Emanuel Titus Dan & family in Charlotte, NC, 2015
As I have announced already, Emanuel Titus Dan, one of the veterans of the Romanian Baptist community in America, went to be with the Lord. May God rest him in peace, with the saints!
I have received recently, from his daughter, Stefana Dan Laing, an autobiography. Here is the beginning of it.
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“Fear not for I am with you,
Be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you,
I will help you,
I will uphold you
With my victorious right hand.”
Emanuel Titus Dan: A Memoir
I was born in Cluj, Romania on May 15, 1933. My parents, Ioan and Ana, both Baptists, took great pains to rear me and my five siblings in the church and in accordance with the Word of God. My father was converted to a living faith in Jesus Christ in the trenches of World War I, where he received Christ through the preaching of a German military chaplain. When he returned home, he became one of the promoters of the Baptist faith in the city of Cluj and the surrounding area, putting forth a fruitful effort in the establishment of the first Romanian Baptist Church of Cluj. Today there are three Baptist churches in Cluj, and dozens of others in the neighboring regions, many of which my father planted. Through his work and activity among the Baptist brotherhood, he was highly esteemed and appreciated, and in 1928 he was elected as the President of the Baptist Young People’s Union in Romania. In 1945 he was elected as the President of the Baptist Union in Romania and re-elected in 1948 to the same position. During this entire period until 1963 when he retired, he worked to support our family and the church as an administrator of the Regional Laboratory of Hygiene in Cluj. After his retirement he continued to work within the Baptist Association of Cluj which comprised several districts.
My mother, as I remember, worked for the state as a bookkeeper and chemist, while also helping my father with his ministry. She was our Sunday school teacher and our true educator every day, teaching us how to behave among people and about the Christian life according to the Bible.
In my seventh year, World War II broke out in Europe, affecting Romania as well. Due to the conditions created by the war, in 1940 my entire family took refuge in another part of the country, in the city of Sighisoara. We remained there until 1945, when we returned to Cluj. During the years in Sighisoara, I completed my first four elementary grades, then I took my remaining education in Cluj, graduating eight years later with my baccalaureate in 1952.
This was a time of political upheaval and social turmoil and transformation in Romania. An atheistic government had won the leadership of the country. This caused many of the believers’ children difficulty in obtaining university admission, and sometimes they were not admitted at all but were totally denied. I myself have experienced these difficulties. Continue reading “Emanuel Titus Dan: A Memoir”