CHICAGO — Rev. Dr. Ron Tovmassian, Moderator of the Board of Directors of the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America (AEUNA), announced the unanimous appointment of Rev. Berdj Djambazian as the new Minister to the Union of AEUNA. This interim appointment made by the AEUNA Board is scheduled to be confirmed at the AEUNA Biennial General Assembly in Chicago in June 2016.
Djambazian was born in St. James Armenian Convent in the old city of Jerusalem to Hampartzoum and Mary Djambazian, survivors of the Armenian Genocide and active members of the Second Armenian Evangelical Church of Marash pastored by Rev. Agbabian. He received his primary education in Jerusalem, Amman and Beirut. In 1962, he attended Beatenberg Theological Seminary in Switzerland, graduating in 1967.
From 1967-1973, Djambazian pastored two Armenian Evangelical Churches in Biver and St. Antoine in Marseille, France. While pastoring, he attended the National Conservatory of Music in Marseille for vocal training from 1968-1972. He continued his theological studies at NEST (1975-1977) taking classes from Prof. Kenneth Bailey and former hostage in Lebanon, Dr. Benjamin Weir.
From 1973-1981, Djambazian served as an educator, pastor and relief worker in the Armenian Evangelical Church of Nor Marash in Bourj Hammoud, Lebanon, and the Armenian Evangelical Shamlian Tatigian Secondary school with 900 students. While in Bourj Hammoud, with his late brother Rev. Hagop, he established a medical clinic with six doctors, providing surgical, dental and pharmaceutical services as well as the only ambulance service in the area during the Lebanese civil war.
From 1981-1993, he served as the Senior Pastor of UACC, after which he was instrumental in establishing three new congregations one of which was co-founded with Rev. Dr. Ara Chakerian.
From 1997-2007, he served as the Associate Pastor of World Missions and Adult Education at the Glendale Presbyterian Church, and led more than 40 relief, evangelism and outreach teams to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Turkey and Armenia. The ability to communicate in six languages, including Armenian, German, French, Arabic, Turkish and English, and being equipped with the gift of cultural sensitivity and understanding, made his trips impactful.
From 2005-2008, Djambazian made several trips to Sudan delivering relief to Darfurian Genocide survivors. He was instrumental in building the largest church on the eastern side of the Nile River. After the 1988 earthquake in Armenia, he made more than 25 trips to the stricken region delivering medical and other relief support. Believing that all mentally challenged children are true gifts from God, he has committed himself to that task of providing relief, in the form of food, clothing and medical supplies, to ensure that all such children receive the right to live a dignified quality of life.
Djambazian was invited by the late Catholicos of All Armenians Vazken I to teach at the Kevorkian Seminary. He taught classes on homiletics and on “How to encounter the Sectarian movements in Armenia.” He is celebrating the 30th anniversary of his “Nor Huys” weekly Television program, reaching out to the Armenian community at large. He has authored a book called Hayazartnoum.
Djambazian is married to Shoghig (Balekian) and they have three children: Daniel, Helen and Pauline, who is married to Dr. Gerrard Andonian; as well as two grandchildren, Julian 7 and Lauren 5.