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Archives of the Baptist Church

Baptism became a legally recognized religion in Hungary in 1905 but Baptist congregations existed since 1873. There is no legal continuity between the Baptist Church and the 16th, 17th century Anabaptists, who were historically the antecedents of Baptists. The main leading organization of the Hungarian Baptist Church is the National Assembly, which annually meets to hear the reports and every four year to hold elections. In the period between two Assemblies the main consulting and decision-making organ is the Church Council. The thirteen-member committee is responsible for the day-to-day administration; they meet when appropriate but at least every month. The managing and representative body of the Baptist Church is the four-member Presidium (Head of the Mission of the Church, two Deputy Heads and a Secretary General).

The archives were founded in 1948 by Bertalan A. Kirner (1884–1973) pastor, ecclesiastical history author. The institution collects the documents connected with the Hungarian Baptists in Hungary and abroad. The records are preserved, processed by archivists and made available for the researchers. The archives include the Historic Relic Collection as well, which was established by Olivér Szebeni (1928–), pastor and church historian in 1963. This collection preserves written and photo material as well as objects of significant ecclesiastical superiors. The leader of the archives organized a permanent exhibition in the new Baptist Mission Centre, which was opened in the presence of well-known statesmen and clergymen on 19 March 2000.

The archives preserve records from 1844. The records of church government can be found from the 1870s; the records, protocols of the assemblies and the inner and foreign mission activity can be found from 1912 to 1990. Economic and cadastral documents are preserved from 1896. The series of registers from the period between 1874 and 1965 are of significant documentary value. Their data cover the entire territory of historic Hungary from 1874 to the Trianon Peace Treaty. The documents of the Academy of Baptist Theology can also be found here. The archives collect the documents of the territories annexed by the neighbouring countries and the memories of the Hungarian Baptist congregations in the Western world: manuscripts of pastors and missionaries in original or copy. The archives also have an important collection of church press.

 

Further information:

Address: 1068 Budapest, Benczúr u. 31.

Phone: (1)352-9993

Fax: (1)352-9707

E-mail: bleveltar@freemail.hu

Website: www.leveltar.baptist.hu