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The History of The Eskijians

Gulenia and Hovhanness Eskijian with their children, Luther and John (left to right). Gulenia’s sister Victoria Danielian is in the center of the photo. Kessab, Syria (Historical Ottoman Empire) circa 1914.

Luther Eskijian

Luther Eskijian was born on November 1, 1913, in a small village named Ekiz-Oluk in the mountains of modern-day Syria. He was the youngest son of Reverend Hovhannes and Gulenia Eskijian. In 1920, four years after his father’s passing, Luther, his brother John, and their mother, Mrs. Gulenia Eskijian, immigrated to the United States. Like thousands before him, as a young boy of 7 years old, Luther crossed the ocean on a third class ticket, with refugee status, under a Nansen passport. He was processed by the U.S. government at Ellis Island and arrived in America, not knowing the language or the culture.
Luther Eskijian was born on November 1, 1913, in a small village named Ekiz-Oluk in the mountains of modern-day Syria. He was the youngest son of Reverend Hovhannes and Gulenia Eskijian. In 1920, four years after his father’s passing, Luther, his brother John, and their mother, Mrs. Gulenia Eskijian, immigrated to the United States. Like thousands before him, as a young boy of 7 years old, Luther crossed the ocean on a third class ticket, with refugee status, under a Nansen passport. He was processed by the U.S. government at Ellis Island and arrived in America, not knowing the language or the culture.

Hovhannes Eskijian

Reverend Hovhannes Eskijian was born around 1882 in Urfa, Turkey (also known by its ancient name Edessa). His father, Sarkis Eskijian was the village cobbler and died during the 1895 Hamidian Massacres. Hovhannes Eskijian was 12 years old at the time. After this event, Rev. Eskijian was taken to the American orphanage. He was mentored there by Miss Corrine Shattuck. Miss Shattuck encouraged him in the Christian faith, and he gave his life to Christ. As it would turn out to be, his own desperation was only preparation for the ministry ahead. Upon completing his local education he attended the Aintab Boys College. He then continued his education at the Marash Theological Seminary, graduating in June 1908 and starting to preach at the age of 26 in the local villages. Nearby Miss. Gulenia Danielian attended the Marash Girl’s College. They met and were married in 1907.
Reverend Hovhannes Eskijian was born around 1882 in Urfa, Turkey (also known by its ancient name Edessa). His father, Sarkis Eskijian was the village cobbler and died during the 1895 Hamidian Massacres. Hovhannes Eskijian was 12 years old at the time. After this event, Rev. Eskijian was taken to the American orphanage. He was mentored there by Miss Corrine Shattuck. Miss Shattuck encouraged him in the Christian faith, and he gave his life to Christ. As it would turn out to be, his own desperation was only preparation for the ministry ahead. Upon completing his local education he attended the Aintab Boys College. He then continued his education at the Marash Theological Seminary, graduating in June 1908 and starting to preach at the age of 26 in the local villages. Nearby Miss. Gulenia Danielian attended the Marash Girl’s College. They met and were married in 1907.

Gulenia Eskijian (Danielian)

Mrs. Gulenia Eskijian (Danielian) was born in Aintab, Turkey on February 12, 1887, one of eleven children, raised by her parents in the Protestant faith.  Educated at the Marash Girls College, she later taught in Aintab, Turkey. As a young lady she prayed to find someone with whom she could do the work of the Lord, using her skills and education for the Lord’s service. By her account, “God answered my prayers.”  Although her family and friends initially said, no, because her family was wealthy and Rev. Eskijian had nothing, the couple insisted.  “When they saw our sincere desire, God softened their hearts and everyone agreed.”  In the summer of 1910, Hovhannes Eskijian and Gulenia Danielian were united in marriage. She stated, “The first thing we did, as soon as we were married, we both came to our knees in the Lord’s holy presence, making the pledge to the Lord that we will serve the Lord with all our hearts, soul and body, in our entire lives.”
Mrs. Gulenia Eskijian (Danielian) was born in Aintab, Turkey on February 12, 1887, one of eleven children, raised by her parents in the Protestant faith.  Educated at the Marash Girls College, she later taught in Aintab, Turkey. As a young lady she prayed to find someone with whom she could do the work of the Lord, using her skills and education for the Lord’s service. By her account, “God answered my prayers.”  Although her family and friends initially said, no, because her family was wealthy and Rev. Eskijian had nothing, the couple insisted.  “When they saw our sincere desire, God softened their hearts and everyone agreed.”  In the summer of 1910, Hovhannes Eskijian and Gulenia Danielian were united in marriage. She stated, “The first thing we did, as soon as we were married, we both came to our knees in the Lord’s holy presence, making the pledge to the Lord that we will serve the Lord with all our hearts, soul and body, in our entire lives.”

Luther Eskijian's Testimony

Below is a playlist of four clips from our YouTube channel of an interview of Luther Eskijian from the Armenian Film Foundation. Press the playlist icon
to open the entire playlist.
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