The 95th Annual Meeting of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) was held at the AMAA Headquarters in Paramus, NJ, on Saturday, October 18, 2014. Over 60 members attended the meeting including Board members, pastors, representatives of churches and mission committees, representatives of Armenian Evangelical Unions from around the world and delegates from affiliate groups. Numerous reports on AMAA’s service ministries were presented by the AMAA Churches and Committees. According to the Treasurer’s Report, during the 2013-14 fiscal year, nearly $9,000,000 was distributed to support 140 projects in 24 countries around the world.
The AMAA general membership elected nine individuals to the Board by mail-in ballot. The following new Board of Directors members, Class of 2017, were announced at the Board Meeting: Bryan Bedrosian, Anita Philibosian Buchakjian, Nazareth E. Darakjian, MD, Louis Kurkjian, Vahe Nalbandian, Arsine Bedrosian Phillips, Esq., Ann Karagozian Sarafian, PhD, Hratch Sarkis and Eileen Chopourian Stephey, PhD.
In conjunction with the AMAA Annual Meeting, the Armenian Evangelical World Council (AEWC) held its meeting on October 16-17. Prayers were offered for members who were unable to attend due to the continuing turmoil in the Middle East.
On Saturday evening, the AMAA celebrated its 95th Anniversary and its rich history with the Annual Meeting Banquet, held at the Double Tree by Hilton in Fort Lee, NJ. About 150 guests attended the Banquet which had as its theme “Keep Telling the Story.” Five Past Presidents, including H. Steven Aharonian, MD, George Bezirganian, MD, Samuel Hekemian, Albert Momjian, Esq., and Andrew Torigian, as well as current President Joseph Zeronian, PhD, were present and recognized at the event. Special recognition was also given to deceased Past Presidents John Keuhnelian, MD and George Philibosian, whose wives, Gladys and Alice, respectively, were present.
The guests were entertained by Soprano Shoushik Barsoumian, who has been performing in the United States and in Europe since 2010. Rev. George R. Carey, Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) World Outreach Director, was the Keynote Speaker. His powerful message was one of encouragement to keep telling the rest of the story of Our Lord and Savior in our lives.
Newly appointed AMAA Executive Director/CEO Zaven Khanjian recalled how for 95 years the AMAA has spread the Good News of the Bible all over the world and how pillars of faith have walked the path before us, responding positively to the call “Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of my brothers, you have done it for me.”
Mr. Khanjian added, “The AMAA is one of the world’s leading organizations devoted to the global, spiritual and physical well-being of the Armenian nation. As its leadership, friends and supporters gather tonight, it is time for us to realize the dire circumstances our people are experiencing worldwide.
“We are, and have been for some time, in a National Disaster mode that has either been naively ignored or unwisely unrecognized. We are in the midst of the most seriously threatened time period in our modern history since the Genocide. The alarm bells are ringing and time is of the essence. We are called to realign our priorities and save what we can before it is too late. It is our God graced duty and obligation to call upon the leadership of the Diaspora to take a serious collective look at the status quo, analyze the situation, gather our resources and draw a blue print of rescue and survival to save as much as we can. Such an attempt could be the best gift we can give ourselves on the Centennial of the Genocide. God has called on the AMAA to face this national and humanitarian challenge and assume a leadership role. I hope that we can positively answer the call.” Mat. 25:40
On Sunday, October 19, members and guests joined The Armenian Presbyterian Church of Paramus for a special Worship Service. Rev. Mgrdich Melkonian, Interim Executive Director/CEO of the AMAA, and Rev. L. Nishan Bakalian, Pastor of the Armenian Martyrs’ Congregational Church of Havertown, PA, preached at the service. Rev. Dr. Vahan H. Tootikian officiated at the installation of the newly elected members of the Board of Directors and the newly appointed Executive Director/CEO of the AMAA.