There are many sites and churches that are included in itineraries of tours, pilgrimages and programs that Immanuel Tours plans and implements for believers around the world that come to the Holy Land. Many of these sites that are New Testament based are found because of the pilgrimage of Emperor Constantine’s mother, Helena, who went on a pilgrimage to find holy sites and build churches to mark them. Others followed in her footsteps and built more churches upon sites believed to be significant. Some of these churches and sites can still be visited today. Some sites have been lost over the centuries again however. This includes the Church of the Apostles.
The Church of the Apostles was mentioned once in the writings of Bishop Willibald in the 8th century who said he visited and stayed in a church that was said to be built upon the home of Andrew and Peter in Bethsaida;
“And thence they went to Bethsaida, the residence of Peter and Andrew, where there is now a church on the site of their house. They remained there that night, and the next morning went to Chorazin, where our Lord healed the demoniacs, and sent the devil into a herd of swine.”
Around twenty years after Willibald’s visit, the church was destroyed, likely by an earthquake. The town went missing as well as the church for centuries. Archeologists for years have discussed what may have happened to the church and where it was, as well as if there was any chance of it ever being found.
Then in 2019, a group of archeologists found the outline of ruins near el- Araj near the Sea of Galilee and a renewed interest in the search for the church. They’ve been digging the area since and are making new discoveries that have made them believe more so that they have found the Church of the Apostles. These have included very ornate mosaic floors. The mosaics are very indicative of common mosaic church floors of the time period, and have inscriptions regarding a Deacon and another regarding the renovation of the church at some point, meaning it was important enough to warrant repairs.
This also leads to the odd finding of a wall built to enclose the church with no entry. This is surprising and mysterious. One possible reason is that it was considered important enough to try to preserve even after it’s destruction. If the church was built on the site of the home of Peter and Andrew, it would definitely be seen as important and worth preserving.
We hope this wonderful church will be soon added to the sites you can visit during your Holy Land tour very soon! Well we are to welcome you! Contact one of our friendly tour operators for a no- risk, free proposal. You won’t owe anything until 120 days before your tour, so you can book with confidence!