The Origins of the Baptist Movement Among the Hungarians

A History of the Baptists in the Kingdom of Hungary From 1846 to 1893


This study of the origins of the Baptist movement among the Hungarians examines the two attempts to establish a sustained Baptist mission in the Kingdom of Hungary during the nineteenth century: the first unsuccessful attempt begun in 1846 and the second attempt begun in 1873, which resulted in a sustained Baptist presence in Hungary. The primary question the study addresses is why the first attempt came to naught while the second attempt quickly flourished. Related to this is the question of whether any organic connection exists between the two Baptist mission endeavors. In answering these questions interesting themes concerning the intersection of Christian mission, socio-political concerns, and cultural-linguistic tensions are addressed.

Login via Institution

Prices from (excl. VAT):

Add to Cart
Alex Kish received his Ph.D. in Church History at the Free University of Amsterdam in 2010. He also holds an M.Div. and Th.M. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and an M.A. in Political Science from Virginia Tech.
"K. ist es gelungen, eine differenzierte, historisch-kritische, die Quellen umfassend aus-schöpfende Studie zu erstellen, die die baptistische Bewegung nicht nur im Ungarn in den heutigen Grenzen behandelt, sondern auch für das gesamte Reich der Stephanskrone umfassend und luzide darstellt. (..) Insgesamt ist ein überzeugendes und solides Buch entstanden! Es ist eine Fundgrube an Informationen und Querverbindungen zu weiteren protestantischen Kreisen der behandelten Zeit (...)." Ulrich A. Wien, in: Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung, Vol. 66.2 (2017).

CHAPTER 1 On the Historiography of the Baptist Movement Among the Hungarians: An Introduction to a New Study of Hungarian Baptist Origins

CHAPTER 2 Pioneers and Pilgrims: The First Attempt to Establish a Baptist Movement in Hungary

The Religious Situation in Hungary from the Reform Period through Neo-Absolutism

From the Reform Period through the Revolution of 1848

The Churches under Neo-Absolutism

Roots of the Hungarian Baptist Mission

J.G. Oncken - The Father of Continental Baptists

“For the praise of God and for the welfare of man, Hamburg, 1842.”

Oncken’s “Mission-School”

The First Baptist Missionaries in Hungary: The Sending of Rottmayer, Scharschmidt,
and Woyka

The Baptist Missions in Pest and Pécs up to the Revolution

Johann Rottmayer’s Early Work in Pest

Johann Woyka and the Baptist Mission in Pécs

The Impact of the Revolution on the Hungarian Baptist Mission and the Missionaries

The Mission to Pécs and the Fate of Woyka

Progress suppressed: The work in Pest and the loss of the German brethren

The last man standing: Rottmayer and the Baptist mission in Pest under Neo-Absolutism, 1849-1866

Martial law and the Bach Period, 1849-1859

From the Patent Fight to the Eve of Dualism: Rottmayer’s Renewed Cooperation with the Scottish Mission and the Baptisms of 1865

The End of Rottmayer’s Work in Pest

CHAPTER 3 The Hidden Years: The Later Work and Ministry of Johann Rottmayer and the Bible Colportage of Antal Novák

The Bible Colportage and Evangelism of Johann Rottmayer and Antal Novák as Preparation for Success of the Hungarian Baptist Mission under Heinrich Meyer

Antal Novák: Pioneer of the Magyar Baptist Mission

Johann Rottmayer’s work in Kolozsvár

Early work and travels

Rottmayer’s trip to Hamburg and re-marriage

The development of the Kolozsvár depot

Rottmayer’s Sunday School and Hymnbook

Rottmayer’s Baptist Mission in Kolozsvár and Cooperative Baptist Work

Rottmayer’s Retirement and the Closure of the Depot

Why was no lasting Baptist mission planted at the first attempt?

CHAPTER 4 Wandering Apostles and Prophets: The Establishment of a Sustained Baptist Mission
in Hungary

The Impact of the Compromise on the Churches

Liberal Ideas of a ‘Free Church in a Free State’ and the Constraints of Politics

Nationalism, Magyarization, and the Churches

The Churches in the Age of Liberalism

Liberal Catholicism

Liberal Protestantism, Confessional Orthodoxy, and the Rise of Evangelical Renewal

The Problem of the Sects: To the Protestant First?

The Renewal of the Baptist Mission in Hungary under Heinrich Meyer

Heinrich Meyer’s Early Life and Ministry

Heinrich Meyer’s Arrival in Budapest and Early Baptist Work

The Internal Life of the Early Hungarian Baptist Movement

The Social Composition of the Baptist Movement

The Congregational Life of Hungarian Baptists

The Content of Hungarian Baptist Proclamation

The Internal Organization of the Baptist Movement in Hungary

The Origins of the Magyar Mission

Persecution of the Baptists, Anti-Baptist Polemics, and Heinrich Meyer’s Struggle to Achieve State Recognition for the Baptists

CHAPTER 5 Concluding Thoughts on the Establishment of a Lasting Baptist Presence in Hungary

A Lasting Presence

The Importance of the Wesselényi Street Baptist Church

The Rapid Growth of the Magyar Mission From 1881 to 1893

Why did the Second Attempt to Establish a Lasting Baptist Presence in Hungary Succeed?

All those interested in Baptist history, Hungarian religious history, the history of Christian missions, and the intersection of Christian mission, politics, and cultural identity.