November 18, 2017

Olde World Baptists: Janos Lajos

David Potter

While hardly anyone has ever heard of Janos Lajos (John Louis), he should be remembered as a Baptist hero. A group of earnest Christians met for Bible study and prayer in Lajos’ home in Salonta, in what is now Bihoria, in the western region of Transylvania in Romania. In the early 1870’s, they came to Baptist views through the influence of Antal Novak, who was an agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society.

The closest Baptist church that the group knew of was in Vienna, Austria. So earnestly did Lajos desire to obey the Lord in believer’s baptism, that he was willing to make the long trip to Vienna in order to receive it. To raise the money to pay for the trip, he was prepared to sell his house. Instead, Novak informed him that the German Baptists were about to send a missionary to Hungary and persuaded him to wait.

Two years later, Hendrik Meyer had come to Budapest to establish a church there. He heard about the group of believers in Salonta and agreed to meet them in Gyula, Hungary, the location of the nearest railway station. After examining them for five days, he was satisfied with the genuineness of their testimonies. These Hungarian believers became the first Baptists in Romania.

How many of us would be willing to sell our homes in order to obey the Lord in baptism? How much do we value the heritage passed on to us by our courageous Baptist forebears?


David Potter serves as a missionary in Hungary with Baptist World Mission.


Although Proclaim & Defend is the blog of the FBFI, the articles we post are not an expression of the views of the FBFI as a whole, they are the views of the author under whose name they are published. The FBFI speaks either through position statements by its board or through its president. Here at Proclaim & Defend, we publish articles as matters of interest or edification to the wider world of fundamentalist Baptists and any others who might be interested.

Submit other comments here.