A brief word about our parish:


St. Michael Parish is a local Christian body of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) headquartered in Addis Abeba Ethiopia, East Africa. The parish is under the administration and governance of the Archdiocese of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in New York, North East and Central United States, His Eminence Abuna Zakarias Archbishop.

 

Over the almost 2000 year history of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church since her apostolic founding in Jerusalem by the grace of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:26-39) she has remained diligent to keep the faith once and for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3). Accordingly the EOTC has never lost her zeal to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and eagerly extended herself to do her part to preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations (Mark 16:15) and in 1959 found herself in New York City among the varied peoples of America doing exactly that; establishing churches and making disciples of men baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).

 

Saint Michael Ethiopian Orthodox Church Parish is one of the children of this mission today and strives to remain in the same manner of faith and mission as our founding fathers from Ethiopia to be diligent in preaching and baptizing and making disciples of all nations which is commanded by Jesus Christ to His Church and as such this is our main goal.

 

The goals of the parish are to also serve the local community at-large by providing our material and spiritual resources in an effort to be a beacon of hope and light in the world around us. We pray for Gods help in this aim as this is the true nature of Christ’s Church on earth (Matthew 5:13-16). We are of course committed as well to the faithful members of the parish by maintaining for them a wholesome and loving parish life to enrich their lives with the beauty, serenity and the hope of the Christian family focused in devotion and worship of God in all aspects so that Christianity is  for each person a living faith which embraces the life of the person and not just a Sunday activity. This is accomplished by maintaining bible studies, Sunday School programs, family counseling, fellowship, outreach and facilitating the liturgical and sacramental life of the parish all in accordance with the teachings of Christ and His apostles.

 

The parish endeavors to support and stand within the Archdiocese of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in the United States by our adherence to her administration and spiritual leadership without which no orthodox Christian community can be truly apostolic as taught by the fathers of the ancient church most specifically Saint Ignatius (Kiduse Enatewos) of Antioch in 1st Century who was a disciple of Saint Luke the Apostle.

 

The parish was established by the will of God in the grace of the Holy Spirit on Sunday October 1, 1994  through (HE) His Eminence Abuna Matthias archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Archdiocese of United States and Canada to expand the mission of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church to New Jersey in its endeavor to reach the people of African descent who are seeking and thirsting for a deeper connection to God in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ found in ancient African Christianity which is the root of the ancient Orthodox Apostolic faith and the Christian Church in general. By all means this mission endeavors to seek all people who are willing to accept the ancient Orthodox faith in Jesus Christ.

 

Prior to the official consecration and Tabot installation ceremony on October 1, 1994 the assembly of believers were organized under ‘Maheber Kiduse Mika’el’

(“the assembly of Saint Michael”) and incorporated in New Jersey through the permission of HE Archbishop Abuna Yisaq; making us the first Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahado Church assembly as well as the first Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in New Jersey USA.  The founding membership comprised a group of faithful members and clergy from Holy Trinity Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahado Church (EOTC) in Bronx, New York who had been living in New Jersey and was inspired by the Holy Spirit to have New Jersey have its first Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahado Church (EOTC) Parish.

 

The first sacrament performed by Saint Michael Parish was on the day of its consecration; a wedding which is the first Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo matrimonial rite performed in New Jersey which joined in Holy Matrimony Brother Amde Tsion-Durden and Sister Mareyam Kebra-Ruff.

 

 HE Archbishop Abuna Yesaq after being commissioned by Patriarchate of Ethiopia in Addis Abeba came from Ethiopia to America as a true missionary father to the peoples of the Americas most specifically those of African descent. He arrived in the United States of America as Abba Mandefro with two other monk priests and a deacon as well as their American born host Abba Michael Haitmann who while in Ethiopia was tonsured a monk and subsequently ordained priest becoming the first African American to be tonsured a monk and receive holy priest ordination in Ethiopia. One of the two other monk priests with him was the lifelong friend and Christian brother of Abba Mandefro….Abba Gabre Medhin who is currently His Holiness (HH) Abuna Pawlos the archbishop of Axum and Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahado Church.

 

Having endured the challenges of American life and paved solid ground for the Ethiopia Churches mission to the Americas he was appointed by the holy fathers and was consecrated by the Holy Synod Patriarchate becoming the first archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in the western hemisphere.

 

During his long tenure he preached and taught thousands of people of African descent and encouraged often saying “you have faith in Christ?” …good!…….“you can now enrich that faith and henceforth keep that faith no longer by the western model but instead in accordance to ancient African Christianity in the Universal Apostolic Orthodox church which has been maintained unchanged from the earliest time in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church”. He graciously and prayerfully pushed for the EOTC to be for and part of the culture and life of the African peoples in the west whose ancestors were taken into slave ships to never return to Africa again and by which would never know the true ancient African Christianity established in Africa by the apostles Saint Mark and Saint Matthew as well as from Saint Phillip in his interactions, teachings and baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Jerusalem.  HE Archbishop Abuna Yisaq by the grace of God his teaching was well received and tens of thousands of believers accepted the ancient Orthodox Church and was baptized.

 

Today there are tens of thousands of faithful members of African descent young and old hailing from all over the western hemisphere with established EOTC parish churches.

 

In the United States two of the earliest parish churches to emerge from the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church mission is Holy Trinity EOTC located first in Harlem, New York (now in Bronx, New York) and Saint Michael EOTC in Brooklyn, New York (“the first Saint Michael parish”). There was also Saint Tekle Haimonot EOTC in Los Angeles CA.  Only Holy Trinity EOTC which was the principle mission parish and is now the seat of the archdiocese in America continues today from these earliest parishes and is the catalyst for Saint Michael EOTC Parish in New Jersey “the new and current Saint Michael Parish”. HE Abuna Yisaq organized and blessed a small group of devoted members and clergy of Holy Trinity EOTC already living in New Jersey and encouraged them to begin the task of seeking property and the best location for the mission in New Jersey, USA.

 

It was HE Archbishop Yisaq’ desire to have Saint Michael EOTC Parish in NJ to be a function of the EOTC mission and be closely linked with Holy Trinity EOTC in the Bronx NY.

 

After being commissioned by the Ethiopian Patriarchate Abuna Abrham arrived in New York to organize and lead the restructuring of the Ethiopian Archdiocese in the United States and North America. With this huge task in hand he immediately called on Saint Michael EOTC Parish to play a major role in this process. Under his direction the parish extended its resources to help navigate the myriad of meetings, correspondence and official documents. Saint Michael EOTC Parish oversaw and helped with design and renovations to the Holy Trinity Archdiocese building which included the new salon on the 2nd floor and the expanding of “Basilios Hall” on the 2nd Floor. The parish was given official direction to oversee design of the new Holy Trinity Church building to be on the existing lot next to the current building. Brother Amde Tsion-Durden an architect and member of Saint Michael EOTC parish headed the design team along with the priest-in-charge of Saint Michael Leke Kahanot Zewdineh. Members from all the local parishes worked diligently and cooperatively on this aim which eventually produced the final design which was blessed for construction.

 

HE Abrham made various pastoral visits to Saint Michael EOTC Parish on various occasions to encourage the believers. He ordained a new deacon for the parish; Deacon Amde Tsion – Durden; which helped much in giving real hope to the faithful and enriching the life of the parish with this great blessing.

 

By the blessing of God through His Eminence (HE) Abuna Zakarias the current archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Archdiocese of New York, North East and Central United States the desire, prayers and great work of HE Abuna Yisaq for the missionary work of the EOTC in America to reach the peoples of African descent continued specifically in Holy Trinity EOTC – Archdiocese in the Bronx NY, Saint Michael EOTC Parish and Saint Gabriel EOTC Parishes in New Jersey as well. HE Abuna Zakarias after being appointed by the Patriarchate of Ethiopia arrived in New York a few years ago and immediately embraced the historic work of all the Ethiopian fathers before him encouraging the members to “unite in faith and order”.  Many of the members who were separated for various reasons were reunited by his fatherly embrace. He visited the Saint Michael Parish and blessed the people encouraging them that the future of Saint Michael is a “good future”. In due time and by Gods grace Abuna Zakarias re-organized the parish appointing a new priest-in-charge to replace the previous who had retired and soon after ordained two new deacons and tonsured a reader. Many members returned and new members arrived looking for salvation in the ancient faith of Orthodox Christianity which produced more than 17 Baptism and 2 weddings over a 12 month period.

 

We are thankful to God for HE Zakarias for bringing new vigor and zeal to the parish and the work of EOTC mission in America. As a father of unity it is right to note that not just the EOTC but the entire Oriental Orthodox Christian Community is benefiting from his blessed work.  

 

There are many new EOTC parishes that are serving the members all over the United States. May God bless the work of all of our fathers and rest the souls of our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters who have tirelessly toiled in this vineyard and are asleep in the lord. Amen. The EOTC mission has been and is still striving to be that hope for people who need and desire the deeper spirituality of ancient African Christianity.

 

Today our congregation has faithful from all over the world from Ethiopia, America and the various West Indian and Caribbean countries which reflect the Ethiopian Churches success in its missionary zeal to reach “the scattered sons and daughters of Africa” around the world. It also reflects a continued current of acceptance of ancient Christianity by peoples of African descent. The West Indies in particular has a very vital and fruitful EOTC mission due to the faith, commitment and acceptance of the Church by the people as well as having had little developmental interruption over the last 50 years.

 

Please come and visit your church!

 

Peace and Love.

 

 

 

 

 

 


"The bishop is at the center of the church community"
                                 St. Ignatius 1st Century ( Disciple of Saint John)
Men worship on the left and women worship on the right. Shoes are removed before entering the sanctuary.
'Raise the children up in the way they aught to go'
                                     Proverbs..
Saint Michael Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahado Church
Englewood, NJ