The second Reformed Church of Debrecen was first mentioned by a written source in 1661. The former building was completely demolished by the 1719 great fire. This was the time when the congregation started to build the large, present-day stone church with a bell tower. The construction works lasted for 6 years but the new building was damaged again by another fire in 1727. Thus the building process finished completely only in 1731. The financial background of the project was provided by a large sum bequeathed to the congregation by the will of a devout couple (András Szabó Bátori and Anna Mészáros), which was completed by the donations and the volunteer work of other church members.
The very fact that the construction took place at the period when the local Anti-Reformation movement grew stronger sheds a particular light on the event; the church symbolizes the Calvinist community’s persistent efforts to defend their religious identity. The same attitude characterized the church district’s famous general meeting, which also took place here in the 19th century. The council bravely rejected the Imperial Protestant Patent that aimed at the restriction of Protestant autonomy. This historical event is commemorated by a plaque on the church wall since 1925.
The name of the church refers to the fact that a wind-storm caused irreparable harm to the tower spire in April 1907. After several futile reconstructional attempts, the 1926/27 renovation project led by János Schulek resulted in the damaged tower being converted into a bastion. This architectural solution presented the “Broken Church” as the stronghold of Christianity that endures the besieging difficulties of modern times.