The Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) held an historic opening of its Evangelical Center on Baghramian Ave., Yerevan, Armenia on April 19. Numerous government officials, leaders of various churches, other nonprofit organizations, and foreign ambassadors were present to share in the joy of this event. The festivities continued into the evening where young musicians of the Armenian Evangelical Church amazed numerous guests with their heartfelt and professional performances.
Celebrating another Together, We Can Build Miracles campaign achievement, the grand opening of the Evangelical Center is a demonstration of the exemplary support from devoted donors. The AMAA continues to realize significant successes with this fundraising initiative.
“For many years we have been dreaming of coming to our historical Motherland, and only after our beloved Armenia gained independence in 1991 our dream has come true,” said Andrew Torigian, Executive Director of AMAA which, since the devastating 1988 earthquake, the AMAA continues to help thousands of Armenian children and impoverished people through various charitable, social, educational, cultural and medical programs. The Armenian Evangelical Church has existed for 163 years, and the AMAA is over 90 years old.
Rev. Dr. Rene Leonian, President of the Evan-gelical Church of Armenia and Representative of AMAA and Hope for Armenia in Armenia ex-pressed that our aim, together with other organizations, is to support the next generation, creating in them a hope by helping to improve conditions. Rev. Leonian especially thanked the Armenian go-vernment for their support of their many programs.
“The opening of a place of worship in this particular building is quite remarkable” said H.E. Marie L. Yovanovitch, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Armenia in her congratulatory speech. Mrs. Yovanovitch reminded all present that the U.S. Embassy in Armenia was located in this building from 1992 to 2005. She said, “The history of this building really reflects the positive development of Armenia itself which in eighteen short years has evolved from a Soviet Republic to a newly independent state that today is working to consolidate the fruits of democracy and economic development. This building will always occupy a special place in the view of the U.S. government because, while the American people and the Armenian people have had a long relationship with each other, it’s here that the USA and Armenia started their diplomatic relations that continue to evolve and strengthen. As you know, one of the key democratic principles the United States espouses, and which the US government promotes around the world is freedom of religion. As the birthplace of Christianity, Armenia occupies a special place in the history of world religions; it’s also known as a nation of tolerance that respects the faith of other peoples, and we hope the Armenian government continues to do its utmost to promote Armenia as a place of tolerance and respect towards other peoples’ cultures, beliefs and faiths.”
Mrs. Yovanovitch expressed the hope that this Center “will do its own work to strengthen the dialogue, mutual understanding and respect between all the faiths that today peacefully co-exist in Armenia.”
Significant renovation to the 60-year-old buildings in the complex commenced in June 2006 and continues at a rapid pace, thanks to the efforts of prominent local and American-Armenian specialists such as: Gagik Galstyan, Ph.D, President of the Union of Builders of Armenia and President of Horizon-95 construction company, Hrach Sargsyan, President of MKO OJS air-conditioning firm, Antranig M. Ouzoonian, Chief Structural Engineer, Norayr Avagyan, Ph.D, Member of Union of Architects of Armenia, and Armand P. Avakian – AIA, Chief Architect of the AMAA and Armenia Construction Projects Manager. All of these gentlemen were awarded special plaques by Andrew Torigian on behalf of the AMAA.