BY REV. SEROP MEGERDITCHIAN
The Armenian Christian Heritage Committee of the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America announced the publication of the English edition of the “Hooshamadyan: Commemorative Book on the 175th Anniversary of the Armenian Evangelical Church” compiled and edited by Rev. Dr. Vahan H. Tootikian.
“Hooshamadyan” was first published in Armenian in Yerevan, Armenia in 2021, on the occasion of the 175th Anniversary of the founding of the Armenian Evangelical Church. This milestone was to be celebrated in Armenia last year, but it was postponed to between July 1 and 10, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The book, “Hooshamadyan,” is the modern history of the Armenian Evangelical Church. In the words of the editor, Rev. Tootikian, “It depicts the highlights of the Armenian Evangelical Church and presents a panoramic view, utilizing important primary and secondary sources.”
This Commemorative Book on the 175th Anniversary of the AEC consists of three parts: A brief history of the AEC, Church Unions and Organization, and an Appendix.
Part I consists of six chapters and 85 pages, in which Dr. Tootikian presents a brief history of AEC—its rise, the formation of the Church Unions and missionary/philanthropic organizations, the Armenian Evangelical World Council, the doctrines and theology of AEC and the benefits and contributions of AEC to the Armenian nation.
Part II consists of eight chapters and 158 pages and deals with the history of AEC Unions and Organizations. They come under the umbrella of an ecclesiastical representative body called Armenian Evangelical World Council (AEWC).
Currently, AEWC is composed of the following five Church Unions and two missionary/philanthropic organizations: Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East, Armenian Evangelical Union of North America, Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches of France, Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in Eurasia, Evangelical Church of Armenia, Armenian Missionary Association of America, and Stephen Philibosian Foundation.
In “Hooshamadyan,” each of the above-mentioned unions and organizations is meticulously researched. A great deal of current information is presented along with older history, and both blend together to make this volume an excellent resource.
Part III is the Appendix, which lists the 40 founding members of AEC and the English translation of Sultan Abdul-Mejid’s Firman (decree), issued in 1850, officially recognizing the Protestant Church in the Ottoman Empire.
“Hooshamadyan” is a labor of love by so many contributors from all around the world, including the members of the Armenian Christian Heritage Committee of the AEUNA, which embarked upon its publication and assisted in its translation work. Indeed those who contributed articles, revised, edited and typed the content of this volume deserve our thanks and appreciation. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the Armenian Missionary Association of America for taking care of the entire cost of the publication.
Last but not least, many thanks to Rev. Dr. Vahan H. Tootikian for his astute scholarship and dedicated services in compiling and editing such a rich resource for all who want to be better acquainted with the Armenian Evangelical Church.
“Hooshamadyan: Commemorative Book on the 175th Anniversary of the Armenian Evangelical Church” may be obtained from the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America, located at 411 East Acacia Avenue, Suite 200, Glendale, CA 91205-0922; or the Armenian Missionary Association of America, located at 31 West Century Road, Paramus, N.J. 07652.