Erno Veress (Ernest Veresh) was a Baptist pastor born in Biborteni, Seklerland, Romania on July 26, 1945. His parents were baptists and he was the third child in the family. His mother prayed in her pragnancy if she was going to have another son he would be dedicated to the Lord. At the age of 12 he made a decision for Christ. The Lord took it even more seriously and this was also true for his baptism that took place at the age of 15. According to his testimony, he was not truely born again at that time. Meanwhile, the children in the family got expelled from school due to their father`s faithful pastoral ministry. They all adapted to this situation and started to work. Erno was an apprentice in a blacksmith shop, where he struggled much with the desires of the flesh especially the lustful thoughts and temptation of drinking. Finally, God delivered him from these and he experienced the miracle of regeneration. He began to share his testimony and he turned away from his passion of soccer. His church recommended him to go to seminary, but God sent him first to the army (which at that time was compulsary for every young man).
He got used to turn to the Lord with each of his serious questions not resting until he received an answer for them. So it was with the question of marriage. He got news from his sister that there was a nice and good christian girl, Anna Ady, who lived in Lupeni. Taking it to the Lord in prayer he finally got an answer that she would be his wife. Their marriage took place on March 17, 1968.
About two years later, after the birth of their first child (who was later followed by four others), Erno (Ernest Veress) made some preparations for Bucharest Baptist Theological Seminary.
At first they rejected his application, saying there were no more places. But since he took it as a divine revelation that "you will suffer persecution for ten days" he humbly persisted, and on the eleventh day he received a place. At first he had some difficulty understanding Romanian since he came from a Hungarian background, but finally he finished the seminary as the head of the class.
His first place in the pastoral ministry was in Borla Baptist Church where he was ordained as a pastor on the 1st of September 1974. The family was warmly received by the fellowship of the Church which was a blessing at the beginning of the minisitry. As a result of the insidious influence of the authorities, discrediting articles were published about him in the local newspaper. At the end the enemy was put to shame .
He took spiritual life seriously as well as fasting and prayer. As he practiced these the Lord revealed to him that he should move away from Borla.
In February 1977 the family moved to Zalau where they served the Lord for 14 years with the growing family. The Lord blessed his ministry greatly, the congregation grew enormously. During his time in Zalau he underwent much hardships together with his family: harressment from Securitate, food poisonings, interrogations, monitoring, their shed was set on fire, termoil because of the informers. These happened because the authoroties held him as an „awakened pastor” and could not persuade him to cooperate with the system neither to leave the country. Under the pressure of the state agencies of Zalau the congregation had to leave the existing church building which was demolished later on. As a wonderful result of God's providence and due to the unity of the church, a new church was built with a 500 seat capacity in the central part of Zalau. As pastor he kept up good relationships with brothers and sisters from Hungary and from the West through whom he received much comfort and protection.
The revolution found him in Zalau at the end of 1989. Just before it broke out he fasted for ten days looking for God’s intervention which would bring change in the country. The very morning of the Revolution he was in the clutches of the securitate but by the evening he was preaching the gospel in Hungarian and Romanian at the great revolution assemly at the main square of Zalau, calming the uprising spirits.
After the revolution the Baptists were able to re-establish the Hungarian Baptist Convention of Churches in Romania and he was elected the first president of it. On the basis of God’s guidance he accepted this ministry as well. Then he moved from Zalau to Oradea. In the meantime the Convention started the Hungarian Baptist Theological Seminary.
During his presidency he took part in the establisment of old people’s homes, camps, churches, the RomCom (a Swiss-Romanian organization strengthening Christian enterprises in order to fight unemployment) and he pastored several churches. As the president of the Convention he got the chance to travel overseas to preach the Word of God and to strengthen Christian relationships which had not been possible previously.
In the middle of 1990 his three older children got married and entered the pastoral ministry with their spouses.
In November 1995 he needed heart surgery and he retired from part of his work. God’s clear guidance led him to Miercurea Ciuc to plant a new Church where there had never been an Evangelical Church before. The Lord blessed this pioneering work. A church was established and a building was erected. During this time the Lord led them to set up the Barnabas Foundation with the help of Christian friends. In 1999 he took an active role in building the Barnabas House at Harghita Christian Camp. Through his ill son, Barnabas (who had muscular dystrophy) the Lord blessed and taught him in a special way and entrusted him to start up a mission among the disabled. In 2001 he was beside his 21 year old son Barnabas, when he went to be with the Lord.
In 2000 he initiated a church planting work in Cristuru Secuiesc where his son Erno later took over the mission. He labored much and carried on his heart the burden of the church building project which was opened 2003.
Between 2002-2003 he undertook the interim ministry of Odorheiu Secuiesc Church. At this time his eye problems worsened and his vision deteriorated, soon turning to total blindness. Unfortunately the many attempts to recover his sight were useless and caused him great suffering. He bore all the physical limitations and pain with unprecedented patience and humility.
Between 2004-2007 he and his wife planted and built a church in Gheorgheni. As a direct answer to his prayers the Lord sent Zsolt Novak from Hungary to take over the mission work.
Since 2008 he has lived in his house near the Harghita Chistian Camp. Because of his deep passion for souls, during the winter evangelistic sessions in the churches of the Convention he was away from home ministring for weeks and even months. On these occasions he could visit up to 30-40 places where he preached the word of God. In the summertime he was a blessing for the disabled, the children, young and aged who were camping. Proof of this are the many recordings and live stream broadcasts found on the internet. God gave strength, passion and joy to a man with heart problems and many other difficulties.
He spent his final days with his loving wife, children and grandchildren at the annual family gathering. His last message to the family was from John 13,34 :”A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another…”
On Sunday morning, just before the day of his departure he enjoyed the Lord’s supper in the fellowship of the church at Odorheiu Secuiesc.
He spent the afternoon and evening up to the late hours with his wife listening to the Word of God, enjoying warm fellowship and prayer. Although his health was seemingly better than before, our God decided to take him to Himself while he was working on Monday morning. His departure happened just as he had desired. The Lord took him before he was compelled to be taken care of.
He declared boldly: Everything with Jesus and nothing without Him! His greatest desire and prayer was that his children would walk in the truth and that God would bring revival among us.
He has left us with a tremendous spiritual legacy. Our ongoing task is to use this to the glory of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Looking forward to a final everlasting reunion:
His beloved wife Anna, his sons: Efraim and his wife Martha, Erno and his wife Terez, his daughters Evodia and her husband Lajos Budai, Napsugar and her husband Sandor Kelemen, his 14 grandchildren, his sister and brothers, relatives, friends and the worldwide community of the Hungarian Baptists and many others.