The 175th Anniversary of the Armenian Evangelical Church – Movement and the Church
(A brief look at the origins of the Armenian Evangelical Church)
By Mihran Jizmejian
The Evangelical Church of Armenia was established on July 1, 1846 in Istanbul Turkey.
The founding members of the church were 37 men and 3 women.
The Armenian Evangelical Church has a glorious history of 175 years today. Since its foundation, the members of the Church have greatly affected the lives of not only their members, but also the Armenian nation at large. Rev. Yeghia Kassouny, the famous Armenian cleric/historian says “Some have called the movement a “disaster” or a “plague” for the Armenians. We disagree, based on historical facts and basic evidences and declare that the Armenian Evangelical Movement has been a great blessing to the Armenian nation and even to our mother Church, the Armenian Orthodox Church”.
In spite of the fact that they received some assistance from the foreign missionaries in their formative years, the Armenian Evangelical Church has its national and cultural roots in the Armenian Church history. From its conception the Armenian Evangelical Church has been ARMENIAN, because it was born among the Armenians, with Armenian people and to serve the Armenians. The Church Was EVANGELICAL, because the Gospel was accepted as the only supreme guide to live by, rejecting the Church’s traditions and rites. It was a CHURCH, because it fulfilled all of the conditions of a church prescribed in the Gospels.
THE DECLARATION OF THE 40 FOUNDING MEMBERS
We respect the Church’s authority. Respectfully accept the traditions established by the blood of our martyrs. With all our hearts we love our Armenian nation. However, we consider the freedom of our consciouses above all else, and we will not allow that any power or tradition or order snatch the Gospel of Jesus Christ from us, or hinder us and our children when we come without a mediator to worship God according to our consciouses.
October 10, 2021