Shortly about the Museum

An Excerpt from Fetler's Museum





William Fetler (Vasiliy Andreyevich Fetler) was born on July 28, 1883 near the Baltic Sea in the city of Talsi, Latvia (Russian Empire). He was the eldest of ten children.

His father, Andrey Fetler, was an educated man and a talented preacher in the local Baptist Church. His mother, Margarita, who was of German extraction, was an exemplary Christian, and raised her children in the teachings of Christ.


In his early years, William was strongly influenced by the English preacher Charles Spurgeon whose sermons were read by his mother in the evenings to the whole family in the light of a kerosene lamp. At the age of 15, during one of the services held in their home, William accepted Christ as his Lord and Saviour. In 1898, under the cover of night,

in order to avoid being seen by the authorities, he and several other newborn souls were baptized in a river by William’s father near the city of Tukums.


In 1899, William graduated from school and decided to try his luck in the city of Riga. William’s childhood was over and a significant and eventful future was laid before him.



William worked in Riga as an accountant with Alexander Leutner & Co, which was the first manufacturer of bicycles and motorcycles, and a pioneer of automobiles in Imperial Russia. The plant’s main building is still located at 137 Brivibas Street. With his salary, William financially supported his parents and the rest of his family. Soon he got promoted to the position of office manager.


Fetler became a member of Zion Baptist Church of Riga. Being a good singer, he joined the church choir. William also distributed Christian literature on the streets to passers-by and to Russian sailors at the docks. Around the same time, Fetler got his first preaching experience. Yanis Inkis, the pastor of the church William attended, asked him to preach in Daugavgriva, a small village a few kilometers from Riga. William’s sermon came out disorganized and incomprehensible; so, William concluded that preaching was not for him. He continued to serve at the church and witness about his faith to young people.


It was in 1903. Fetler recalls: “I was 21 years old then. One morning I was standing by the window of my office looking at people running down the street. I thought someone called me, “William.” I turned around, but there was no one in the room. I looked out the window again at the busy wharf. And again, I heard my name. I realized that it was the voice of God. “You must share the message of the Gospel with these people.” At this moment, William decided to dedicate his life to bringing the message of salvation to the people of the Russian Empire. He knew that he had to obtain formal education at a seminary. From childhood he loved the preaching of Charles Spurgeon, so he began to look for an opportunity to travel to London to study at the pastoral college founded by Spurgeon.


To read more about the life and ministry of William Fetler, please visit the Museum.

Museum Video


Resources In English

“Born In The Fire.” The story of William Fetler alias Basil Malof (1883 – 1957), Church-planting Evangelist in Russia and Latvia  – by John Wood.


“The Stundist in Siberian Exile”  – William Fetler.


“Gods Bible Way to the Russians” – Basil A. Malof.


“The Fundamentals of Revival” – By William Fetler.


“William Fetler, My Mentor”  – Robert Tarzier memoires.


William A. Fetler and The Welsh revival. – By M. E. Raber, PhD, Lecturer at Odessa Theological Seminary (Odessa, Ukraine).


Her Big Band of Siblings Hit the Road, Playing In Europe and the U.S. – Matt Schudel (Washington Post)


The Rainbow Orchestra – Mike Brubaker source:


The Story of the Fetler Family Band, 1934-1944 – a documentary film by Joseph Malof and Peter Malof.


The Heavenly Postman movie – by Evgeniy Bakhmutskiy pastor of Russian Bible Church church in Moscow.


Gleanings from the Diary of William Fetler (Basil Malof) – source:


William Fetler OBituary 1957  – source:


Grave of Malof Fetler – Basil A. – Sunset View Cemetery, El Cerrito, Contra Costa County, California, USA


Articles and books by/about William Fetler In English


Resources In Latvian

Viljams Fetlers, Atmodas priekšnoteikumi – 1.daļa – Ervins Jakobsons,


Viljams Fetlers, Atmodas priekšnoteikumi – 2.daļa  – Ervins Jakobsons,


Viljams Fetlers (I). Jaunības gadi un darbs Krievijā – Ervins Jakobsons,


Viljams Fetlers (II). Kalpošana Latvijā un mūža pēdējie gadi – Ervins Jakobsons,


Fetler’s Sermons In Latvian


Articles and books by William Fetler In Latvian 

  • Atmodas dziesmas 1.daļa. un 2.daļa. 
  • Damaskas stunda
  • Jāiet tālāk!
  • Kā es atklāju modernismu starp baptistiem 
  • Kristīga laulības dzīve
  • Nomiršana sevīm jeb Cilvēka plāns un Dieva plāns 
  • Pie Bābeles upēm!
  • Pilnīga atdošanās Dievam jeb 100% priekš Kristus.
  • Sauciens no Maķedonijas
  • Sieva ar Sauli apģērbta 
  • Sirdsšķīstie 
  • Svēta Gara cilvēka pazīšanas zīmes
  • V.Fetlera apoloģija 


Resources In Russian

“Basil Malov (William Fetler) The Russian Apostle” “Василий Малов (Вильгельм Фетлер) Русский-апостол”  – source:


God’s Herald William Fetler –“Божий Глашатай Уильям Фетлер” – The online book in Russian. To read from other source click here, to purchase a book click here.


The Heavenly Postman movie movie – by Evgeniy Bakhmutskiy pastor of Russian Bible Church church in Moscow.


William Andreevich Fetler – Blog about Russia. Video read by ThD Olga Golikova, Senior Pastor of the Church “Mission Light of Christ”, St. Petersburg.


Фетлер Вильгельм Андреевич (1883-1957)Article source.


“The Feet of the Evangelist” – by V. G. Pavlov. source, Стопы благовестника – В. Г. Павлов.


Articles and books by William Fetler In Russian