Sunday School – History

In the history of Ethiopian Orthodox Church Sunday schools for youth was begun to be founded commencing from 1936 young followers who used to attend their religious education previously in the holy trinity cathedral school had established an association named “Trinity Association” the association was established for male followers only. However after some years the cathedral administration young female followers was found it necessary to establish their own association apart from the already established male association. To this effect females who used to visit the cathedral for the purpose of prior and preaching gathered and established an association named “Kirstos Association”.

When the members of those associations began to enjoy a better religious awareness as well as discipline, members of the associations especially female followers began to study the church spiritual songs and commenced to sing in the church after Kurban. This was an interesting event for church clergy and servants and began to encourage the founded associations. The objective of the establish association was the following.

  • To learn and preach Christianity doctrine basic objectives.
  • To carryout humanitarian activities.
  • To preserve Christianity national culture.
  • Facilitate young female followers in order to enable provide service without any fears and to preach the community. Because of this providing training to the female church servants.

As it has been mentioned on the above since the spiritual song of the female followers began to be enjoyed as a new event their activity initiates other churches to do the same.Starting from the establishment of Miscaye hzunan Church spiritual service was able to attract the attention of Teferi Mekonene and Etegemenen students. Because of this in every Sunday a considerable amount of students began to attend spiritual service at the church. Some of the followers also began to provide a voluntary service for the church. In addition to that, by developing unity between the students and monasteries, the young followers request to be established a Sunday school which provides sculpture education for the interested once. Following this the very famous Sunday school called “Temero Mastemar” was founded in 1939.

Starting from the time Temero Mastermar association was established the necessary spiritual service is being provided to the members as well as to the community. Next to that trinity spiritual college was established in 1942 gospel messengers founded Sunday school. It was at that time Mahbere Hawariat Ferehaimanot an association based in Asmara being established.

The Sunday school associations expand to Taeka Negest Bata Lemariam and St. Gabriel, to Genet Tsige Menagesha St. Giorgis as well as to other big monasteries and churches found in Addis. Beyond that it expanded to the Teklay Gizat cities and districts holding the name and title of the church and with a special neck names. The association of young followers keeps up to 1974 the present Sunday school was established as it has stated above by young female and male followers, bishops and Archbishops, clergy and preachers who accept the objective of the schools. Likesilanat Abba melektu later named as His Holiness Abune Tewofilos who was an administrator of Holy Trinity Cathedral in 1936 accepted the objective of the Sunday schools and provide all the necessary support for the expansion of the Sunday schools. In addition to that he has exerted the required effort to keep the sustainability of the Sunday school. However, since those associations were established in Addis Ababa City gradually, it was mandatory to create line of communication within the church. At that time historical treasures revealed that a central office for the Sunday school was founded as the secretariat office. This central office used to coordinate young followers spiritual associations up to 1965 in limited way.

Starting from 1965 it was developed to youth affairs department. In such situation, in 1966 young spiritual followers association established general assembly following the revolution being observed at that time. The general assembly of the young spiritual associations have contributed most in the black history of the Derge Regime to the history of the church. The general assembly showed its brave act regardless of the harsh system. We can dare to say that the general assembly has strengthened the department.

Generally, within strong collaboration of the assembly held the department, the present Sunday school as the former young followers spiritual association secured is legal personality based on the church constitution enacted 1970 and having fully recognized expand in to the whole Ethiopia up to 1974.However, commencing from 1974 February month the Derge Regiem created an internal influence stating that the association resembles to New Ethiopia youth Association and through the wise decision of the Holy Synod Leadership their name was changed and renamed as Sunday school which keeps up to today. It was from that time that the department was named as Sunday school organizing department.