The beginning of Debrecen Reformation was characterized by the spread of Lutheran teachings. Although the tradition preserved the name of Reverend Bálint who was the first local Protestant preacher, we don’t know exactly, when and how the transformation of the city’s religious life began. We must attribute a significant role to the Enyingi Török family, who were the patrons of the city, and the local magistrate. One of the early reformers was Mátyás Bíró Dévai, the “Hungarian Luther”. The brave man of faith, whose life was full of hardships, died in Debrecen in 1545. The gradual nature of the church’s transformation is indicated by the fact that in 1552 both Franciscan friars and Lutheran pastors preached from the pulpit of the old Great Church.
However, the following consolidation of Reformation is linked to the leading figures of the Helvetian movement. The Lutherans began to hold separate services only from 1796. The congregation rented a prayer room in Miklós street from the beginning of the 19th century, however, as they did not have a pastor, the members themselves conducted the services. The community, which grew bigger and bigger with the newcomers who settled down in the city, became strong enough to reach the independent congregation status in 1882. The church building that is still used by the Debrecen Lutherans was built in 1889, partly from the donation of a widow called Mrs Deme.