Conversion of a World Communist Leader
by Christopher C. Warren
In the power struggle that followed Stalin's death in 1953, Nikita Kruschev was the one that emerged finally as the Soviet strong man, becoming both Chairman of the Communist Party and Soviet Premier. Under his leadership Stalinism was denounced, the "cult of personality" surrounding the former leader was done away with, and Soviet policy reverted back to Leninism.
This story is reprinted from Like a Dove Descending, by Ian MacPherson (Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55438).
Ben Iller got this story from Gordon Williamson, who formerly, together with his wife, ministered in Pakistan but now works among the Indians in South Africa. Gordon Williamson was preaching at a Christian Brethren Missionary Conference in Durban. A Russian ship was in the harbour and friends invited the ship's captain and his wife, both professing and radiant Christians, to dinner. They told of an unforgettable experience while attending a Christian gathering at a Black Sea resort. Many Christians from Iron Curtain (communist) countries, like Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Russia were at the large meeting. The service on the last evening was a witness to the Gospel.
Surprise Guest at Christian Gathering
The congregation was electrified, astounded, even frightened to see a white-haired man proceed down the aisle toward the microphone. It was Nikita Kruschev! From the platform he confessed his faith in Christ and said he wanted Russia to follow in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus Christ.
As a lad he had learned the Gospel of John verbatim and knew the Scriptures well. He went to the university and studied political science. Then discarding his loving Christian wife, he divorced her. She was deported to Siberia, and he had gone after political power. He regretted his action and now wanted to reverse his decision and to follow the Lord Jesus.
The audience breathed a sigh of relief. Within hours of this happening, and before he could return to the seat of power in Moscow, evidently spies accompanying him reported the incident to the Kremlin, and he was summarily deposed and set aside. Because of world opinion he suffered no worse fate. John Noble later met Kruschev's ex-wife in Siberia. She told him that she had been praying for her former husband's conversion.
Speaking at one of our conventions Billy Brim added this interesting postscript to the Kruschev story:
In later years, former U.S. Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey met with the former Soviet leader, thinking a meeting would improve relations between their countries because they could perhaps be influential as "elder statesmen." However, he got more than he bargained for. Kruschev not only witnessed of his own salvation, but actually led Mr. Humphrey to the Lord as well! Praise God!