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A Remembrance of the Past; Building for the Future." ~ Eve Eckert Koehler



Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors
     
 

The Servants of the Word of God 

by Dr. Viktor Pratscher
Translated by Brad Schwebler

     Rev. Lajos Kozma served from 1850 to 1869; after him his son served.

     Rev. Lajos Kozma the younger served until the end of 1873.

     Rev. Janos Szilady served from 1874 to 1889.

     Rev. Sandor Toth served from 1889 until his death in 1920.

   Karl Bincze was the first pastor who was entrusted to serve exclusively in this community.  He was born on the 13th of December 1892 in Novi Schowe, the son of Rev. Alexander Venetianer and Jolanta Hartmann.  His father was born a  Jew, but when he was 20 years old he was christened because of his religious convictions and as a Reformed preacher he eagerly preached about Christ.  Karl Bincze lost his mother when he was a 1½ year old child and also his father when he was 10 years old.  Since early childhood he had a difficult life.  He attended grammar school in Novi Sad, and the theological seminary in Sarospatak.  During the war he served as a volunteer in the fortress artillery of Kotor.  After the end of the war he came here and served here from September 1919 until his death on the 2nd of February 1920.  He wrote a little booklet: "Religious Instruction for Reformed Children" ,which had a calendar on it.  It brought in 6,000 Kronen in profit after his death which was put into the Bincze Fund.

   Christian Jung was born in Crvenka on the 29th of June 1897.  He attended the first class of the grammar school in Novi Vrbas and finished in Debreczen.  There he began his theology studies but he had to go to war and spent almost 2 years as a prisoner in Siberia.  After his return he completed his studies in 1920.  In this community he began his service on the 31st of October as administrator, was elected unanimously to the position of ordained minister in June 1922 and worked as such until the end of October 1925.  Until the end of September 1933 he was pastor in Beschka and since October 1933 he has served in the community of Torscha.

   Daniel Gutsohn was born in Novi Vrbas on the 25th of December 1887.  In 1906 he received his teaching diploma in Baja, served as teacher and choirmaster for 5 months at the Reformed school in Kucura, then 8 months in Siklos (Hungary), then from November 1907 until November 1923 in Novi Schowe, and since then as teacher in Novi Vrbas.  In September 1924 he took the Leviten (pastor's assistant) examination which qualified him to serve as preacher.  As such he held the service in many small communities and so also in this community from the 29th of October 1925 to the 10th of March 1926.  Sundays he held church services, meetings, etc.

   Kornelius Weimann was born in Novi Vrbas on the 26th of June 1898, the son of Kornelius Weimann and Elisabetha Kiltz.  He spent his childhood in the German motherland.  He attended grammar school, he did his theology studies at the University of Vienna and he went to Halle an der Saale.  In 1924 and 1925 he worked as a pastor's assistant in Torscha and Schowe, from the end of April 1925 to the end of January 1926 he was the pastor (Verweser) in Schowe, from the middle of March to the middle of September 1926 he served in this community, then he was elected to be the ordained minister of Schowe where he still works today.  After him the theologian Philipp Eng served here for 6 months.

   Heinrich Berger was born on the 10th of October 1902 in the small farming village of Salez in the canton of St. Gallen in Switzerland.  Under the influence of the writings of the theologians Ragaz and Kutter, the Russian author Tolstoy, as well as other socialistic writers he was 

led to questions about God and through it he was induced to study theology.  He studied in Geneva, Basel, Marburg an der Lahn, then again in Basel, and finally in Zurich where he decided to learn from Professor Brunner.  In 1926 he served in Torscha as a student pastor (vicar), then he was gained by this community for his service which he performed from the end of November 1926 to the middle of April 1928.  He returned to Switzerland where he was vicar in St. Gallen, then he studied in Glasgow, Scotland in the winter 1928-1929, after that he served in the Diaspora community of Uznach in the canton of St. Gallen, but since then he has been in the city community of Arbon on the Bodensee (Lake Constance).

   Philipp Eng was born in Torscha on the 28th of June 1905, the son of Johann Eng and Margaretha Weitmann.  He matured in Novi Vrbas, studied theology in Klaufenburg (Cluj, Transylvania, Romania) from 1924 to 1928, and in between he spent one year in Zurich.  He already served as a pastor's assistant during his vacation as a theology student and after he completed his studies he served in Torscha, Schowe, and here.  On the 1st of July 1928 he came to serve in this community as a pastor's administrator and served here until the middle of September 1929.  After he completed military service he was active for two months in the Diaspora of Prekomurje, in June 1930 he became the ordained minister of Sombor, but September 1930 he went to Stari Sivac. - After him Rev. Philipp Bellmann served here not even 2 months and then came Rev. Sandor Szekely.

   Rev. Sandor Szekely was born in 1903 in Csikßereda (Transylvania, Romania), attended school in Pantschevo, Temeschwar, and Petrovgrad, and studied theology in Klaufenburg (Cluj, Transylvania, Romania).  He served as pastor's assistant in Vardarac, Knezevi, Vinogradi, Nikinci, and from 15 November 1929 to the 20th of January 1930 in this community as pastor's administrator, and since then he has been pastor of the community of Maradik.

   Philipp Bellmann was born on the 22nd of February 1904 in Feketitsch, the son of Philipp Bellmann and Margaretha Häußer.  He attended primary school here, grammar school in Novi Vrbas, and studied theology for three years in Vienna and one year in Zurich.  He was pastor's assistant in Torscha and Stari Sivac, completed his military service, and served as pastor's administrator in this community from the 20th of January 1930 to the 31st of March 1931, after which he went to Sidski Banovci and worked in the diaspora.  In May 1936 the community of Beschka appointed him as their pastor.

   Wilhelm Müller was born on the 23rd of April 1893 in Erlangen (Bavaria), the son of the professor for Reformed theology at the University of Erlangen, Karl Müller and his wife Jeny nee Winkelmann.  After he completed 6 grammar school classes he attended the seminary in Basel.  During the war he also had to accomplish military service.  In the winter of 1919-20 he was secretary of the Christian Association for Young Men of Erlangen, but he had to spend more than six years restoring his health.  From December 1926 to 1927 he was pastor's assistant in Brünn in Czechoslovakia, from March to December 1927 he was a traveling pastor in the Pfalz, from March 1928 to the end of April 1929 he was deacon of the Reformed community of Elberfeld, and after that he served as secretary to his father.  On the 1st of April 1931 he took over the service of pastor's administrator in this community and held this position until the 30th of April 1935.  In between he was in Torscha from May to the end of September during which time Ludwig Poth performed the service in this community.  From here he returned to his hometown, and he entered into the service as pastor (vicar) of the Reformed communities of Nuremburg, Schwabach, and Erlangen on the 15th of October 1935.

   Ludwig Poth was born on the 14th of June 1910 in Nove Schowe, the son of Rev. Josef Poth and Hermina Arany.  He attended middle school in Novi Vrbas, he studied theology in Klaufenburg (Cluj, Transylvania, Romania), one year in Basel (Switzerland), and one year in Bonn on the Rhine (Germany).  From the 1st of October 1932 to the 30th of September 1933 he was pastor's assistant in Feketitsch as well as to the Senior and to Bishop Alexander Agoston, and between May and the end of September he was also the pastor's administrator for this community at the same time.  After that he served a year in the sister communities of Becmen, Dobanovci, and Surcin, served 6 months in the military, and since the 1st of May 1935 he has again served as pastor's administrator for this community.

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   It should also be mentioned here that from the beginning up to 1919 the teacher also had to do the preacher service.  They read the prayers and the sermons to the community.  But the teacher also had to do this service sometimes after that.

   On the occasions of the frequent changes pastors from the surrounding communities and theology students often held the church services in the community.  Sometimes Michael Gutwein, a local community member, read the prayers and sermons at church service.  Of all the communities hardly any had heard so many preachers as the German Reformed community in Feketitsch.

   With all of their backgrounds, they ways they led their lives, natural aptitudes, gifts, educations, and world views, how different these preachers were, but all stood by the Word of God in service, which has remained there eternally.  If they only always preached this Word, if the community had only always heard it!!!

[Published at DVHH.org 2004 by Jody McKim Pharr]