History of TCMII in Europe
TCMII’s work and ministry in Europe began with Gene Dulin’s first visit to Russia and Poland in 1963. Gene was Founder and first President of TCM International, Inc. Between 1963 and 1970 he visited Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union five times while living in Toronto, Canada. In 1971 the Haus Edelweiss property was purchased for ministry into the Soviet Union and satellite countries. The Leadership Training Center was built in 1989. Other buildings on the property were built in 1892. This property has been used as a private residence, a pension (hotel), retirement home, and headquarters for Soviet troops for a few years after World War II.
When the property was purchased it needed many repairs. For several years college students came from the United States during the summer to help with maintenance and repair projects. Missionaries and interns traveled from Haus Edelweiss into the Soviet Union and satellite countries to deliver Bibles, hymnbooks, Christian literature, clothing, food, and medicine. TCMII also assisted churches by funding needed repairs on their buildings and providing automobiles for pastors. Such assistance was the main emphasis of ministry until 1982.
In 1982 a new emphasis was added to those mentioned above. TCMII initiated “Summer Seminaries” at Haus Edelweiss. Eastern European pastors and church leaders were invited to come to Haus Edelweiss for two weeks of study under professors and preachers from the United States. In 1982 there were two two-week sessions. By 1990 the number had been increased to five. This ministry was important to church leaders living behind the iron curtain because there were very few Bible colleges and opportunities for taking ministry courses.
As the political situation began to change in Eastern Europe, many pastors and church leaders were able to come to Haus Edelweiss to study. Teaching sessions are held at the Haus from March through November. Each session offers several graduate-level classes. More than 500 European Christians study at Haus Edelweiss each year.
In 1991, Dr. Tony Twist, second President of TCM International, Inc., established the “Institute for Biblical Studies” (now TCM International Institute). The Institute is designed to provide graduate-level study for pastors and church leaders. When a student completes the required courses, he/she receives an accredited Master of Arts degree or Masters of Divinity Degree.
History of Haus Edelweiss
Back view of the “Big Haus” from the driveway.
Front view of the “Big Haus”
In 1971 TCMII’s Board of Directors agreed to purchase Haus Edelweiss near Vienna, Austria. This Haus (and three other buildings) on six acres of land was to serve as a strategic point from which to travel into the countries of Eastern Europe to serve Christians.
With the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the work of TCMII expanded from benevolence, literature distribution, church assistance, and leadership training (work that had been done since 1963) to include graduate Christian leadership education.
Haus Edelweiss today.