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A Tribute to Former Bulgarian Union President

Ivalina Ilieva, Communications Director, Western Conference

Dimitar Kirov, who served as Bulgarian Union President during the Communist era, passed away Nov. 21, 2014 at the age of 104.

He was born on October 26, 1910 in the village of Popitsa, north-western Bulgaria. Upon completing the fourth grade and three-year vocational school, he came to Sofia and worked as an engraver. Being an intelligent young man and member of the Temperance Society, Dimitar Kirov got into the vortex of the time. He described this time (late 1920s, early 1930s) as a time of great idealism in Bulgaria. Everywhere in the city of Sofia, in public squares and clubs, people met to discuss different ideas on politics, religions and the like. At that time, Kirov began attending services at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, on Solunska Street, and was baptized August 20, 1932.

Since then, he first worked at the SDA Publishing House, then as a pastor. Over time he became one of the Union leaders, a person with influence and authority.

The Communist regime persecuted and made it difficult for Pastor Kirov to do his work. After being elected as a Bulgarian Union President in 1968, he was called to be part of the Secret Police. He was ordered by the authorities to be trained for three years in the Valnari village, north-eastern Bulgaria. Nevertheless, he remained a man of articulate principles and beliefs.

His moral dignity inspires many young people. His great-grandchildren loved him dearly. He would often meet them after school with the questions: "Did you do something good today? Did you tell anybody about Jesus?"

He was married to Zdravka Mollova and they had one son, Edmil, also a pastor.

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