Here is the unabridged, original version of Norbi's CC Szeged History, written after he had been reading way too much of Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", full of British and Sci-Fi humor and events. Enjoy. You can also read the "boring version" at our church's web-site by following this link : http://www.calvarychapel.com/szeged. This version was deemed too, um, un-churchy, for the church web-site!
History of Calvary Chapel Szeged
Prelude: If one wishes to discover the long lost history of Calvary Chapel Szeged one need not look back any farther than the prehistoric time of the Great Plan. Which is to say a time that existed even before time itself existed. Mankind can only wonder as to the exact flow of events even though all this information can most likely be found in the archives of the Great Heavenly Library, unfortunately as of yet no man has devised a way for a mortal to visit this great institution. This will leave us with the only option of guessing in the reconstruction of the events as they might have occurred during the planning phases of Creation. The most responsible persons for the existence of Calvary Chapel Szeged are the members of the Calvary Chapel Planning subcommittee of the Great Church Planning committee of the Organization of Creation as established by the Devine Council of the Holy Trinity. Since all institutions, committees and subcommittees of the Organization of Creation had only three members, namely the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit it is safe for us to assume that the LORD God himself is the one to credit for the ingenious idea of establishing such a fine institution as a Calvary Chapel in the greatly sophisticated university and party town of Szeged. As we have already discussed our inability to access the minutes of these meetings we are no longer going to elaborate on more details about exactly whose idea it was and what details were considered or decided, but we are going to look at some of the events in more recent history that might be easier to dig out of dusty, unused corners of the brains of individuals who were present at these great and historical events.
In the beginning: Sometime around the later part of the last millennium, as some would believe it might have been 1992, a fine chap of British descent who lived in this great town of Szeged was wondering how glorious it would be to have a church around here that actually bothers to teach the Bible for what it is. Karl Elekes had spent many years praying for such a church ‘till one day to his delight he ran into some rather strange looking fellows. It was not the odd strangeness of these American surfer dudes that is so obscure in the eyes of a British lad that filled Karl’s heart with such great gladness, but the message they were bringing. Whether Karl just did not know about it, or was not so much bothered by all the tea wasted in the harbors of Boston, but he truly liked these guys and expressed his deepest desire that they should come and start a Calvary Chapel in our lovely little town of Szeged. As the people of Hungary were ready for anything new and exciting after the mind numbingly boring decades of communist rule where thinking and spiritual life was strongly discouraged Greg Opean had a fairly easy time starting a new church. Scores of young minds from the schools of Szeged were attracted to this small new fellowship to hear the word of God taught word by word.
Let them come: They came all right, that was not the problem, but none of them wanted to stay. It seems as if in the early days of Calvary Chapel Szeged just about every missionary made a pilgrimage to Szeged, but no one seemed to have the desire to stay. Pastors came and went after Greg Opean handed the church over to Scott Fetting and moved North to eventually end up as the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Budapest. Scott and his wife Tiffany arrived in Szeged in October of 1992 with John and Terry O’Neal for the purpose of pastoring the church. After some various events and other factors that are pretty much forgotten in the dark, gloomy places of time Scott and Tiffany had to return to the States where they disappeared in the vast open frontiers of the land of the free and home of the brave. These rather unfortunate turn of events left John O’Neal to pastor the small, but enthusiastic group of believers. One of the most queer features of a church in a college town is the strange fluctuation of the number of people attending services due to the fact that two thirds of church members are college students who tend to go home for some weekends and holidays to their home towns and chill with their families. Despite this oddness John did a fine job of taking care of God’s people ‘round here for a couple of years or so. Very pleasant young fellow him and his wife, but I guess it was too good to last very long. In the spring of 1994 some more of those rather peculiar events and other strange things that seem to surround Szeged put John and Terry on a one way flight to California where they happily lived ever after. This little quirk put Karl in a most unexpected situation of having to pastor the people left behind. Most had suggested Karl should not pastor, but for some reason none of these individuals volunteered to take the position than obviously open. As it turned out Karl was not cut out to be a pastor after all and after some sad series of events divorced his wife and moved back to England. This gave the church another chance at finally having a good pastor as Samer Khoury and his wife Zsuzsi moved to Szeged in 1998. Along came others to help, one of them a mighty fine young chap by the name of Kyle Eckhart. At the time Kyle had been doing some missionary work in Baja for some years (that is in Hungary not Mexico) and decided it would be a nice change of scenery to move to Szeged where he can be more useful than in Baja, not to mention the simple fact that Kyle’s than future wife Odi was going to school in Szeged, though Kyle states that the later was a mere coincidence and refuses to answer any further questions without his lawyer. As Samer was undertaking the monstrously complex task of trying to build a church out of the remaining group of disillusioned people things turned sour again. Due to theological differences Samer was asked to leave his position as senior pastor. After pastor number five was gone, the work was picked up by Kyle; who just happened to be the right person in the right place at the right time. As if that would be too simple some of the leadership of the church thought they could do a better job running a church than Kyle so they performed a good old fashioned church split and took half the people with them. Another checkmark on the list of ‘bad things that can happen to a church’ for Szeged.
To infinity and beyond: After the dust had settled and it became eminent who stayed and who left a new hope finally loomed on the horizon. Calvary Chapel Szeged had welcomed the new millennium with great expectations as they prayed into the new year instead of watching the ball drop had there been a ball to watch being dropped. A new leadership supporting Kyle Eckhart as pastor and a committed group of church members provide a great foundation as Calvary Chapel Szeged is being rebuilt to fulfill the purpose it was designed for from before the dawn of time. If you ever come to Szeged make sure to drop by, you’ll have jolly good time with us.