This time we’re going to tell you about a stadium in Sacramento (California), which was used as an air base of the USA, but later was occupied by religious immigrants from the USSR. It was built during World War I and for some time American pilots made their practice flights there.
This is the way a roadblock looked in 1955.
During WWII the airfield was very busy, because a lot of planes would take off and land carrying military equipment and soldiers to the battle sites in the Pacific Ocean.
During Cold War, it was the headquaters of the command post of the 320th bomber squadron.
Although in September 1988 the military unit went out of existence, the aerodrome still serves as a flight control post.
When Cold War ended, some of the buildings were sold to commercial enterprises. Although the base contains dangerous chemicals, it is a civil object which accepts loads from all over the country.
In 1998, a Slavic church ‘Bethany’ purchased the health-improving complex for American military men for 5 million dollars. The lot size of the complex was 100000 square meters.
So, now they prey in this building. The sign runs: Enter the Church with His Blessing!
Now over 5 thousand people attend this church, making it the biggest Slavic church in America and the biggest Russian-speaking immigrant church in the world.
‘Bethany’ propagates the Gospels around the world, preserving the Slavic culture and traditions.
‘You are the light of the world!’
Fire Prevention Control did not allow the church to gather too many people in the building, but after long quarrels and multiple tickets, it was redesigned into a church.
Parishioners from Ukraine prevail in this church (80%). Apart from them, there are immigrants from Uzbekistan, Tatarstan, Russia, Belarus, etc. there.
In 2001 a brutal murder commited by one of its parishioners, Nikolay Soltys, shocked the world.
He slaughtered his wife and five other relatives of him.
The pastor of the church immigrated to the USA from Estonia in 1989.
For these immigrants, this church is more than just a church, because different events for children and adults are held here. It also supervises primary school for Russian kids.
American pilots would be really disappointed, if they found out anything like that at their air base.
This giant pool is used as a water reservoir in case of fire.
Kids can swim outside.
They also christen teenagers here.
They organize all kinds of sports events.
They teach that Israel will save all of us, that is why we should respect this country and its people.
Bird eye view.
One can see a huge gap between the generations.
Several years ago, members of this church organized a protest action against homosexuals.
California mass media immediately said thay had homophobia and did not deserve to live in this state.
According to USA Today, it is the biggest family in the world, which has 17 kids. They are Ukrainian and members of the church.
A famous American preacher makes a speech in ‘Bethany’ church.