Houston's St. Kevork Church Turns 35
14 December 2016
On Sunday, December 11, St. Kevork Church of Houston, TX, celebrated its 35th anniversary and welcomed Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), who took part in the day's events.
Archbishop Barsamian celebrated the Divine Liturgy with the Rev. Fr. Martiros Hakobyan, parish pastor, assisting. During the badarak, the Primate ordained Hovhannes Mnjoyan, Miro Nazarian, Andrew Nazarian, Edik Kermanikian, Hovik Abrilian, and Jirair Hakobyan to the rank of acolyte.
Following services, close to 300 people gathered for a banquet in the church's Hekimian Hall. Parish council chair Vreij Kolandjian served as the master of ceremonies and opened the program by emphasizing the importance of the parish's 35-year history of promoting Christian faith and Armenian identity in the greater Houston community.
"The whole community participated in making this special day memorable," Kolandjian said of the celebration. "We are looking forward to the next 35 years."
He also expressed his gratitude to the organizers of the 35th anniversary event, notably Sarkis Ohanian, Maggie Vartivarian, Garo Yeryazarian, Shushanik Papanyan, Taleen Aghajanian, Kevork Kasparian, Andre Melikian, Zaven Sahakian, Manoosh Penrose, and all the members of the Women's Guild.
Parishioner Andre Melikian presented a slideshow overview of the church's history. A cultural program followed with vocal and instrumental performances of Armenian songs by Gayane Harutyunian, Andrea Melikian, Alec Ohanian, Mane Galoyan, and Hasmik Vardanyan.
"The 35th anniversary is not about, and has never been about, the past," said Fr. Hakobyan. "Our focus has always been about the future because this church community was built for the future. The parishioners of the past sacrificed over the years to bring us to this point, but so much more can be accomplished, so many more meaningful chapters can be written starting today. Today is a day our parishioners of the past could only dream about."
The reception was also an opportunity to recognize individuals for their exemplary service to the parish. Archbishop Barsamian presented the Diocese's "St. Vartan Award" to Mr. and Mrs. Sarkis and Ani Ohanian and Dn. and Mrs. Vrouir and Berjouhi Frankian.
Five individuals-Manoosh Penrose, Shushanik Papanyan, Vicken Asadourian, Mimi Mavoulian, and Karnig Ekizian-received a certificate of gratitude from Archbishop Barsamian for their commitment to St. Kevork Church.
St. Kevork Church was established in Houston in 1963. In the 1980s, the community looked to expand and purchased a new property. With the support of benefactors Mr. and Mrs. George and Lena Harrison, the current house of worship was built 35 years ago.
"The St. Kevork parish is a shining example of a church that has grown and prospered over the years into a fruitful and vibrant community," said Archbishop Barsamian. "I congratulate each and every one of you for contributing to the success of this parish here in Houston."