165th Anniversary of the Founding of the Armenian Evangelical Church

On Sunday, 3 July, 2011, in the Armenian Evangelical First Church, the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East, celebrated with a worship service, the 165th Anniversary of the forming of the Armenian Evangelical Church in Istanbul in 1846.

The guests were Archbishop Kegham Khatcherian, representing the Armenian Apostolic Church and Vartan Ashkarian representing the Armenian Catholic Church. Present were also the Bourj Hammoud mayor, Mr. Antranig Messerlian, the Armenian Embassy representative, and the Armenian political parties as well as various social organizations.

The following pastors led the service: Rev. Paul Haidostian, Rev. Hovhannes Sevajian, Rev. Soghomon Kilaghbian, Rev. Raffi Messerlian, Rev. Hrayr Cholakian and Rev. Vicken Cholakian. The Armenian Evangelical Armiss choir, led by maestro Garo Avessian, also sang two hymns.

The President of the UAECNE, Rev. Mgrdich Karagoezian gave the sermon. “An alert mind, a kind heart, a devoted spirit, those were the qualities of our ancestors who led us with their vision”, said Rev. Karagoezian.

“Our culture and heritage might show our origins. However, that would not be enough to save us” he also added.

After the service, an exhibition was held at Haigazian University, featuring Armenian Evangelical publications, photographs, and communion and baptism vessels and church utensils.

Rev. Paul Haidostian, president of Haigazian University, gave a brief introduction of the exhibited objects, stating that some of them were used by the pastors. Moreover, he mentioned that some of the photographs were gathered from the collection of Rev. Manasseh Shnorhokian.

Photos (first four), courtersy of Mr. Krikor Aynilian