Searching on internet information about the function of Past President on European Baptist Federation (EBF) I found an interesting article about the visit that Vasile Talpoș, at that time President (Rector) of Baptist Theological Institute of Bucharest, made in Alabama „to share with Alabama Churches about the expansion of the seminary”
Today when Baptist Theological Institute of Bucharest celebrate 95 years (1921-2016) for me as historian this information are important to understand the evolution of this institution.
September 19, 2002
Revolution and evolution are two unlikely descriptors of a Baptist seminary. However, in Bucharest, Romania, the words portray the history and future of the Bucharest Baptist Theological Seminary.
Its president, Vasile Talpos, visited Birmingham Baptist Association Aug. 28, to share with Alabama Churches about the expansion of the seminary.
Since the revolution in the late 1980s and the fall of the communist party in Romania, the seminary evolved from a high school level program that was restricted by the government to a university level program that educates more than 400 students annually.
Students come from across the country to attend the seminary which offers a theology degree. Currently 80 students are enrolled fill time, and 45 students are enrolled part time.
The increase of scope and influence of the seminary can be partially attributed to the dedicated work of Talpos.
“I had a burden on my heart to improve and develop the theological training of Baptists in Romania,” Talpos said, who was born and educated inRomania but received his doctorate from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
Under the direction of Lewis a. Drummond, currently the Beeson Divinity School Billy Graham professor of evangelism and church growth, Talpos majored in evangelism and the secondary areas of Old Testament and preaching. He immediately returned to Romania and began preaching and teaching at the Baptist seminary. In 1988, he assumed his current position as president of the Bucharest Baptist Theological Seminary where he is a full-time professor and administrator.
Throughout the 81-year history of the seminary, it has never seen a season of growth like the past decade. In a land where professing Jesus could once have cost you your life, the seminary staff welcomes the freedom they now have in expressing and sharing their faith.
“We have very good opportunities at this time to spread the gospel, to evangelize, to start missions and to plant in Romania. The people are open to Christianity, ”Talpos said.
Gary Fisher, pastor of First Baptist Church, Pinson, has led a missions team to Romania for the past seven years. Other churches from Birmingham and across the state have also sent missions teams to Romania.
A changing culture
Fisher commented on the contrasting climate for Christianity that he has witnessed over the years he has visited Romania.
“When we first went in the mid-1990s, we met people who had been severely persecuted by the communist regime,” he said. “Some people had been held with guns to their head and told to deny their faith or face death. It was the type things you read about, but it really happened to those individuals. I have tremendous respect for those people I met, many of which had miraculous stories of deliverance.”
“We are very grateful for everything our brothers in the United States do for Romania,” Talpos said.