More Information
ISBN: 9781839737893
Imprint: Langham Academic
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 20
Publication Date: 31/05/2024
Pages: 374
Series: Studies in Theology
Language: English

Brotherhood in Christ

Towards a Ukrainian Baptist Perspective on Associations of Churches


Traditional evangelical theology, with its emphasis on individual responsibility and the independence of faith communities, has often failed to offer a robust ecclesial vision for the unity of Christ’s church. Engaging this reality, Dr. Oleksandr Geychenko seeks to provide a theological framework for understanding the ecclesiological nature of Ukrainian Baptist church associations. He traces the history and development of Baptist unions in Eastern Europe, examining associational practices and organisational structure, along with the theological language used to describe the role and purpose of such unions. In dialogue with the covenant theology of Paul S. Fiddes, he demonstrates that church associations should be viewed as more than pragmatic entities. Rather, they are ecclesial bodies embodying covenantal unity, committed to mutual care and participation in Christ’s mission to the world.

While drawing from primary sources and ecclesial practices to provide a unique and significant contribution to local theology, this study bears relevance for engaging ecumenical relations across traditions and encouraging the unity of the broader global church.

Author Bios

Oleksandr Geychenko

OLEKSANDR GEYCHENKO has a PhD in theology from the University of St. Andrews, UK. Former vice president of the Euro-Asian Accrediting Association, he is the issuing editor of Theological Reflections: A Euro-Asian Journal of Theology and has served on multiple editorial boards, including for the Journal of European Baptist Studies and the Slavic Bible Commentary (E-AAA, 2016). He is rector of Odesa Theological Seminary, Ukraine, where he formerly served as senior librarian and academic dean.


Brotherhood in Christ is a must-have volume for theological libraries, theologians, theological students and ministers – not only for Baptists, but also for their ecumenical dialogue partners.

Steven R. Harmon, PhD
Professor of Historical Theology,
Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity, North Carolina, USA

Brotherhood in Christ fills a gap in the theological literature by exploring associations of Ukrainian Baptist churches as ecclesial entities. Geychenko’s study contributes significantly to the fields of Baptist theology and history, and I heartily recommend it.

Adam Harwood, PhD
McFarland Professor of Theology,
Associate Dean of Theological & Historical Studies,
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisiana, USA

This is an an inspiring piece of work, focusing on Ukrainian Baptist ecclesiology, which is of central importance for evangelical identity. This research offers a point of comparison for further discussion relevant for wider theological conversation. A helpful source for students and scholars.

Toivo Pilli, PhD
Director of Baptist Studies,
International Baptist Theological Study Centre, Netherlands

Oleksandr Geychenko possesses a remarkable ability to bridge cultural and linguistic contexts towards the construction of an account of church life that is compelling, gospel-centred and deeply rooted in biblical teaching and Christian tradition. At a time when the world’s attention is focused on Ukraine, Geychenko is to be commended for making an outstanding contribution to the study of the evangelical movement in this key strategic region.

Joshua T. Searle, PhD
Professor of Mission Studies and Intercultural Theology,
Elstal Theological University, Germany
Co-Founder, Dnipro Hope Mission

Brotherhood in Christ examines not only the declared theology of Ukrainian Baptists, but also, importantly, probes their actual convictions and practices. It is an essential read for anyone interested in the life of Ukrainian Baptist communities, and indeed, wider Eastern European evangelical church scene.

Lina Toth, PhD
Assistant Principal and Lecturer,
Scottish Baptist College, UK
Senior Research Fellow,
International Baptist Theological Study Centre, Netherlands

Table of Contents

  1. Abstract
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. Foreword
  4. Abbreviations
  5. Introduction
  6. Chapter 1 Baptist Origins in the Russian Empire
  7. Chapter 2 The Brotherhood Period (1880–1904)
  8. Chapter 3 The Rise and Demise of the Union (1905–1935)
  9. Chapter 4 Restoration and Division of the Union (1944–1990)
  10. Chapter 5 The Union in Independent Ukraine (1991–2014)
  11. Chapter 6 Exploring Oral Tradition on Associations of Churches
  12. Chapter 7 Engaging Wider Tradition: Paul S. Fiddes’s Covenant Ecclesiology
  13. Chapter 8 Gathering Puzzles for a Theology of Associations of Churches
  14. Conclusion
  15. Appendix 1 Interview Questions and Prompts
  16. Appendix 2 Two Versions of the Interview Questions
  17. Appendix 3 Initial Coding
  18. Appendix 4 Constitution of the Church
  19. Appendix 5 Equipping Stundist missionaries for Eastern Siberia
  20. Appendix 6 Church Covenant of the Community of Evangelical Christians-Baptists Bibliography