History of the Lutheran Church in Nitra

 The reformation movement did not find favour in Nitra. Bishops who were also country gentlemen published a law by which forbade Protestants to settle in Nitra. In 1688 Nitra´s city council ordered Lutherans to leave the city. Lutherans settled in the villages surrounding Nitra: Horné Krškany, Dolné Krškany and Párovce. After the Toleration Act of Joseph II (1871) a small group of Lutherans was created in Nitra. (in 1790 three, in 1819 ten, in 1859 there were 36, and by 1890 there were already 166). They were filial congregation served by pastors from Nové Sady (at that time Ašakerť). In 1892 the filial congregation asked for services in Nitra which took place under a makeshift arrangement, regularly once a month and on its second anniversary.
Before the First World War Nitra´s congregation was consolidated as a functioning filial congregation of Nové Sady, maintained by pastor Ladislav Záthurecký. In 1910 the Reformed congegation built its church in Nitra-Číneš. Lutherans helped to build it and later helped financially and with repairs. They also used this church for worship, first occasionally and then more regularly from the creation of the independent congregation until June 2000.
Pastor Ladislav Záthurecký initiated the foundation of the "Lutheran Fellowship of the Holy Altaro" in 1912 which tried to force the construction of the Lutherans own church building in Nitra. After the rise of the first Czechoslovak Republic in 1918 the number of Lutherans grew (230 in 1919, 417 in 1930, according to the censuses) and the filial congregation bought a house for worship at 15 Seminary Street. By the decision of the district assembly in 1932, Nitra became a filial congregation of Svatoplukovo (Šalgov) and stayed in the care of pastors Karol Pavle and mainly Michal Cibulka. Chaplain Ľudovít Križka helped as well. The Lutheran scholl was founded. Worship was increased to two times a month, and work was growing with the increasing size of congregation (624 in 1940).
In 1935 the congregation started to prepare for the construction of its own church. The project was prepared together with location and finances, but political circumstances and particulary the beginning of the war prevented further progress.
The filial assembly (on 27th February 1944) asked for the nomination of a chaplain for Nitra and the 1st September 1944 - pastor Pavel Valášek was nominated as deputy pastor for Nitra and from 1948 he was the first regular Lutheran pastor in Nitra. The congregation decided to separate from Šalgov and from 1st January 1947 Nitra was divided into an independent congregation, but for that time with only a temporary priest in residence. A full residency was established in Nitra in 1954 and the creation of the congregation was complete.
Pastor Pavel Valášek became the leader of the newly-established Nitra church district in 1958. This district was dissolved in 1964. In February 1989 pastor Pavel Valášek died after 45 years of his brave work as pastor of Nitra. Political changes in November 1989 brought unparalleled possibilities for the church. In December 1989 Ondrej Prostredník became pastor in Nitra. Ondrej Prostredník senior administrated the congregation in Nitra from December 1995. In addition to his missionary and catechetical work, it was on his initiative that the preparation of the project of a new Lutheran church and the purchase of the building site were started.
On 26th December 1995 the bishop of ECAV Dr. Július Filo dedicated the foundation stone of the church of the Holy Spirit in Nitra and the construction of the church was started. From December 1995 the congregation was administrated by the late priest, Ondrej Prostredník senior, and Peter Fabok served as chaplain. In September 1997 Jozef Maslín became the chaplain, and later pastor in Nitra (till May 1999). In July 1999 Ivan Eľko became pastor in Nitra.
On 11th June 2000 bishop ZD ECAV Ivan Osuský dedicated the Lutheran church of the Holy Spirit. At the present time the ECAV congregation in Slovakia has 1300 members in Nitra.

We have a good hope that with help of God we are able to invite more Lutherans living in our town into christian life and belief and also to invite those people who are still looking for spiritual orientation.

Together we want to be joined "by the Spirit, and be part of this dwelling place of God" (Ephesians 2:22).

The Church was built thanks to the financial help of ecclesiastical congregations and individuals from Naperville (USA), Oberlenningen (Germany), and other donors from USA, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, state grants, a gift from the Lutheran World Federation and the presents efforts of the domestic ecclesiastical congregation members.

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