history of abbc
As the Armenian Evangelical Church was born out of the Mother Church (the Armenian Orthodox Apostolic Church), likewise the Armenian Brotherhood Church was born out of the Armenian Evangelical Church.
In the beginning of the twentieth century, some of the suburbs of Cilicia as Harpert, Marash, Hasan Bay, Aintab, and Adana, had seen strong spiritual awakenings, where numerous persons repented and committed themselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Having the desire for a warm spiritual environment, they joined the group that sprang out of the Evangelical Church, which was having unofficial meetings and which had similar concerns. This group was being known as Brotherhood fellowship.
The Genocide did not permit this group to prosper in Cilicia. After the massacres, the remnant of the Armenian people migrated to the Middle East and settled in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. Those who migrated to Europe, mainly settled in Greece and France.
Among those who settled in these countries, there were initiator spiritual brothers who, with the help of God, began similar meetings first at homes and later in rented halls, and finally, when the number of the constituency increased, and the monetary means allowed, they began to move into church buildings.
Among those who migrated to Aleppo, Syria, were Brothers Abraham Seferian, Minas Bozoklian and Mihran Kasardjian. They gathered people together and began to have unofficial home Bible studies. There were a mixed group of people who were born again, from the three denominations (i.e., Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical). In time this group became larger and took more official status, and finally it was named as the Spiritual Brotherhood Church. Due this course movement spread into other countries, although in different names as Armenian Evangelical Brotherhood Church, Armenian Brotherhood Bible Church, etc.
Numerous Brotherhood Churches were established in the Middle East: Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad, Tehran, Cairo, Alexandria. In Europe: Valance, Paris, Athens. And in South America: Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Sao Paulo, and Montevideo.
The brothers who migrated to North America, established churches in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Fresno, Los Angeles, and Pasadena.
The founder of the Pasadena Armenian Brotherhood Bible Church was Rev. Ephlatone E. Elmajian, who after retiring in 1960’s, transferred the work to Rev. Vahram Tourian.The founder of the Pasadena Armenian Brotherhood Bible Church was Rev. Ephlatone E. Elmajian
In 1971, seven brothers, together with their families split from the church and founded a new church which conducted services in a rented church building at the corner of Washington and Holeston.
The seven founding brothers were: Rev. John Mark, Rev. Joseph Matossion, brothers Dikran Matossion, Abraham Voskerichian, Haigazoon Kuyumjian, Jirair Aitablian and Moses Kasparian. Most of these brothers are in Heaven now.
After one month, the congregation moved to a Methodist church at the corner of Washington Blvd. and Pepper Dr. They stayed there for seven years after which the purchased a building at the corner of Washington Blvd. and Bresee. They had their worship services in the Bresee Nazarene church from 1979 to 1986, when they finally started to use their present location.
The church grew from 40 members to the present 280 membership. The membership grew mainly by new comers from Lebanon, Iran and Armenia.
The Brotherhood Churches are governed mainly by laymen. That was the case with the Pasadena church, when, because of the growth of the congregation, the Board of the Church invited Joseph Matossian to act as the full time pastor of the church. Rev. Matossian served from 1986 to 1994 and he handed the torch to Bro. Samuel Pambakian until 2000; thereafter handed over to Rev. Calvin Sagherian.
Sometime in 1998, the church ventured a giant construction project, by spending around two million dollars. The church built a gymnasium, classrooms and offices, together with a large parking area. These facilities are efficiently used by the church for Sunday School, Bible Study groups, youth activities, banquets and executive offices.
The Brotherhood church that is located in Pasadena is a member of the Union of the Armenian Brotherhood Bible Churches, which has to its membership 16 churches, among them are the two churches in the Los Angeles County: Glendale and Hollywood (with Rev. Carlos Hadjian as Pastor).
In order to make the spiritual truths available to many and tie the Brotherhood churches together, in 1925, in Aleppo, Syria, a monthly magazine started to be published by the name of Maranatha, with Brothers Abraham Seferian and Minas Bozoklian as the editors. Besides Maranatha there had been other magazines published like Aveli Gyank (Abundant Life) and Tchahert (The Enlightened Journey), as well the Yerchanik Hooys (Blessed Hope) periodical. These periodicals brought a tremendous subsidy to the Armenian spiritual literature and spiritual nourishment to thousands of its readers. Today, only Yerchanik Hooys (Blessed Hope) is in print, as the organ of the Union of the Armenian Brotherhood Bible Churches, and is being published in Pasadena, California.
The members of the Armenian Brotherhood Bible Church in Pasadena give thanks to God for having a home where believers come and worship the Lord, get nourishment from His word, serve Him, have communion with their brothers and sisters in the Lord and prepare for the return of Jesus Christ.
The Lord has helped us up to day, He has been our Ebenezer. May His name be blessed and glorified among His flock.†