Hungary has a long heritage of being a Christian nation, but today that heritage is cultural and social, rather than living and practical. Less than 3 percent of the population are practising evangelical Christians, but two FM congregations have been established: one in Gyor, the other in Budapest. The Free Methodist Church in Gyor stands as a beacon of hope in the community. The small fellowship is made up of many young people and a few families and meets in three home groups, conducts weekly Bible studies, and hosts other special events. It was begun in 1999 through the work of the Coleman family.
Gerry McNamara has served as the pastor of the Győr fellowship since early 2002. He is originally from the Republic of Ireland, but his wife, Kati, is Hungarian. Gerry and Kati met when they were both living in London. After they were married they lived for a time in Ireland, but then decided to move their family to Hungary, where they have permanently settled. Gerry’s professional background is in psychiatric nursing (and weight-lifting!), but the Lord had other plans. Gerry responded to God’s call into full-time ministry and is one of the first Free Methodist ministerial candidates in continental Europe.
The McNamaras have committed themselves to the Lord’s work in Győr. In addition to his pastoral work, Gerry has had the opportunity to teach English to NATO officers stationed in the area. This has provided him with another excellent opportunity to bear witness to God’s goodness, love, and grace. Kati has a degree in English and communications. They have three school-age daughters, Csilla, Zsuzsa and Katica. The girls are full of energy and vitality. There is never a dull moment at the McNamara house! While neither Gerry or Kati came from Christian families, it is a real blessing to see how they have dedicated themselves to the Lord’s service and how they have pledged to raise their own family in a way that honours the Lord.
The Budapest fellowship reaches out with a weekly English class, women's and men's events, Sunday worship service, Bible studies, weekly recovery groups and other special programmes. Jerry and Jan Coleman and Larry and Katie Winckles are the resident missionaries.
Read more about Larry and Katie's work in Hungary here