvary Fellowship, the Russian organization of GTN's affiliated churches, was officially registered. That December, our 6th National Pastor's Conference (2 per year) had 73 pastors in attendance. In 1994 Calvary International's (GTN's) stated purpose was: "We exist to reach the lost by evangelizing, training and to disciple laborers to fulfill the Great Commission in this generation."
Our objectives were to implement evangelism and church planting programs in all 168 districts of the former USSR, train leaders/pastors through Pastoral Training Schools, and develop the churches we had planted by establishing bases with missionaries in the regions and on the local church level. This project was launched in partnerships with local churches across the US. The missionaries would train, disciple and build relationships with the church pastors and their leaders and many US churches supported the new pastors as they were able.
The challenges in the field were great for a number of reasons. For starters, the immense size of Russia and the former satellite countries covered a span of 11 time zones! Fortunately, Russia had developed a very efficient rail system that covered this territory. Hyper-inflation, simply shopping for the necessities of everyday life, learning the language and cultural adaptation while forging onward with the ministry was a challenge for each missionary.
In spite of all this, God breathed upon us and by January of 1994, the Moscow Bible Institute had 52 students enrolled from all over the country and had already graduated 429 from other satellite schools. In 1994 GTN had 108 Calvary Fellowship churches registered and 3 missionary bases established (Jelgava, Moscow and Samara), with 38 national staff and 1400 students enrolled in our correspondence school.
GTN continued to work on its objectives: conducting regional conferences, assisting pastors with evangelism, continued regional leadership education and training in local church ministries. With the growth of church centers in the regions who were establishing their own training schools, Moscow Bible Institute was eventually closed in 1996 and that baton was passed onto the Russian churches.
In 1998 the Russian government required a re-registration of all the churches. This new law caused the majority of the Protestant churches to unify in prayer and purpose. The ROCXBE Union was formed as a response to the law. Calvary Fellowship (Fellowship of Russian Churches with Calvary) was registered as an organization under this umbrella. Many Calvary Churches registered with us but others chose to register under their own ministries regionally or with other groups within our Union. Some joined the Pentecostal Union. In 2005, Calvary Fellowship was completely turned over to Russian leadership. Ministry in Russia and the former USSR is built upon relationship. Those relationships remained intact and now we were positioned to work with so many more groups across association and denomination borders.
During the next few years, most churches experienced growth, but many developed an inward focus. Russia's churches were birthed in a missionary movement, but for a season seemed to lose their bearings. In 2003 in St. Petersburg, Russia, GTN missionaries hosted a missionary conference for Calvary Fellowship (Russia) with Dr. Jerry Williamson as one of the keynote speakers. This conference was birthed out of 9 months of prayer and it ignited a fire in the hearts of the attending leaders. God, through Dr. Jerry's teaching, opened the hearts of those attending leaders to realize that each one of them was called to be a Great Commission Christian. They began to understand that their churches were called by God to be Great Commission Churches and that their task was to reach out to unreached areas/peoples within their borders and beyond to establish the Kingdom of God. After this event it was clear that training materials were greatly needed. Responding to this need, Dr. Jerry wrote Global Pathways and Steps to The Mission Field. These materials were developed to help train whole churches to become Great Commission churches and then provide a training track to equip the new missionaries that would arise out of those churches.
These materials are called Pathways to the Nations (PTTN) in the Russian language; one manual includes both books. We began promoting and conducting PTTN Conferences in 2006, beginning in European (Western) Russia, west of the Ural mountains. By 2010, dozens of churches had planted hundreds of daughter churches. These conferences launched a new missionary movement from within the Russian churches, and for the first time, they began totarget Unreached People Groups (UPG) in Russia, and in other countries, as well as those cities and villages within Russia proper that did not have a Gospel presence. Currently, while we continue to lead PTTN conferences in European Russia, the emphasis has shifted to Siberian Russia. In addition, rather than foreign missionaries conducting most of the training, the emphasis has shifted to equipping national pastors who are leading successful sending churches to do much of the teaching.
The corporate Russian Protestant Church is a well-established “Emerging Church” under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and has the potential to be a mighty, self-supporting missionary training and sending force. To date, we know of Russian missionary teams working within the European Union, China, Mongolia, India, Nepal and Africa. Calvary International, now Go To Nations, conducted the first Timothy Internship Program, a 10.5 week missionary internship program, in the summer of 2013 for 8 missionary candidates, to train Russian leaders how to equip new missionaries for cross-cultural service.
At the same time, the great blessings of the Gospel have brought prosperity. Russia has become like many other consumer societies especially in the western, European half of the country. People within many of the churches are busy working, raising families and are not as available as before to volunteer their time and talents. Because the Russian church has taken on the responsibility for furthering the kingdom in Russia, the need for full-time church planters is not as urgent, at least in the Western section; however, cross-cultural missionaries still can provide important teaching, training and encouragement for the national pastors.
On the other hand, the vast eastern (Siberia and the Russian Far East) and southern regions (primarily Muslim provinces) have a great need for church planters, teachers, trainers and prayer warriors. There are still 100,000 cities, towns and villages in the Russian Federation that still have no evangelical church. In addition, the Joshua Project has categorized 82 distinct ethnic groups in Russia as Unreached People Groups. While statistics are not up to date, many of these groups are still unreached. Many of the groups are Muslim and live primarily in the southwest region of the country bordering Central Asia. Other unreached nationalities, who practice Buddhism and Shamanism, reside in Siberia and the Russian Far East. God is moving mightily by His Spirit to heal, deliver and build His church.
Beginning in 2013, GTN missionaries teamed up with Russian national leaders to plant a new work in Ulan Ude, the capital of the Republic of Buryatia (Russian Federation), located north of the Mongolian border. Building on a proven model in Russia, a Drug and Alcohol rehab center (called Naidal, or Hope in the Buryat language) was launched first, and on that base 2 months later services were started, with an emphasis on the power of the Kingdom of God. Through the manifestations of the Spirit and the healing power of Jesus Christ, these very spiritual people began to learn that Jesus is Lord of all. From it’s inception, the disciples were taught that the Great Commission is their purpose, and signs and wonders are their inheritance. The church grew rapidly, the Hope center opened a second location and land was donated for a third. Teams were trained and evangelized in 7 surrounding villages. There are disciples in several of them, and regular services have begun in two. In less than 2 years, the missionary team was able to transition out of the area. A strong church, with a rapidly maturing national leadership, continues the work.
In June 2015, a similar team will arrive in Yakutsk, capital of the Sakha Republic (Russian Federation). Five UPG’s (Unreached People Groups) reside in this vast Republic, which covers more square miles than Alaska, California and Texas combined! The long term strategy is for GTN missionaries, both long and short term teams, to assist the national church by establishing a missionary training center in Russia or a nearby country, to conduct Timothy Intern and Apprentice Missionary programs as needed to train cross-cultural workers, and to continue bringing the very fruitful Pathway to the Nations conference to every Russian church possible. Our work will be considered complete when the Russian church has targeted every UPG and every unreached city, town and village with the Gospel of the Kingdom.