Bicske, Hungary

Bicske (pronounced Beechka) is a small town about an hour's drive from Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. The Baptist church is led by Pastor Lajos Ratz, and a team of deacons and elders.

In the Spring of 1998 Lajos Ratz was working as an evangelist and Assistant Pastor at Valence Baptist Church. He felt called to begin church planting work.

In August of that year Lajos and his wife Mariann made a survey trip to Bicske for the first time and felt led of the Lord to plant a church there.

In November and December 1998 the first evangelistic meetings were held.

In January 1999 a small Bible study group was started in the home of 2 elderly believers, Mr and Mrs Biro. A month later Lajos rented a former cafe and began its Project 5-0 church planters' scheme. Renovation work was completed, the building useable, and also in May between 5 and 8 adults began attending Sunday services, and there was an opening dedication service.

They held a 2-week tent mission in July 1999 during which the first baptisms took place. Due to these events many townsfolk became aware of the new church. New believers invited friends and family along. The number of people attending grew so that the original meeting room was too small. A wall was removed to make the room bigger.

In September the church learnt that there were several Serbian speaking believers in the refugee camp outside Bicske. The decision was made to begin services and attempt to reach the lost in the refugee camp.

In the Autumn of 1999 a worship group was formed, usually 3 singers and 3 guitarists leading with contemporary music as well as traditional songs.

In January 2000 weekly children's Bible studies were held for interested pupils. New workers in the church were commissioned and, in addition to the Pastor, there is now Ruben Debreceny leading the Serbian language church, as he and his family are themselves refugees from Serbia.

In July a new tent campaign was held and in August a deposit paid for an old transport company office to accommodate the growing church (now 40 baptised believers). A programme of renovation of these premises began.

In September 2000 The Slavic Gospel Association's 6th Practical Mission Team helped with initial repairs and the first worship service was held in the new premises. Several special events were held including an International Conference on "Worship" and two conferences for Hungarian pastors.

Pastor Lajos enquired of Eric and Gillian Barrett whether any church in the UK might be interested in a sister-church relationship and in January 2001 we at Copse Road Chapel independantly signalled to Eric and Gillian our interest in just such a thing!!

The Lord has done great things in Bicske Baptist Church. In 2007 a supermarket needed the space where the church building was so they arranged to have a new building built for the fellowship. The new building and the accompanying flats are now completed.

www.bicskebaptist.hu