Aira Evangelical Singers

[No author found yet for the profile.
Please use the contact form below to get in touch with us.]

History and ministry

Aira [Qubee: Aayiraa] is located in West Welega Zone.

Rev. Dietrich Wassmann was the first ordained German Hermannsburg Mission (GHM; now ELM) missionary there and taught singing classes in European tunes.

Testimonies of evening devotions in huts

  • Q: Availability of Onesimos’ hymn book at that time
    (easier to transport by donkey than full bibles, yet not the main teaching aid for literacy, etc.)?

Hermann Hornbostel served in Aira from 1934-42 and 1951-56.
Hornbostel directed brass choir(s).

Marianne Nilsson remarks: Original title of Onesimos hymn book (Faarsaa fi Weedu) rejected in Aira since these Oromo words refer to worldy songs.

1954: evangelist course

1961-63: first course at Onesimos Nesib Bible School (now Onesimos Nesib Seminary)

Rev J├╝rgen Wesenick taught at the Onesimos Nesib Bible School in Aira from the mid-1960s to 1975. He promoted the use of hymns with Oromo melodies. However, some Church leaders preferred European melodies, fearing that the traditional melodies would induce some believers to return to the traditional Oromo religion. Wesenick was not dissuaded and some of his Bible students joined in (including Lamessa Bato? [Or did he study at Mendi BS?]). This is how the first new songs in the Aira area found their way into the congregations.

Singers connected to Mekane Yesus choirs in Aira:


albums/ collections
“A” Choir:

[Any audio?]

Lalo Aira, “B” Choir:

┬╗ Listen to collection of Aira Choir songs (TV Warra Wangeelaa)




┬╗ Watch worship services


Congregation in front of the church in Aira in 1939
(courtesy ELM Hermannsburg Archives)

Further study

Bauerochse, Ernst. Die offene T├╝r: Beobachtungen und Erfahrungen im Gallaland. Hermannsburg: Missionshandlung Hermannsburg, 1957. [Read translated quotes]

—. Ihr Ziel war das Oromoland: Anf├Ąnge der Hermannsburger Missionsarbeit in ├äthiopien (Quellen und Beitr├Ąge zur Geschichte der Hermannsburger Mission und des Ev.-Luth. Missionswerkes in Niedersachsen, 16). M├╝nster: LIT Verlag, 2006. [Google Books]

Elfers, August. Der Zimmermann von Aira. Hermannsburg: Missionshandlung Hermannsburg, 1953. [On Hermann Hornbostel]

Nilsson, Marianne. Chapter 2 in forthcoming book on Ethiopian Gospel Music.

Wassmann, Dietrich [senior]. Der Durchbruch des Evangeliums im Gallaland: Ereignisse und Erlebnisse nach dem italienisch-abessinischen Kriege 1936-1941. Hermannsburg: Missionshandlung Hermannsburg, 1948. [Read translated quotes]

Wesenick, Jürgen. Vitale Kirche in Äthiopien: Versuch einer Analyse des Aira District der Western Synod der Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus in Äthiopien; Teil I: Statistischer Bericht und Kommentar; Teil II: Auswertung einer Befragung von Kommunikanten des Aira District im April und Mai 1973. Hermannsburg: Missionshandlung, 1976.