The year 1953 witnessed the formal establishment of the congregation of St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church. The first membership meeting was held on October 16, 1953, where the first Board of Trustees was duly elected with the following members: Ashod Der Minassian, Lemyel Amirian, Frank Korkmazian, Garo Mootafian, Khoren Sahagian, Krikor Daigian, Armen Bazikian and Suren Saroyan. The board then called upon the assistance of several active ladies to form a Ladies’ Auxiliary. The first Divine Liturgy was held on December 27, 1953, in the Serbian Church, and Reverend Father Yeghishe Mkitarian, a visiting priest from Fresno, celebrated the service. Mr. Krikor Krouzian directed the choir and Mr. Movses Markarian acted as deacon.
The Board of Trustees felt the need to energize the Armenian youth and bring them closer to the church. In 1954, The Young Armenian Christian League (YACL) was formed under the guidance of the Board of Trustees. Thirty four youth joined this group. The YACL members were also members of the choir organized and let by Mr. Krouzian, in whose home the rehearsals regularly took place. The choir also created an opportunity for social interaction among young couples who were introduced to one another, some of whom were fortunate enough to find their marital partners.
In 1954, with the approval of the general membership meeting, the Board of Trustees appointed a building committee whose prime consideration would be the acquisition of a site suitable for a church. The members appointed were: Messrs. George Mardikian, Lemyel Amirian, Krikor Krouzian, Vahram Haroutounian, Armen Bazikian, Avedis Karageozian, Shavarsh Mazakian, and Sam Harrison.
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