Corneliu Ardelean was born in communist Romania, into a Christian family in the mid 20th century. Born into the only protestant Christian family in his village, he and his family attended church by walking 7 KM twice a day. In his early years in ministry, he began as a Sunday school teacher and then soon afterwards began his training for teaching in the ministry underground. During this time, he began studying through the Bible Education Extension, a program aimed at the studying of Scripture. Soon after, he was denied entry into the only Baptist Theological Seminary in Romania. The Seminary was being actively controlled by the Communist regime, and those in attendance needed an acceptance letter from the Secret police; a letter Corneliu was not able to obtain. Corneliu was continuously being followed and tracked by the Secret police and despite the close and dangerous attention, was ordained underground in 1988 and continued in his ministry pastoring throughout 10 village churches, which he served with joy and passion. Corneliu finished his theological studies after the fall of the communist regime at the Emmanuel Theological University in Oradea, Romania. Corneliu, his wife and four children came to Canada in 2001 to serve the first Romanian Baptist Church in Vancouver. In 2006, together with a group of 4 families, Bethel Romanian Church was planted in Abbotsford and Corneliu continues to serve as pastor in this congregation.
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