January 6

Mihaly (Michael) Kornya was born in 1844 in a Hungarian community whose name I cannot pronounce. He was granted a limited education because he was the son of a farmer. Eventually he became a share-copper and at the age of 22 married an 18 year old girl named Maria. Eight years later a Baptist layman invited him to a meeting which changed his life. Antal Novak, presented the gospel to a small group of people and the Holy Spirit began His work. Michael obtained a Bible and after a year-long study, he was born again. His baptism took place on August 26, 1875 at 3 in the morning, because immersion was illegal.

After his baptism, the first person to whom Bro. Kornya gave his testimony was his landlord. He said that he had become a new man through Jesus Christ and there was evidence in the fact that he quit cursing and no longer beat his wife (which was common and legal at the time). Some time later he was ordained to the ministry by the German Baptist church pastored by Johann Oncken.

Immediately Michael Kornya began his evangelistic missionary ministry. By the time of his death in 1917 he had preached in 325 cities and villages despite being arrested many times. His ministry lasted forty years during which time he baptized 11,000 converts and started several dozen of churches.

On this day in 1944 an elderly woman named Imre Medve told Julianna Orvos, “The first gatherings of the Baptist Community of Micske were held at Istvan Kirjak’s house. I happened to walk by when the congregation was singing, and I though to myself, ‘Set his house on fire. What’s all this loud singing inside?’ But when I walked into see what was going on, I stayed and never missed a day from then on. The reason was Kornya was preaching inside. I saw him to be a saint. I wish the preachers of today were like him. Whoever heard him would always stay.”

Most likely, if I were more like Mihaly Kornya, I would be a more useful servant of God.