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(Armenian: Հայաստանեայց Առաքելական Եկեղեցի, Hayastaneayc' Aṙak'elakan Ekeġec'i) is the world's oldest National Church and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church. The Armenian Apostolic Church traces its origins to the missions of Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus in the 1st century.
The official name of the Church is the One Holy Universal Apostolic Orthodox Armenian Church. It is sometimes mistakenly referred to as the Gregorian Church, and this name is not acceptable by the Church, because the true name of Apostolic implies the Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus as the founders, and St. Gregory the Illuminator as merely the first official head of the Church.
Fr. Hovsep was born in Etchmiadzin, Armenia. After graduating from the local school in Etchmiadzin, at age of 17 he was admitted into the Seminary of Holy Etchmiadzin in 1989. In 1991, after two years in the Etchmiadzin Seminary, he continued his studies at the Armenian Seminary in Jerusalem. There, he was ordained as a deacon in 1992 by His Beatitude Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, Patriarch of Jerusalem.
After graduating from the Seminary at the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem in 1997, he returned to Armenia for a brief period before being admitted to St. Nersess and St. Vladimir Theological Seminaries in New York.
There he pursued his Master of Divinity degree, while actively participating in many different types of community activities. These different service activities included various parish assignments, teaching Sunday School and summer camps.
Fr. Hovsep graduated from St. Nersess and St. Vladimir Seminaries in 2000. His thesis was a study on the work of the 13th century Armenian Church father Kirakos of Erzinka “On the Eight Thoughts of Evagrius”. It was published in the St. Nersess Theological Review.
After his graduation in 2000, he was appointed as deacon-in-charge of St. James Armenian Church in Richmond, VA. He was ordained into the holy priesthood of the Armenian Apostolic Church on February 22, 2004 by His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian. While in Richmond he also was instrumental in establishing a mission parish in the Tidewater area and served as the visiting pastor for the Armenian Church of Virginia's Tidewater region.
In April of 2007 Fr. Hovsep was appointed as the pastor of St. Mary Armenian Church in Washington, DC where he presently serves.