Arpad Muranyi was born in Hungary. His father was a musician and played the organ. Arpad grew up listening to his father play and fell in love with organ music.
He wanted to become an organist like his father, but his father didn’t think it was a good idea. There were not a lot of good jobs for church organists. So his father insisted Arpad learn the cello. So while he played the organ for fun, Arpad studied the cello.
He went to a very important school in Russia to learn to play the cello as a professional. Afterwards Arpad found a job playing the cello for the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra in California. But he never forgot how much he loved the pipe organ.
Arpad lived in California for 17 years. He got married and had a son. He even got another job as an engineer. But Arpad still loved the organ. He loved it so much, he decided to buy one!
Pipe organs are very large instruments. It isn’t just the organ itself, but hundreds of pipes go with it. His first plan was to buy an organ and put it in his living room in California. But the architect looked at Arpad as if he was crazy, and then quoted him a very high price to make that happen.
A friend suggested Arpad think of buying a church instead. So he started looking. He found a Catholic church for sale in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. But it wasn’t just a church; it was also a school, and two houses! Arpad bought it all. Then he found a pipe organ for sale in New Jersey. He bought it, took it apart, and put it back together again in Wisconsin.
Arpad, his wife, Estie, and their son, Andras, moved to Wisconsin. They found a little group of 10 Adventists who had no regular place to meet for Sabbath School or church. Arpad, said, “Why not meet in my church?”
“This was an answer to prayer,” said Le Suoung Cina, one of the church members who decided to accept Arpad’s invitation.
Don Corkum, conference president at the time, said, “We asked God to provide a place for this little group to worship, and God provided a cathedral!”
Today a Baptist church rents the school. The Adventist group of now 32 members meets in the church. Arpad and his wife are fixing one of the houses to live in. And Arpad rents the church sanctuary to groups for classical music performances. Many of the people who once attended the Catholic Church, come and enjoy being in their church to worship again.
One man’s dream for a pipe organ turned into a wonderful way to help people. What are your dreams? Who knows how God might bless your dream for others!
This story was adapted from an article by Sandra Blackmer that appears in the March 2015 Adventist Review on pp. 54-57.
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