Dear Mr. General Secretary, your Excellences, Mr. Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Secretary of State, Right Reverend Bishop, President and ladies and gentlemen representing churches! Dear Madam Deputy Mayor! Ladies and Gentlemen, dear brothers, and sisters!
The very length of the salutation already indicates that we have gathered for an outstandingly auspicious occasion, which is a veritable milestone in the life of the Baptist Union of Hungary.
It was 500 years ago, that our Anabaptist forefathers arrived in the Carpathian Basin, they represented the truths of repentance and regeneration with great dedication and have struggled sacrificially for the freedom of conscience. We do respectfully keep their memory and are grateful for them.
It was 150 years ago, that Henrik Meyer, Baptist pastor arrived in Budapest, through whom God brought new impetus into and breakthrough in numerous areas in the lives of Hungarian Baptists. We do respectfully keep his memory and are grateful for him.
It was 45 years ago, that the Holy Crown was returned to Hungary, an event in which Hungarian and American Baptists – among them evangelist Billy Graham and US President Jimmy Carter – have played outstanding roles. We do respectfully keep their memory and are grateful for them.
And today, we are holding the Opening Celebration of the BAPTIST HOUSE, a building, which is going to be the organizational and spiritual centre of the Baptist Union of Hungary. This building was donated to us by the Hungarian Government in 2018 for us to use for mission, educational and social purposes. We express our grateful thanks for both the building itself and for the magnanimous financial support given for the renovation and refurbishment of the building! Thank you, your Excellency, Mr. Deputy Prime Minister!
We are also grateful that our brother, Dr. Elijah Brown accompanied by his dear wife Amy has come from Washington to represent the Baptist World Alliance and to celebrate together with us in these joyful moments.
In addition to the people I have mentioned, there are many more people and companies that I should express my thanks to. A long list has been shown on the screens, please, excuse me for not reading out the entire list with more than 50 names. We are grateful to everyone, but I would still like to give Mr. László Kokas architect designer and his colleague Péter Lukács special recognition, furthermore, to the internal design architect Szabolcs Jóföldi and his colleagues, as well as to the general contractor Bau-Vip Generál led by Mr. István Vantal and to their subcontractors. Special recognition is also due to our technical supervisors, István Szentesi and our colleague Benjámin Weisz. We also thank the local government of the 6th District and the lady Deputy Mayor for their support and positive attitude to our project! We are also thankful to the countless dedicated workers and their managers, who did an excellent job enabling us to possess such a beautiful building worthy of the 21st century. Moving in starts in the following months and it is our hope that the Baptist House, the new organizational and spiritual centre of the Baptist Union of Hungary will be open to everyone from September!
Our fellowship stands in great need of the Baptist House, because we are growing, and our ministries are expanding more and more. We, Baptists are present in more than 300 places in the country with our churches and we have started new churches in more than 70 new places in the course of the last 30 years. We serve 15,000 students in our public educational institutions and with our social ministry institutions we minister to the needs of some 26,000 people on a daily basis. Our international relationships are expanding, and our aid organization – Hungarian Baptist Aid – does a widely known and appreciated ministry.
What is our message that is supported and symbolised by this building?
„Lord, with you is the fountain of life!” is a statement from Psalm 36, which can be seen on the stone outside the entrance. This is our message! We engraved it on a rock, made it a public treasure that our conviction and also experience is that the necessary answer to every question in life is with God! We have been taking from this fountain just our forefathers have done 500 years, 150 years and 45 years ago. It is from this fountain – also in our days – that we take for our daily struggles in the midst of all the confusion, twists and turns of life.
But what does it actually mean that the Almighty God is a fountain for us?
First, it means that all that we have, all that we have received, all that we can do, all that we can be is by His grace and is possible only through Him! God uses our forefathers, gives us the leaders of our country as helpers, blesses the material resources and makes the work of the workers lasting. While we are thankful for all these, we can see behind them with full conviction the work of God and the blessing flowing from His fountain!
Secondly, it means that we must cleave to the fountain of God’s revelation, the Holy Scriptures, and represent it in every area of our ministry. This building is not merely an office block. It wants to be a spiritual home, where those that enter it are welcomed with acceptance and love. It is an incubator-house for church planting, where the Centrál Baptist Church will start its operation, but will also be the venue in the future for further church-plants. Starting with the entrance of the building, 12 messages and 12 Bible verses at 12 different locations will receive by those coming in proclaiming to them the message of the Bible and the Baptists.
Thirdly, in line with the word of Christ, we wish to be people who do not only draw from God’s fountain, but as Christ put it “rivers of living water will flow from within them”, that is we want to become a blessing for all those that God has placed us close to. To draw from the fountain and to pass it on!
Ladies and Gentlemen! As a reminder of our message, please, allow me to give you all, water from the Fountain! The spring water with a special label has been produced specially for the Opening of the Baptist House, and after the opening, we plan to continue to give it to all that come in here as a present (among other things). May this water bottle remind us that the fountain of life is with God, and may it also remind us of the Baptist House, where help, love, and blessings coming from God are shared with joy and commitment!
We welcome and receive everybody in the Baptist House with the love of Christ and are grateful to God for all of this! SOLI DEO GLORIA!
Baptist Union of Hungary
(Translated by Ákos Bukovszky)