Left to Right: Rev. Sarkis Pachaian of the Armenian Evangelical Church of Brussels, Rev. Joel Mikaelian, President of the Armenian Evangelical Union of France, Fred Simonian, AMAA Board Member, Andy Torigian, Executive Director of the AMAA, next to the newly purchased property and building on their left.
BRUSSELS–The Armenian Missionary Association of America has purchased an old chapel in the Belgian capital and will embark on a local and international campaign to raise funds for its renovation and refitting.
The building, located on Rue Du Heysel, 20, in Brussels, was purchased in June after AMAA Executive Director Andy Torigian traveled to Brussels to finalize the sale in June.
But the property needs renovation and rooms for a planned Sunday school and youth group. The remodeling will a cost over 250,000 Euros. Donations to support the ministry in Belgium will be channeled through the AMAA and those who are interested in becoming a patron of the new church can contact the AMAA office at 201-265-2607.
The purchase comes nearly two decades after the AMAA established the Armenian Evangelical Fellowship of Brussels in 1989 to meet the spiritual needs of the local Armenians as well as immigrants from Turkey.
The fellowship was later organized as a church with the support of the AMAA and was placed under the care of the Armenian Evangelical Union of France. Sarkis Pachaian, a young Armenian from Turkey, was identified as a potential leader. He was encouraged to attend a Seminary in order to take charge of the pastoral leadership of the congregation. He graduated in 1991.
The Armenian Evangelical Church of Brussels was officially founded on May 28, 1991, and was sponsored by the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) and the Armenian Evangelical Union of France. The church did not own a sanctuary. Worship services were held first in homes and later in rented church buildings.
As of 1990, Armenians from Armenia immigrated to Belgium, opening new doors for ministry. A fellowship for Armenian-speaking immigrants was established. Soon the ministry in Belgium spread to seven areas including Brussels, Liege, Antwerp, Mechelen, Hasselt and also in neighboring countries with large Armenian-immigrant communities. The church strives to spread the good news of the Gospel to Armenians who are in need of the Word of God.
In April of 2001, Rev. Sarkis Pachaian was ordained and now is the minister of the Armenian Evangelical Church of Brussels. He has capable assistants and lay leaders who help in the ministry of Belgium. With the expansion of the work in Belgium and areas in Holland and Germany, it became necessary to have a permanent facility in Brussels. For the last two years, both the church and AMAA strived to find an adequate property.