Members of the media and leaders of the Hungary Budapest Mission joined about 100 members of the Church from eastern Hungary Oct. 9 to break ground for the seventh meetinghouse in the country and the first in this remote area about 20 miles from the Romanian border.
The Debrecen Branch was created in 1990, approximately one year after the end of Soviet control in Hungary, and two years after the arrival of missionaries in the city. Elders were sent to this city so far-removed from Budapest after learning that Margit Toth, a member who had been baptized in the 1930s, was still living.
Today, there are about 150 members of the Church in Debrecen where four elders and two sisters serve.
The groundbreaking took place in the late afternoon of a beautiful fall day. Members said they felt a special spirit as they participated on this historic day as Hungarian pioneers. President David A. Peterson of the Hungary Budapest Mission presided. President Toth Peter of the Debrecen Branch conducted. The ceremony consisted of talks given by the branch president and first counselor, Szabo Tibor, followed by talks from auxiliary leaders Sister Balogh Angela, Sister Szabo Erzsebet and Brother Ifju Toth Peter.
President Peterson spoke of the growth taking place in Debrecen as well as in Hungary.
The two members of the branch presidency joined President Peterson in the ceremonial turning of soil with gold-plated shovels. A branch choir composed of branch members and a special Hungary Budapest Mission group participated in the service.