Don Sunukjian


As Interviewed by Joseph Sunukjian, March 2019

Don Sunukjian: In His Own Words

I was born in California, in Pasadena. I went to USC uh, for college, I went to UCLA for, uh, graduate work, I also went to Dallas Seminary for graduate work. And , um, during my life Iíve been both a pastor and a seminary professor.

He was in an Armenian village inside of Turkey borders. He- his family was killed during the Turkish Massacres, the Armenian Genocide around World War One. He was in an orphanage and an older sister found him and brought him as a young teenage boy to the United States.

I went back shortly after Armenia- after the Soviet Union fell apart, and the country had been deserted by the Soviet Union and was very poor.

I- in fact I remember once, my father said to my mother, when he were watching television and he said: ďMary come here, they are talking Turkish!Ē, and he seemed quite pleased with that.

I never got any sense of hostility from my father. I think he was grateful to be in the United States.

I was in High School, I was set to become an engineer. And I got into my senior class and I took some Physics classes, and I enjoy them and I thought, if youíre going to be an engineer, you should probably enjoy Physics.

And at the same time, God was doing some things in me, and I sense that he was directing me, pulling me into being a pastor instead.

All of my aunts and uncles married Armenians. The expectation was that my generation would marry Armenians. None of us did. Uh, it just didnít seem to be as important in my generation.

The Turkish people refused to say there was a genocide. They say that Armenia joined with Russia against them and that it was a military action. So, uh, until the Turkish people admit it...eventually it will get better, itís a hundred years old, more than that, itís a hundred and fifty, you know itís way old, a hundred and twenty years by now. New generations that come along, they say itís old history. And uh, weíre more interested in having economic trade with Turkey than we are continuing old battles.