Our father is the Gospel,
Our mother is the Saint Apostolic Church.

The Brotherhood was founded in Cilicia and has spread and established in the sphere of the Mother Church. After the Explosion of Cilicia (1920-21) it was spreading in the places full of Armenians: in Lebanon-1921, Assyria-1923, in Egypt, France, Canada, North and South America, Australia, and also in Armenia.

The Brotherhood has always been in partnership with the Mother Church, but it was officially verified in 1931, June 3. The Council of Lebanon practiced by archbishop Yeghishe Karoyan validated the Charter of the Brotherhood. The Brotherhood has been operating in Armenia since 1948. The All Armenians' Catholicos Vazgen A, who also ratified the Charter of the Brotherhood in October 15, 1991, officially accepted it.

In Kharaback the Brotherhood was founded and spread a year before the Kharaback movement, in 1987 and today it enjoys the promotion and support of the Pargev Srbazan; the spiritual leader of the Republic of Kharaback.

The faithful children of the Armenian Apostolic Church both the young and the old come together to study the Bible and to meditate on it, to worship God by praying and singing together. The pious faith of our fathers and the flames of the Holy Spirit will be extinguished in those places, where there is no Church and no such prayer meetings

THE BEGINNING

Sister Elisabeth Labashlyan was born in 1863 in Earpuz-Cilicia.

The church was near their house and her grandmother, a kind-hearted and seriously devoted Christian, taught Elisabeth to go to Church, pray and love God.

Still unmarried, walking in the garden she heard a voice which said,

-You will be my witness; you will be preaching my Word.

It was as if that heavenly voice spoke in the heart and mind of the girl and told her that she should not get married, and if she got married, her husband would die. This happened for a couple of times. Her parents considered this visit of hers delusion.

When her parents happily engaged her she kept begging them not to do it, but they did not take heed. After about a year of marriage she had a vision while praying and said to her mother-in-law, “My husband was killed on a certain mountain.” Actually, as a result of an incident with the Earpuz Turks her husband died and Elisabeth returned to her father’s home. Now everybody got convinced that the voice about the calling had come from heaven.

Widowed, Elisabeth now moved to her father’s house where one day at evening time she heard a Voice calling her. She ran to her brother and asked, “What do you want?” Her brother answered, “Go to bed. I have not called you.” Elisabeth went to bed again. Suddenly a light shone all around and the same Voice said, “It’s your Lord God calling you.” Elisabeth had a command from God to fast and pray for the people God was going to show her.

Shortly afterwards her father and mother died. Now the relatives and the majority of the villagers deemed this untimely death as a consequence of disobeying the Heaven’s voice.

Elisabeth again got a command from God to pray and fast for 40 days. “You will receive power from heaven and you should commit yourself to the salvation of souls”, the voice from the heaven said.

Up to now the members of the Brotherhood have been committed to this Gospel message.

Sister Elisabeth makes a covenant not to marry and lead a life of a nun, serving God in prayer and fasting. As a result of these incidents in Earpuz she became known as a godly and committed Christian.

Things uncommon to that place and time occured; the half-literate sister started singing the Bible verses with her own spirit-edifying melodies and telling the glory of God. She was telling things which God revealed to her to tell people, but she did it at times and places God pointed to.

Unusual things took place. Many people converted, repented, began to lead prayerful lives, and most importantly their lifestyles changed, they gave up evil habits, many began reading the Bible and praying.

The flickering fire turned into a flame sweeping away the dark of sin and clothing people with the light of God’s glory (Nerses Shnorhali, Like a Terrifying Hurricane, liturgical singing).

The same year Muradyan Poghos Efendi sent Karapet Jenanyan from Marash to Earpuz to see over wheat barns.

Karapet Jenanyan came here with his family, met sister Elisabeth and after talking to her became so enthusiastic about Christ's love that he forget about his position and committed to serving God and his Savior with endless zeal.

The fire warmed up and lit many hearts.

Manuk Zgonyan, a teacher from Zeytun also converted to Christ. He composed a lot of religious eulogies in Turkish dialects, which came to be sung in Earpuz in melancholic melodies.

Manuk Zgonyan studied at Jerusalem Zharangavorats Seminary, under Meliksedek Muradeants deaconry. Since 1877 he worked as a teacher at Zeytun Pozpayir block St. John school, since 1880 at Earpuz School at church which had over 100 students.

The number of converts kept growing daily. They began worshipping God with spirit-edifying songs and liturgical singing and wholehearted prayers. Brother Karapet Jenanyan and sister Elisabeth Labashlyan were each separately and specifically driven by God to isolate in prayer and fasting in a cave near Earpuz and seek God and get from Him what to do next.

Very little is known as to the answer to that fasting and prayer in isolation, but a few things need to be recorded.

After that they gathered in a small group (of 3-5) and prayed every day about the people’s revival as different protestant groups drew the people away from the church by offering them aid.

-We didn’t understand anything in church,- they said, - but they make the Gospel clear to us.

So they decided to form a group (which was already started by the Holy Spirit) with the belief and doctrine of the Mother Church and continued the way they started.

The very same year Archimandrite (Vardapet) Grigor Voskerichyan visited his birthplace. He used to be the travelling preacher of that region. Hearing about the spiritual moves there he himself participated in those small and exciting gatherings, converted to God and renewed his Covenant. In a sense he helped to coordinate those gatherings. They used to start with standing and praying the Lord’s prayer “Our Father” at the end of which one of those present pronounced a whole-hearted prayer, which was closed with a liturgy singing or hymns from the Holy Liturgy. They often sang ''Aravot Luso'' (Morning of Light) mainly beginning from the stanza ''Love, called Jesus'' to the end. Then everybody sat on the floor. At the prayer meeting the shoes had to be off, having in mind God's command to Moses, ''Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground'' (Exodus 3:5).

They sang, then one of them read the Bible and preached, told about God's great works, afterwards the prayers were followed by singing ''Ter Voghormya'' (Have mercy, Lord). Then standing under a tune or without it they pronounced the Lord's Prayer and closed. Those who had questions could talk; the others either listened or left. Those praying people called themselves ''Love Union'' (the Turks called themselves Muhapetchi, which comes from the word “love”).

This is how the ''Love Union'' was formed and developed in 1880. A few years later (three years after coming to Earpuz) the leader of Zeytun Bishop Karapet Kecheyan being enthusiastic about the results of the movement ordained Karapet Jenanyan as priest in St. John Church, which was the Holy Father’s first priest ordination. The newly ordained was called Ghevond. Nshan and Vardan from Pozpayir block were his fellow priests.

IN LINE WITH THE SAME RULE

Philippians 3:16

1880-96 were years of great enthusiasm in Cilicia. The Love union had achieved great success in Marash, Zeytun, Earpuz, Kokison, Hajen, Vahka, Shar, Marash, Adana, Alpustan and nearby villages.

Creator God came to Jordan, Liturgical singing.

Creator God who had come to Jordan came to Cilicia to give His blessings, to reveal Himself to the poor suffering people, to redeem them with His blood and comfort His people.

God had shed His Spirit upon every one:
People were prophesying,
had visions and dreams.

Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:17-18

The Spirit of God was extraordinarily speaking to people’s hearts and Jeremiah’s prophecy was coming true:

“And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their family, saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will already know me,” says the Lord. “And I will forgive their wickedness and will never again remember their sins”(31:34).

People turned from sin and wickedness to God in prayer, they got rid of bad habits, gave up their wicked deeds and took the godly path. They read the Word of God, remained in prayer, sang songs from their own hearts and the churches were crowded with God’s children who took the Holy Communion “with fear and faith”.

There was a spiritual Revival, Revival in the bosom of the Armenian Church.

The Brotherhood Church, the Love union, did not have clear-cut mechanisms of governing or, advisory bodies, the decision-making and implementing structures were not defined, the prayer groups did not have their local council or senior. God was All in all. There were no definite study groups, nobody taught others as to what to do and how to do. People rushed to spread the Gospel, to preach, to witness both in their and other villages and settlements with inner passion. They sang and prayed a lot both from the “Prayer Book” and the songs of the “Love Union”. The Lord was working using ordinary people.

And I will cause wanders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below – blood and fire and clouds of smoke.

The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon will turn blood-red, before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives. And anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Acts 2:19-21

 

We invite all the believers, gentlemen and ladies, people of all ages from young to old to

The Brotherhood of Armenian Apostolic Church

 

The meetings in Yerevan are held at "Nayirit" cultural center
(near the Square of Garegin Njdeh)

On Wednesdays, at 4:00 p.m.

On Sundays, at 3:00 p.m.