HISTORY OF THE GENERAL COUNCIL OF THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD OF ALBANIA
The General Council of the Assemblies of God of Albania (GCAGA) was formed in 2003. It was founded as a cooperative effort between five local churches planted by Assemblies of God missionaries in the 1990’s from the United States, Brazil, and Finland (Fida). The vision of the GCAGA is built on four pillars: evangelism, church planting, leadership training, and compassion ministry. We also have a strong vision to send out Albanian missionaries throughout the Balkans and into the unreached world. The GCAGA has nine churches, six church plants, 20 preaching points, 1,000 members and adherents, 13 national pastors, and two missionaries. Our goal is to double our fellowship in the next five years through increased church planting.
The executive officers of the GCAGA are:
Rev. Gezim Spahija, President
Rev. Kurt Plagenhoef, Vice-President
Rev. Ervin Kodra, Treasurer
Rev. Miljard Gosturani, Secretary
The church in Albania is very young. During the years of communism (1946-1991), all religion was outlawed and Albania was the only officially atheist country in the history of the world. When the communist government fell in 1991, there was no evangelical church and only a few known believers. Today there are 200 evangelical churches and about 20,000 believers. Albania is unique compared to other Eastern Europe countries which had an existing Pentecostal church that survived communism. The GCAGA has literally laid the foundation and is building a national church from ground zero. Albania, once the most closed country in the world is perhaps the most open Muslim country in the world today.
The greatest cooperative effort of the GCAGA thus far has been the establishment of the first Pentecostal Bible school for ministerial training in Albania. Evangelical Theological College is preparing ministers, pastors, church planters and missionaries for the Lord’s work. The faculty is a multi-national team of missionaries and national pastors.
The main campus is in Tirana and there is an extension site in Shkoder, northern Albania.
There is a great need for developing Albanian church leaders in Albania and throughout the Balkan region including Kosovo, western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, and northern Greece. Many cities and hundreds of villages in Albania are still unreached. The work in Kosovo and Macedonia has just begun, and there is virtually no Assemblies of God work yet in Montenegro and Greece dedicated to Albanians.
The GCAGA is a young fellowship but a missionary fellowship. We have sent out two missionaries thus far, both working in Skopje, Macedonia to plant the first Albanian church in that country. Most Macedonian Albanians have not heard the gospel and cannot hear it because they have no witness. The GCAGA is committed to preaching the gospel and winning the lost in Albania, the Balkans and beyond until Jesus returns.