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Youngest Graduate Pastoring Historic Church in Croatia

Ivan's installation - 2009

Ivan’s installation – 2009

Ivan enrolled in Theological Biblical Academy (TBA) in 2003. He was the youngest and most unassuming student they had ever received, but he was also humble and diligent in his studies. Though academics did not initially come easy to him, the faculty at TBA sought him out and encouraged him to continue “through the pain.” Ivan persevered, and in 2007 he graduated.

Upon graduation, he was invited to lead a youth group in his home church, a small village congregation. His Christlike character and Christ-centered preaching began to be noticed by many. Soon he was invited to preach twice a month in the second-oldest Baptist church in Croatia—planted in 1883 in Daruvar.

Baptisticka Crkva Daruvar 600

Daruvar Baptist Church

By God’s grace, Ivan continued to watch carefully his life and doctrine; and in 2009 he was called to serve as the pastor of that historic church. The youngest man to ever graduate from TBA became the pastor of one of the oldest congregations in the country! Over the course of the last six years, God has used him tremendously to bring doctrinal clarity, moral direction, and spiritual care to this seasoned body of believers.

One of Ivan’s former professors at TBA recently invited Ivan to preach at his church. He writes:

“It was my great joy and privilege to hear him preach for the first time in over ten years. How skillfully he communicated to our people; and with what accuracy did he handle the text! He was a blessing to the entire congregation, as well as to the many visitors who had come to hear him. This young pastor is a powerful testimony to what God can do with a humble man who is dedicated to the truth of Scripture. Thank you for your prayers and financial support. Thank you for the part you played in helping him be prepared for such a Christ-honoring ministry in Croatia! Pray for Ivan! Pray for his endurance, for his protection, and for his great success in his pastoral ministry!”

Ivan 600

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of ensuring that future pastors and church leaders be centered in the Word of God. During their years of theological training, a misalignment of even the smallest degree can eventually prove deadly. Many men have fallen and churches have crumbled because of small deviations turning into massive ruptures. On the other hand, and by God’s grace, theological education can ground men in biblical fidelity for a lifetime of fruitful ministry. Theological Biblical Academy in Croatia, along with all the TMAI member schools, is committed to bringing this critical foundation to the men like Ivan who might not otherwise have had the opportunity.