Harar, the capital of the Harari Region, is about 500 km east from Addis Ababa. Since its inception, the choir of Harar Ammanuel Union Church has been serving the Lord for almost thirty years without interruption. When the choir began its ministry, the members were mainly youth under 18. God has given timeless songs to the Ethiopian church through these young people. Thanks to God’s grace, the choir members still serve their Lord with love and faithfulness.
After the end of the Ethiopian Revolution (1974-91), many people began to flock to the churches. Every evening, they wanted to hear pure Gospel sermons and hymns modelled on the music of Saint Yared the Melodious. From week to week, new poems and songs emerged in the Harar Mekane Selassie Cathedral [Place of the Trinity] and the Sunday schools of Debre Genet Medhanealem [Savior of the World].
The singers of the [lay?] choir of Mekane Selassie Cathedral were part of this revival. They released three cassettes with gospel songs. The first was entitled Se’atu derese [The hour has come], the second Amen, tolo na [Amen, come quickly], and the third Tasibew zenid [That you remember]. After some time, the choir was expelled from the Cathedral because those in charge considered the songs unorthodox and lacking proper content.
In 1998 [1990 AM] the choir officially joined the Ammanuel Spiritual Fellowship (now Ammanuel Union Church). In 1999, the song Egzi’abiher tewagi new [God is a warrior] was released, which gained great popularity in Ethiopia and abroad. In 2002, they also recorded an excellent album titled Egzi’abiher beqi neh [God is enough]. Even though they published additional albums since then, the choir still has thousands of unrecorded songs.
Singers / musicians connected to this choir?
- Dereje Dinku
(1) Ǝgziʼabǝher täwagi näw [እግዚኣብሔር ተዋጊ ነው, God is a warrior]. Cassette released in 1999.
» Read lyrics on WikiMezmur.org
(2) Ǝgziʼabǝher bäqi näh [እግዚአብሔር በቂ ነህ, God is enough]. CD released in 2002.
(3) Aläw mäla [አለው መላ, He said]. CD released in _ _ _ [year?]
(4) Yäläm yaluh yälum [የለም ያሉህ የሉም, You don’t have any]. CD released by Meskel Media, Addis Ababa, 2008.
(5) Antä man yaw antä näh [አንተ ማን ያው አንተ ነህ, You are who You are]. CD released in 2019 [2012 AM].
Former Mekane Selassie [Orthodox] Cathedral Choir:
(1) Sä’atu däräsä [ሰዓቱ ደረሰ, The hour has come]. Cassette released in _ _ _ (year?).
(2) Amen, tolo na [አሜን ቶሎ ና, Amen, come quickly]. Cassette released in _ _ _ (year?).
(3) Tasibäw zänəd [ታስበው ዘንድ, That you remember]. Cassette released in _ _ _ (year?).
» Follow Harar I.V Amanuel Church on Facebook
» Visit Harar Emmanuel United Church Worship Team’s YouTube channel
» Visit Harar Mekane Selassie [Orthodox] Cathedral’s YouTube channel
» Listen to albums and selected songs
Ǝgziʼabǝher täwagi näw [እግዚኣብሔር ተዋጊ ነው], published in 2020:
published in 2019:
[documentary with interview no longer available on YouTube]
» Read Amharic history of the choir (presented at a recognition ceremony in 2022)
On Ammanuel Union Church, see notes on Nazareth Ammanuel Church Choirs