Pastor Alen Adamian
In 1991 at my Australian citizenship ceremony the government granted either a “Good News Bible” or a small tree as a memento of the special occasion. I chose the Bible as I would not need to plant it. God has a sense of humor. Little did I know that I would be planting the word of God over the next 20 years!
For some unexplainable reason I developed an interest in reading the Bible I had received, especially given that it was in English. Over the next year or so, I embarked on my maiden voyage of reading the Bible from cover to cover. I was somewhat familiar with the Old Testament stories, however as I delved into the New Testament gospel narratives I began to feel the burden of my sins and the reality of being under the condemnation of a holy God. The call to believe and repent in order to be saved from God’s judgment was becoming more and more clear. bearing down upon me. This was quite different to what I had thought I knew about Christianity.
Coincidently I happened to meet a young Armenian on the train on my way to work in Sydney and shared what was happening in my life. He was a Christian and invited me to the Armenian Brotherhood Church’s youth – college Bible study. At first I rejected the whole idea, but he persisted and one day, in reality to get him off my back, I agreed to go. To my surprise it turned out to be a wonderful experience, where I saw young Christians singing, praying, studying the Word of God, which I then knew about, and fellowshipping with one another. I went a couple of other times and heard the same call to repentance. As a result I recall one night in 1995 at home kneeling down and praying, confessing my sins and asking the Lord to forgive and save me.
It was in this same period that I met my wife to be, Vanoosh Markarian, and invited her to one of the Bible studies. At first she too rejected the invitation but my persistence finally paid off. And by God’s grace soon afterwards she also repented and received the Lord as her Savior.
We then began attending the Armenian Brotherhood Church in Sydney regularly and served in the youth-college ministry. When my parents found out what had happened in my life, and saw the change in my life and also heard me witnessing the gospel to them, they were quite disturbed and livid. The whole thing was new and strange to them, thinking I had been duped into joining a cult. For a number of years my parents were fiercely against my new found faith and church involvement. At one time they prohibited me from attending church or Bible study. Only by God’s grace were their hearts changed in the future.
In 1999 Vanoosh and I left Sydney and came to the US through an intercompany transfer to Sunnyvale, California. After searching desperately for an Armenian protestant church we happened to eavesdrop on an Armenian couple at a work event, talking about their church. Not long after we too attended the Calvary Armenian Congregational Church in San Francisco and I soon began serving as the College & Career teacher and was later ordained as a deacon of the church. At the departure of our Pastor in 2003, and at the request of the church’s board of deacons, and with much prayer and seeking the Lord’s will, I served as interim lay pastor until November of 2004, at which time we moved to Los Angeles.
Since then I have been working at Bank of America (previously Countrywide) in the Risk Management and Business Recovery departments. We attended the Glendale Armenian Brotherhood Bible Church in 2005, and I soon began serving as the College & Career teacher and was later ordained as an elder of the church.
In His wisdom and providence, God led me to Reformed doctrines and thought very early on in my Christian life back in Australia. I found these doctrines to be Biblical and God honoring, displaying the unfathomable grace of God in the salvation of sinners deserving hell. I had been praying and dreaming of an Armenian church that would boldly stand for and proclaim these doctrines to the Armenian people.
In 2008 as I was teaching systematic theology lessons to the church Board (elders and deacons), topics such as the fall, man’s depraved nature, God’s unconditional election and monergistic work of salvation, the order of salvation and other such doctrines were looked at in detail. By the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit, many of the Board members began to understand and joyfully embrace the sovereignty of God in His work of election and salvation, being grounded solely upon His grace. Some of the Board members did not agree and later fully opposed such doctrines. These issues were further discussed and reviewed in detail for the next year or so, at which time Pastor Vahik Haddadian and I we were asked to either stay, but cease the teaching of these doctrines, or to leave.
After much prayer and seeking the Lord, and for the sake of peace, we decided that the best thing would be for us to leave. And by God’s wonderful plan and providence we were led to Calvary Bible Church in Burbank, who heard our story and the amazing work the Lord had been doing amongst us, and lovingly and graciously opened their arms and allowed us to use their facilities. So in November of 2010, by God’s grace, we began a new church, the Armenian Reformed Bible Church, here in Burbank, possibly being the very first Armenian Reformed church.
Embracing and remaining true to the doctrines of grace recovered during the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, which was sovereignly orchestrated by God, we freely and joyfully preach and teach the Word of God expositionally and systematically. We believe that the greatest fidelity to the Scriptures is found in the Reformation perspective. In addition to these marvelous blessings, the Lord has graced Vanoosh and I with four beautiful girls: Amaris, Elishah, Talia and Isabella!
Soli Deo Gloria,