177th Anniversary of the Armenian Evangelical Church
A Message by Pastor Aram Babajanyan, Minister of the Evangelical Church of Armenia in Gyumri
This year, Armenian Evangelical family worldwide is celebrating the 177th anniversary of the Armenian Evangelical Church. Through this celebration, we praise Lord for the past 177 years, for establishing and using this church and this community as an instrument for His ministry. We remember all the works and miracles that Lord revealed through this church. We remember the contribution that the Armenian Evangelical Church left throughout its history.
We should remember with pride our church fathers, who were devotees, martyrs, who were faithful to the gospel of Christ. We remember our contribution and service to the Armenian people. We remember the spiritual, intellectual, educational and cultural enlightenment and rise we brought to Western Armenia. We also should remember the service and dedication we brought to the Armenian people in Eastern Armenia during many critical periods of our country. We are proud to talk about the history and reasons for the formation of the Armenian Evangelical Church. Our name already summarizes this history and most importantly, our identity and mission.
For us, the celebration of the 177th anniversary is not a simple commemoration of our past, but it is a reality that puts a serious responsibility on our shoulders for the future. It is the deep awareness of this reality that must lead us to think about tomorrow. We are called to see and understand ourselves today and make decisions for tomorrow.
In this period of our history, I think we need to confess that as a historical church we are going through an identity crisis. Of course, this crisis has different objective and subjective reasons. But in the search for this crisis and its causes, the first and most important thing is to focus on embodying the gospel of Christ. The reason for the formation of the Armenian Evangelical Church is this: to live and breathe the pure gospel and preach the gospel of Christ with one’s own essence and identity and carry the spirit of the gospel.
We cannot accept the gospel and preach it partially and selectively. For it is the word of God only in its wholeness. This is exactly what the world offers us in exchange for “peaceful coexistence”. The moment we choose to “write” a gospel suitable for us and the world, from that moment we will lose the meaning of our foundation and the right for our existence. After which the free fall into obscurity will begin.
But we are called to give a rule of life derived from the Gospel to our nation, people and state. What we choose today will determine our existence tomorrow.
But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. -2 Timothy 4:5