Christian Publication Honors Croatian Couple for Service

for immediate release Feb. 26, 1998

ABILENE - 21st Century Christian magazine honored a Croatian evangelist and his wife with its Christian Service Award at a breakfast Wednesday during ACU's 80th annual Bible Lectureship.

Mladen and Dragica Jovanovic of Zagreb, Croatia, have served as models of leadership and servanthood in many ways throughout the years. He has served as a teacher, minister, translator and publisher of religious material and she has been an elementary school teacher.

Only Mladen was able to be present to receive the award.

Mladen never saw a Bible until he was 21 years old. While teaching as a professor of Linguistics at the University of Zagreb in the former Yugoslavia, Jovanovic met missionaries Bud Picki and David Gatewood. Through their teachings he became a Christian in 1971.

Mladen was an exchange professor, delegated by the Yugoslavian government, at the University of Warsaw, Poland, from 1971-79. After leaving Warsaw, Mladen was involved in graduate Bible studies at the Institute for Christian Studies in Austin, Texas. He then began working full-time for the church in Croatia under the direction of the elders at the Bammel Road Church of Christ in Houston, Texas. Mladen served as a missionary-in-residence at Oklahoma Christian University in 1989-90.

Having returned to the mission field, Mladen is currently produces ten Christian radio programs which are broadcast over six stations in Croatia. He has recently been responsible for the Braille Bible being published in the Croation language. Mladen serves pulpit minister and evangelist for the congregation in Zagreb. The church has been active in relief work since the beginning of the war in the former Yugoslavia. The congregation in Zagreb has been able to supply food, clothing, and medical care to over 3,000 homeless people.

"Few people in Eastern Europe have served more humanitarian needs than Mladen Jovanovic. Aided by others, Mladen has reached out to all ages, races, religious and ethnic groups to provide medical and humanitarian care in the name of Jesus Christ," said Prentice A. Meador Jr., minister at the Prestoncrest Church of Christ in Dallas and co-editor of 21st Century Christian.

Mladen is also a teacher at a preaching school. Author of the book "Who Are We Christians," published in the Croatian language, he continues to translate and publish religious literature. Mladen is involved with the distribution of Bibles to Eastern European countries through the Easter European Mission in Vienna, Austria, and he serves as a member of the Board of Directors at the International Christian University in Vienna.

Mladen and Dragica have three children, two sons and a daughter.

Affiliated with the churches of Christ, 21st Century Christian magazine is published monthly in Nashville, Tenn.

If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Malissa Endsley, director of media relations, at or call 915-674-2692.

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Last update: February 26, 1998