Ain Zhatla

Ain zhalta

National Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Ain Zhalta

Located in Ain Zhalta in the Shouf, one of the districts of Mount Lebanon. And about 39 km from Beirut at an altitude of 1090 m above sea level.

it is a small church but it was a great house to embrace many of the ancient Lebanese families, and is considered one of the first among Evangelical churches in Mount Lebanon. The church was founded as a result of the Evangelist missionary work in the ninth century. And with the care of Rev. Khalil Moughabghab (born in 1825), one of the sons of this village, was born a friendly relationship between the Eid family (one of the largest owners in Ain Zhalta) and the English mission, that established by then a private school for girls; which contributed to the establishment and launching of this church in in 1865. The property was owned by the Eid family and the English missionary bought it, and Rev. Khalil Moughabghab was ordained and appointed as the pastor of the church in 1866.

As the days passed, the church was growing and spreading the seeds of faith and strengthening the bonds of Christian love, and men of God succeeded on its service; Rev. Khalil Zourob was its second pastor, followed by Rev. Joseph Gideon from Deir el Amar and the elder Antoun Haddad and Fares Anton Haddad then the preacher Radi El Hosh.

And successively the membership of the Church Mayor included the elders: Amin Shakour, Sleiman Mahboub Moughabghab, Toufic Beik Raad, and Henry Beik Shakour and then followed them the elders: Fayez Moughabghab, Samir Moughabghab, Salim Ayoub Moughabghab, Khalil Khouzaee Saad, Dr. Salim Saad, Fares Antoun Haddad, Vlado Thabet, Neeme Thabet.

The church went forward at a steady pace and nothing disrupted it until the coming of the civil war in Lebanon.

But despite the displacement of the Christians in the mountain, and the dislocation of most of the church families to other places, which led to the suspension of meetings in the church building, prayer meetings did not stop but pursued in the homes of the children of the Church, especially the house of Sheikh Khalil Khouzaee Saad, who did not leave Ain Zhalta but remained in his house and village, and his wife Ms. Shams continued to invite families to meet in the presence of her family and neighbors.

And with the end of the Lebanese war, a committee has been formed to care for the restoration of the church; it was headed by the Rev. George Mourad and consisted of the brothers Samir Fayez Moughabghab, Sami Fares Haddad, Fares Khalil Saad and Dr. Raafat Rida Raad. The work was done in the year 1996 in two phases, the first was partial before the full return of the Christians, it comprised the outer courtyard of the church, and the second phase was final, with official and political sponsorship, where the whole church was restored in addition to the house of the pastor.

In 1996, the worship services in the church were revived. Thus succeeded on the pulpit of the church each of the pastors: Tony Abboud, Michael Sbeit, George Haddad, George Mourad, Adib Awad, Joseph Kassab, Ramzi Abu Hazel, Nouhad Tohmeh.

And during all these years, Sheikh Dr. Salim Saad accompanied the service as a musician and assistant in the service along with his family. In 1998 were elected and ordained the elders: Samuel Miller, Samir Fayez Moughabghab, Nadim Haddad and Dr. Salim Saad.

Rev. Joseph Kassab carries today the pastoral responsibility, while the Rev. Astaori Harutyunyan serves the pulpit.