Rev. Alpár Kiss, minister of the Barót Unitarian Church, experienced two emotionally significant life events last week–he was recognized as Honorary Citizen of the City of Barót and days later attended the funeral of his beloved father, Rev. Jëno Kiss, who died at the age of 90.
Alpár, 59, has served as Unitarian minister in Barót for 30 years. When he arrived in 1984, the congregation met in the minister’s house, crowding the dining room for services, especially on holidays like Christmas and Easter. Finally in 1995, a new church was built with the help of Unitarians and other Protestant groups from the US and Europe. Currently there are about 530 members.
Barót and The Unitarian Church in Summit have been partner congregations since 1992.
Alpár is supported in his ministry by his wife, Aranka, who also teaches high school French. The couple has a daughter, Abigel, who is married and lives in Roanoke, Virginia. She and her husband have a son and a daughter.
Besides his church leadership, Alpár helped found the Barót Hungarian party after the fall of Communism in 1989 and served for several years as its vice president. He also helped found the cultural association in 1990 and hosted Transylvanian poet Alexander Kányádi in 2011 for a reading that packed the Unitarian church to the rafters.
“He is a spiritual leader, a colleague and last but not least a good friend,” said Zoltán Demeter, a member of the church and a Barót City Council member, who made the official presentation on Saturday June 14.
Only three days later, Alpár’s father Jëno Kiss died at the home of his daughter in the city of Oradea. Also a Unitarian minister, Jëno Kiss served the Unitarian church in Fagaras for 42 years, all but three of them under the Communist regime.
Article submitted by Jean Crichton.