The town of Surgut was founded in the 1960s in Siberia, a land then of only barren ground, natives from the Khanty tribe, and a gulag. or Soviet work camp. When the Soviet Union began tapping large oil fields in the region, the gulag was abandoned and the prisoners were released. Surgut grew and quickly became a hub for travelers passing through Siberia.
In the early 1980s Sergey Kubata, a pastor, and his friend Victor Komosarinko moved from Ukraine to Siberia and started the Baptist Church of Surgut. Soviet authorities had imprisoned Komosarinko's grandfather in northwest Siberia, and he had prayed for a church to grow and proclaim the gospel there. Today the Baptist Church of Surgut draws almost 200 congregants, and church members have started about 30 house churches in the region among more than 20,000 Khanty.