Since 1999, Pastor Roberts has made 20 trips to Russia, visiting Moscow, Voronezh, St. Petersburg, Tambov, Rostov-na-Dony, Nizhni Novgorod and Kazan. He has taken teams with him and has taught in seminaries in Moscow and Kazan.
Russia has been a lifelong interest of Pastor Roberts and the Lord providentially opened the doors for him to visit there. Initially, he was invited by a Pentecostal church in Voronezh to come and preach, but he had a desire to work in building up the Reformed faith in Russia. On his second trip to Russia, he met some Korean Presbyterian missionaries who had several mission churches scattered throughout western Russia. Several years later, he made contact with Russian pastors who were interested in starting an indigenous Russian Reformed denomination. Pastor Roberts suggested to them a course of action in which they would hold a pastor's conference and invite every pastor they knew who would be interested in the possibility of a Russian reformed denomination. This conference met on December 11-12, 2008 with 32 people in attendance. At the end of the conference, there was a resolution to start a new denomination which would be called the Evangelical Reformed Church of Russia (ERCR). This denomination has grown from 4 churches in 2008 to 15 churches in 2010. At present, they are working diligently to gain possession of three church buildings in St. Petersburg and one church building in Moscow which were formerly owned by German, Swiss or French Reformed denominations before the rise of Bolshevism in 1917.
In September 9-11, 2009, Pastor Roberts organized and spoke at the "Calvin 500 Conference" in Moscow. Other speakers were Pastor Win Groseclose, Dr. George Hutchinson, Pastor Valerian Ten and several other speakers from Russia and the Netherlands. The ERCR has now entered into fraternal relations with the Dutch Reformed Church (Liberated) of Holland and hopes to establish fraternal relationships with other evangelical reformed and Presbyterian denominations throughout the world. Other speakers who have spoken at the annual Pastors Conferences are: Dr. Anthony (Tony) N.S. Lane, a professor at The London School of Theology and author of numerous books; Dr. Joel Beeke, President of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, editor of Reformation Heritage Books, author of numerous books, and pastor of a church; Rev. David Crenshaw; Rev. Ron Horgan; and Dr. Leslie Holmes, adjunct professor at reformed Theological Seminary in Atlanta, GA and Erskine Theological Seminary in Erskine, SC.
The next conference will be September 16-18, 2014 in St. Petesburg. The speakers will be Rev. Dewey Roberts; Rev. Geoffrey Thomas, pastor at Alfred Place Baptist Church in Aberystwyth, Wales; and Dr. Anthony (Tony) N. S. Lane. The theme of this next conference will be the Five Solas of the Protestant Reformation: Faith Alone, Christ Alone, Grace Alone, Scripture Alone, and the Glory of God Alone.
The focus of Pastor Roberts' mission work in Russia is two-fold: pastor training and seminary education. Russia was open to foreign missionaries for a short time, but has now greatly restricted their work. Western missionaries must now leave the country every 90 days and reapply for a religious visa. This restriction makes the work of building up the indigenous church even more important. Pastor Roberts has taken several people with him on these mission trips to Russia and is always looking for pastors or elders who are willing to serve.
These conference are supported wholly by the contributions of God's people. It takes $12-15,000 for each conference. If you would like to support this cause, you may contribute by sending your check or money order to: Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, PO Box 1862, Destin, FL 32540 and earmark it for: "Russian Pastors Conference."