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The Passing of Bishop Károly Tóth

Written by the Reformed Church in Hungary
June 20, 2014

The Tóth family and the Reformed Church in Hungary announce with heavy hearts that former presiding bishop of the Synod, Dr. Károly Tóth, returned to his creator on 16 June 2014 in the 84th year of his life.

Károly Tóth was born on the 3rd of April 1931 in Győrszeme. He completed his secondary education at the Secondary School of the Reformed College in Pápa, studied in the Reformed Theological Academy and was ordained as a reformed pastor in 1956.

He began his service in the Synod Office of the Reformed Church in Hungary, first as the head of the Ecumenical Office, while also serving as the supervisor of associate pastors, and later the director of the Ecumenical and Communication Department for more than a decade and a half. He was pastor of the Kálvin Square Reformed Church in Budapest starting in 1977 and from this time also held different leadership positions in the Church. Between 1977 and 1991 he served as bishop of the Danubian Church District. From 1982 to 1987 he was the vice president of the Synod of the Reformed Church in Hungary and went on to serve as the presiding bishop from 1987 to 1989.

Károly Tóth was actively involved and highly esteemed in the ecumenical field, international church life and public life. In 1958 he became the international secretary of the International Peace Conference based in Prague, general secretary in 1971 and was then named president in 1978. From 1977 to 1989 he was the vice president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. Between 1959 and 1977 he was the secretary of the Hungarian Bible Society. He was the president of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Hungary from 1985 to 1990, and from 1991 until his death actively worked as the president of the Ecumenical Research Center. He was a member of the Association of Hungarian Journalists (from 1975), the Hungarian-Israeli Fellowship Association and between 1988 and 1990 a member of parliament.

The memorial worship service will take place on 30 June at 11 a.m. at the Kálvin Square Church in Budapest.

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