At the beginning of the last century, the congregation of believers in the Evangelical Church in Beska, Srem, restored and empowered in the Holy Spirit, began to preach the gospel throughout Vojvodina and the former Yugoslavia. The result of this work is the Protestant Evangelical Church (PEC) in Belgrade.
The congregation of believers was first established in Zemun in 1930, where regular weekly worship services were held. Other days, Belgrade believers gathered in prayer groups at their homes. After the outbreak of the war in 1941 and the setting of the Sava border, the Believers of Belgrade began to hold weekly worship services in their city as well. It was then that our congregation first faced the problem of a suitable place for worship. Regardless, the gospel spread and the congregation of believers grew. Already in 1942, a community was formed in Krusevac, and after the war, communities were born in Nis, Leskovac, Sabac, Brcko and other places.
Prote Mateje 41
Following the end of the war, in 1945, the Belgrade community was forced to change places frequently to hold their worship services and meetings until the premises at 41 Prote Mateje Street were purchased in 1960. The services were regularly held there, in April 1992. , when the congregation began to use the new church building at Simina 8. The Christian Charity Association "Bread of Life" moved into the old church premises, in Prote Matthew, and today they are actively using it for their charitable work.
In the humble premises of our church, in Matthew Street, many believed in Jesus Christ as their personal savior and made a covenant with God in baptism in the water. Church spaces became small over time for a growing community - a larger church was needed. The congregation began to pray for a new church, and the prayer was joined by believers from all over the former Yugoslavia, many sister churches abroad, in America, Canada and Australia, and among European countries, Sweden in particular showed its commitment to the church in Belgrade. Smirna church of Gothenburg showed a great love for the work - in addition to supporting the decision to build the church in prayer, from the very beginning they participated by providing their material and professional input. In the Belgrade community, believers also made more than a voluntary contribution, many for months giving their entire salaries for the construction of a church.
Building the New Church
The circumstances in the country and the city were such that this construction undertaking carried with it many obstacles. City representatives for religious affairs argued that the Belgrade community has no chance of building a church at a given location, as something like this has never been foreseen by the urban plan. In spite of all the circumstances, with the grace of God, in 1989 a permit was granted to build a church.
The old building, whose facade stood erect only with the help of wooden beams on the street side, was demolished to the ground. The Lord ensured that the church at that time had two construction workers, Ljubica Beljin and Marija Muncan, who sacrificed themselves diligently to make sure that the house of God was good and properly built. It was a great joy when the new church building in Simina 8 was officially opened and dedicated on April 17, 1992.
From its inauguration to the present day, the church has been serving the great and never so great extent of the gospel spread in Belgrade. In the months following the opening of the church, a civil war broke out in Yugoslavia, and in response to the overwhelming need of a growing number of refugees, the PEC, together with the Christian Baptist Church, established the Christian Charity Association, "Bread of Life." Simina Street in Belgrade becomes one of the central places for receiving humanitarian aid, not because of the Red Cross located there, but because of the church across the street.
Hundreds of thousands of people have had the opportunity to hear the gospel in their own language in this place. For more than fifteen years, tens of thousands of young people and children have come to see the performance of birth of Jesus Christ. New generations of young people are re-organizing the traditional Youth Conference for May 1st, while the Evangelical Sisters' Association has been preparing for twenty years a conference that brings together sisters from all over Serbia and other countries of the former Yugoslavia. Twenty seven years of worship are held on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.