Also in Romania: One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism

Also in Romania: One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism

Klaus Rösler - October 21, 2009

Resita/Timisoara – The Baptists of Romania have celebrated the founding of the first Baptist congregation in Amsterdam 1609 with conferences in all 14 of their regional associations. Nearly half of their roughly 100.000 members from 1.700 congregations attended. The event climaxed with closing congresses in Resita and Timisoara, which were also attended by the European Baptist Federation’s (EBF) President and Vice-President, Valeriu Ghiletchi (Chisinau/Moldova) and Hans Guderian (Berlin) respectively. A total of 2.000 Baptists gathered in Resita; in Timisoara it was 3.000. Choirs, bands, children’s and youth choirs, a brass band and even an entire symphony orchestra participated in the highly-diverse programmes. In their sermons, the EBF-representatives encouraged listeners to witness and stressed the ties between Europe’s 800.000 Baptists. Otniel Bunaciu (Bucharest), the President of the Romanian Union, preached a doctrinal sermon on Ephesians 2 pointing to the motto of Johann Gerhard Oncken (1800-1884): „One Lord, one faith, one baptism“.

A DVD-presentation reported on the beginnings of Baptist life in Amsterdam and England up to its appearance in North America and on the European continent. It pointed out that men such as Johann Gerhard Oncken as well as the Bible and tract missionary Heinrich Meyer (1842-1919), who was active in Hungary, were among the pioneers of the Baptist movement in southeastern Europe.

Media reported widely on these events; press and regional television stations were present. National President Traian Basescu as well as the Presidents of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the two chambers of the Romanian parliament, sent written greetings.

Hans Guderian described the Romanian visit enthusiastically to EBPS: “It was a remarkable experience to see with one’s own eyes how alive and strong the public Baptist witness and service in this southeastern European country are.”