Rev. Hovhannes (John) Melkonian
By Doris and Arda Melkonian
To know Rev. Hovhannes Melkonian is to witness God’s story in his life and how God’s love flows through him to all whom he encounters.
The name “Hovhannes,” derived from the Hebrew meaning “Yahweh is gracious,” encapsulates the unwavering promise of God’s favor and kindness. It is a promise of empowerment and of assurance. It is a promise of God’s everlasting presence. It is God’s gracious presence that is discerned in the life and ministry of the Rev. Hovhannes Melkonian.
Born to Mgrdich and Barkevouhi Melkonian, a deeply religious couple, Rev. Melkonian was the youngest of five sons. Nurtured by the love of his parents, young Hovhannes grew in the Word, and came to know the Lord at a tender age.
During his youth, Rev. Melkonian attended Aleppo College and Bethel Armenian Evangelical Church, where he discerned God’s call to enter the ministry. He attended Haigazian University and Near East School of Theology (NEST), receiving a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Theology, respectively. Upon graduation, Rev. Melkonian began his ministry in the Armenian Evangelical Churches in Kessab, Syria, followed by a pastorate in Anjar, Lebanon. Here, Rev. Melkonian served as Minister of the Armenian Evangelical Church of Anjar, as well as Vice Principal of the Armenian Evangelical Boarding School.
Rev. Melkonian married Jeanette Kouyoumjian, a respected and beloved English teacher in the Armenian Evangelical schools in Beirut. Together, they embraced the community of Anjar, and enthusiastically carried out God’s mission to further His kingdom. Their love for this community has had a long-lasting impact: to their congregation, they were the beloved pastor and pastor’s wife; and to many of their students, they became surrogate parents.
The graciousness of God was once again revealed to Rev. Melkonian as he was given the opportunity to further his education in the United States, a lifelong dream. Rev. Melkonian attended Pasadena Nazarene College (now Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego). Blessed with a warm personality, a loving and kind heart, and a joyful disposition, Rev. Melkonian soon became a favorite on the university campus.
Upon graduating from Pasadena Nazarene College with a Master of Arts in Christian Education, Rev. Melkonian served as Associate Pastor in the First Church of the Nazarene, Pomona. His service in the Nazarene denomination expanded his thinking, exposed him to new ways of ministry and allowed him to thrive in this new setting. Several years later, this denomination that had become a source of great blessing in his life ordained Rev. Melkonian.
In addition to ministry, Rev. Melkonian pursued his second passion, teaching, by serving in American public schools. His commitment to education is reflected in his service at the Sahag Mesrob Armenian Christian School for many years as a member and Chairman of the Board. Additionally, he has served both his alma maters, as founding President of the Haigazian University Alumni Association in California, and as Treasurer of the NEST Alumni Association of North America. During this time, he filled empty pulpits in Armenian Evangelical churches, specifically the Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church in Pasadena, CA. Upon retirement, Rev. Melkonian was called to serve as the interim Pastor of the Armenian Evangelical Church in Montreal, Canada.
Rev. Melkonian continues to preach the Word of God by serving as Chaplain of the United Armenian Congregational Church Men’s Fellowship and by leading Adult Sunday School at the Armenian Church of the Nazarene, Glendale, CA. He continues serving the Armenian community of Pasadena where he is fondly known as “the Badveli of Pasadena,” loved and respected by Evangelicals and non-Evangelicals alike for the kindness he shows to all indiscriminately.
God’s graciousness has been a hallmark in Rev. Melkonian’s life. As a recipient of God’s love and mercy, he has, in turn, freely extended it to all whom he has encountered. Rev. Melkonian is cherished by his devoted wife, Jeanette and two lovely daughters, Doris and Arda.