House to enlighten Mežaparks.
Mežaparka congregation has an interesting history. In the first years of 20 century the house was built as a power station to provide electricity to the new built mansions and small town in the shore of Lake Kisezers. Pious people from Mežaparks were longing to establish a chapel there. In 1919 this house was sanctified as a chapel and got the name of the king of Sweden Gustav Adolf II. Accordingly the little house built to give the electric light now brings the light of the Word of God.
Bringing light to Latvia
The devoted serving to God and nation didn’t stop in the years of Soviet occupation, when the Church and believers were persecuted. Even more, in the years most difficult for testifying the faith (in 1980-ies) the spiritual awakening was started in Mežaparka congregation, leaving beneficial imprints in all the Latvian nation and Church. We have experienced the fact that has approved in the Bible and history – God likes to reveal His power and mightiness through small and humble things.
The present time
Today Mežaparka congregation still resides in this small but fabulous church which has become a spiritual shelter for people in Mežaparks and closest neighborhood.
Old and young, in health and sickness, those who are happy and those who are sad – everybody in Mežaparka congregation can get the blessing given by God through His means of mercy to all the Church. Congregation is happy to get the love of the Lord and to deliver it to others.
Everybody is invited to our congregation to become a child of God, to find his or her place at the God’s table and to enjoy the songs and prayers together with other brothers and sisters in Christ.
Mežaparka congregation is a wonderful possibility not to stay alone, but to experience the mercy of God in community, which is “roses and lilies” of Christian faith (Luther). Mežaparka congregation is a wonderful place to leave our sins and burdens and to receive God’s forgiveness and mercy in Jesus Christ.
Day by day, year after year we experience the loveliness, peace and blessedness of God’s promised kingdom and wait in cheerful trustfulness for a day to see Him face to face.
Walking together with God in Mežaparka congregation
How do we walk along this road?
In Sundays at the same time as service
Personal meetings with pastor
Every Wednesday before the service (confession, counseling, shared prayers)
Deaconry work in congregation provides practical and spiritual help to those, who can’t attend the church because of sickness or weakness, as well as attending the sick members of congregation in the hospital or home.
Reading God’s word
In church services the Word of God is red by elders. There is also circle of book readers in the congregation.
There is a prayer group in the congregation ready to pray for urgent or permanent needs.
Everybody sings in services and common excursions, but we also have a choir. Repetitions take place on Wednesdays before the service and on Sundays after the service.
We support the preservation of the spiritual heritage of the church and congregation. We also organize the commemoration days of famous pastors and support the publishing of their books.
Common cycling, excursions.
We have a sister congregation in Finland – Forsa and also in Latvia – Preili.
There is a bookstand in the church where you can take books to read or to buy.
History of the Mežaparks CongregationMežaparks was started as a garden town in 1901. Its first name was Ķeizarmežs and the main population was German people. As they needed an electro-station, an approval for construction of a new power station was given on 10 Aug 1904. When Mežaparks was connected to the electro-lines of city Riga the currant church building was left empty. Afterwards it was used as a harness stand for horse tram from Brasa Station to Ķeizarmežs with stables next to the stand building. On 29 Nov 1911 this land property was bought by a joint-stock company Būvbiedrība, whose shareholders were mainly German Members of Riga City Board.
Residents of Mežaparks had started to sense the lack of a church in their neighborhood already for a quite while, but at the beginning of the World War I the available funding was very restricted. So the director of Būvbiedrība Heinrih Aghte with his wife, both know as very hard-working personalities, suggested reconstructing the previous power station building into a new church building. The reconstruction was due to the Christmas 1918, but it lasted on till 31 Jan 1919. The chapel with 80 seats was consecrated by Bishop Polchaus from German Evangelical Lutheran congregations.
In 1927 pastor of Riga St. Peter’s German congregation Maximilian Stender initiated reconstruction works in church that led to obtaining a new church bell. The church building was named Gustav Adolf’s Church to honour Gustav Adolf’s Association supporting members of evangelical congregations not living in their home-countries. This organization had a branch in Riga as well.
Services were run in German and pastors from other German congregations came here to serve as at that time it was not a separate and competent congregation.
The population of Latvian residents in Mežaparks rose significantly after the World War I. So in spring 1937 when Pastor Edgars Rumba moved to Mežaparks he and the president of Christ’s congregation Prof. Pauls Dāle starter to run services in Latvian once or twice a month alongside German services.
In 1937 a decision was made to build a new church building with 350 seats for 2 Latvian congregations, Mežaparks and Christ's, with the total costs around 100 000 LVL. Riga City promised to provide a land property for construction near the Zoo. A special Committee on Raising Funds was established on 1 Feb 1940, but the process was stopped by Bolshevik invasion in Latvia. The pastor of Mežaparks congregation Edgars Rumba was deported. The next pastors serving in this congregation were Vicars E. Šmits and L. Čuiba from Riga City Deanery and others.
In the years of communistic oppression Mežaparks congregation became an important centre preserving and spreading Christianity. This difficult and at that time dangerous work was carried out by a pastor and Professor in Church History Roberts Feldmanis, who had served in this church many years. Due to his brilliant personality and devoted service in 70s and 80s this small congregation provided a whole generation of young Lutheran ministers such as archbishop Jānis Vanags, pastors Aleksandrs Bite, Ēriks Jēkabsons, Guntis Kalme, Jānis Šmits etc. Soviet rule considered this congregation to be ‘an anti-soviet element’ thus in 1970 a fire started mysteriously that was luckily brought under control before damaging the church building, but practically the whole congregation archive was gone.
The new church building was not built and Gustav Adolf’s Church is the only one in Mežaparks. Thought it is the smallest Lutheran church in Riga (with only 80 seats), it is still gathering full services with eager Christians.
Pastors of Mežaparks Congregation
|Pastor Edgars Rumba |
started to run services in Latvian,
service years 1937 - 1940
|Pastors Edmunds Šmits and Leons Čuibe |
held services in Mežaparks congregation
|Pastor Leons Taivāns |
(25 Jun 1896 – 5 Aug 1969)
service years 1946 - 1965
|Pastor Romāns Auseklis Vanags |
(16 Jan 1902 – Oct 1969)
service years 1965 - 1969
|Dr. Theol. Pastor Roberts Emīls Feldmanis|
(4 Aug 1910 – 28 May 2002)
service years 1969 - 1999
|Pastor Ēriks Jēkabsons|
(1959) – served together with
Prof. Pastor Roberts Feldmanis in 1988
|Pastor Agris Sutra|
(6 Jan 1963) - served together with
Prof. Pastor Roberts Feldmanis,
was ordained in 1990
|Pastor Rolands Eimanis|
(1 Jul 1968) – was ordained on 27 Nov 1995,
has been serving in Mežaparks congregation since 1998
|Pastor Ilmārs Rubenis |
(20 Sept 1973) – was ordained on 29 Nov 2003,
has been serving in Mežaparks congregation since 2004
Chairpersons of Mežaparks Congregation
Our future is in the hands of God. In trusting in Him and praying we
have planned to build the congregation house next to the Church.
The building of the Congregation house like the building of the
Church is necessary for all of us to see more clearly the presence of
the spirit of God which is promised to people in the New Testament.
Congregation house built and used in faith, can bring blessings not only
to congregation but to all neighborhoods.
From the beginnings Christian congregation “.. were loyal to what the
apostles taught, in their fellowship, in eating together, and in
praying.” (Acts2:42) This way they were able to defend the joy, peace
and love given by God even in times of suffering and hunger.
Let us to note only some things offered by congregation house:
Possibility to read and talk about the Bible and other books together
with others. Children classes, youth gatherings, confirmation classes,
mother gatherings, etc.
2. Congregation gatherings
Possibility to meet others for men gatherings, women gatherings, film
club, clubs of interests, etc..
3. Sharing the bread
Possibility to follow up the unity started in Holy sacrament –
deaconry work, soup kitchen, etc.
Possibility to spend time in prayers and singing the praises:
Choir, prayer groups, support groups, etc.