Erno Gyeresi, a Romanian pastor-turned-business executive who became a key force behind the popular Andrews Study Bible, has died after a long struggle with cancer. He was 54.
Gyeresi died peacefully on Sabbath afternoon, Jan. 31, at his home in Niles, Michigan, with his family by his side, his family said.
Gyeresi spent the first 13 years of his career working as a pastor and church administrator in Romania, and the last 13 years of his life working at Andrews University Press, where he served as managing editor of the Andrews Study Bible, first released in the New King James Version in 2010.
He also was the managing editor of the same Bible in the New International Version (forthcoming); editorial consultant for the Romanian edition of the Bible (2014); and managing editor of the Andrews Bible Commentary (forthcoming).
At the same time, he worked as associate director responsible for business management and marketing at Andrews University Press.
“His influence as both a theologian and businessman on the work of the church’s only regularly established academic publishing house will long be felt through our roster of important works in the last 13 years, and particularly through the ministry of the Andrews Study Bible,” said Ronald Knott, director of Andrews University Press.
“The listing of his name in such a vital position in every one of the scores of thousands of copies of the Bible that have been distributed around the world is only a token acknowledgment of the truly profound influence he had on the development of that landmark publication,” Knott said Monday.
Gyeresi, born on Feb. 27, 1960, in Nyaradszereda, Romania, gave up a promising career in mathematics to follow in the footsteps of his father, grandfather, and eight other family members in working for the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
He made the decision while simultaneously studying mathematics and theology in Bucharest, Romania. He worked as a local pastor and church administrator for 13 years in the North Transylvania Conference after graduating with an undergraduate degree from the Adventist seminary in Bucharest in 1985.
“As a faithful servant of the Lord, Erno touched many lives during his years of ministry,” his family said in a statement.
In 1998, Gyeresi moved to Berrien Springs, Michigan, and completed all but his doctoral dissertation in systematic theology at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University by the early 2000s. He obtained an MBA from Andrews in 2009.
Meanwhile, he started working at Andrews University Press as a student and was promoted to associate director in 2011.
But he probably will be best remembered for his contribution to the Andrews Study Bible.
“I valued Erno’s careful, quiet, yet insightful observations and suggestions. When Erno spoke, it was good to pay attention,” said Gerald A. Klingbeil, who worked with Gyeresi as a contributor to the Andrews Study Bible and one of the associate editors of the Andrews Bible Commentary. Klingbeil also is an associate editor at the Adventist Review and Adventist World.
“While Erno’s death appears to be a point victory of the archenemy of human life and happiness,” Klingbeil said, “I am looking forward to resurrection morning when we will praise the Lamb whose sacrifice made victory sure.”
Erno is survived by his wife of 29 years, Ildiko Gyeresi; his son, Lehel Gyeresi, of Houston, Texas; his daughter, Harmat Beebe, of Altamonte Springs, Florida; his parents, Iosif and Marta Gyeresi, of Tirgu Mures, Romania, and his sister, Judit Dan, of Madrid, Spain.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Sabbath, Feb. 7, in the chapel of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University.