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kyle1Kyle Eckhart

 

Place of birth: Huntington Beach, California

Role at the church: pastor

Family: Kyle is married to Odi and they have two daughters: Zara & Kiera

Hobbies: running, reading, fan of tv shows, listening to music, travelling

Favorite Bible verse: Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

 

How did you become a Christian?

 I didn’t grow up in a Christian family and never stepped foot into a church until I was 16. I thought I was a good person until a friend shared the Gospel with me for the first time. I was completely amazed that God loved me & sent Jesus to die on the Cross for my sins. It was at that time I put my faith in Jesus & have been walking with Him ever since.

My friend took me to church the following week and it just happened to be that he was going to Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. There I got involved with the high school group and was at church as much as I could because I had such a strong desire to learn God’s Word.

 

How did you come to Hungary?

After becoming a Christian I knew that I wanted to serve God because I am so thankful for what He did for me. I would do anything I could and in 1993 when an opportunity presented itself for me to go on a 2-week outreach to Minsk, Belorussia, I decided to go. God provided in miraculous ways for me to be able to go. In 1994, I was part of a team that came to Hungary for 2 week. We did evangelism in Esztergom, Budapest, and Szeged.

In the Fall of 1994 a very good friend of mine, who was the youth pastor at Calvary Chapel Vista, called me that the church is looking for someone to go over to Baja, Hungary to help out the church there. He asked me to pray about going. I did, and to make a long story short I arrived in Hungary in February 1995. My plan was to stay one year.

God’s plan was different. Here in Hungary I met Odi. We got married in 1999 and moved to Szeged. She was in University here & I was the assistant pastor of Calvary Chapel Szeged. In the Spring of 2000 I became the pastor of Calvary Chapel Szeged. Since then I’ve been leading the church here & taking the church through the Bible.

 

Do you speak Hungarian?

YES! I even make an effort to speak with a “Szöged” accent. I love Szeged, I’m so blessed to live here & I want people to know it! People often ask why I don’t preach in Hungarian. The reason is simple, we’re an international, bi-lingual church and I think it’d be silly for me to preach in my 2nd language and have someone translate into their 2nd language (English). So I preach & teach in English and everything is translated into Hungarian.

 

What are your responsibilities in the church?

I think the Greek meaning for “small church pastor” is “one who wears many hats”  but my main responsibility is that of teaching & preaching the Bible. Because of that I spend a lot of time praying & studying God’s Word so I can teach it in a way that is applicable to the lives of those listening. I’m also responsible for the administrative aspects of the church as well as creating and publishing content on the church’s social media outlets.

 

How would you describe Golgota Szeged?

I see our church as a small version of our city. For many Szeged isn’t a permanent place in their lives, it’s temporary. Over the years we’ve seen hundreds of people come and go at Golgota Szeged. Most simply finished school & moved back to wherever they were from in Hungary of from around the world. You might think it a little depressing the high turnover, but it’s really not, it’s actually a great opportunity for us. We get to be involved in people’s lives for a period and God gracious uses Golgota Szeged to help people grow in their faith.

My underlying vision for Golgota Szeged is that we’d be a church that reaches the nations and generations for Jesus. I always say I want our international students with a diploma & a love for Jesus to server Him wherever they end up. I also believe that we have the opportunity to see many people be the first in their family lines to love & serve Jesus.

 We believe that Szeged is our “Jerusalem”. From here we want to see the Gospel go forth from our city to the region, our nation, and to the ends of the earth.

 

 What excites you about the future?

 What really excites me about the future is that we still have lots of opportunity to get the Gospel out. We’re still here so God’s not done with us. Whatever He wants to do is going to be exciting.