About Us - Our Creed
A voice of one crying in the wilderness, preparing the way of the Lord. This is how the Gospels, quoting the Book of Isiah, describes St. John the Baptist, also known as St. John the Forerunner, in Armenian Ս. Կարապետ, Garabed/Karapet.
A Historic Overview of Saint Garabed Church Parish & Cultural Center
St. Garabed Church building was the result of a very generous donation contributed by Mr. Larry Barnes in memory of his late wife Seda Der Garabedian-Barnes who had also faithfully served in the Armenian Apostolic Church, paired with funds raised over previous years. The Las Vegas Parish Council was able to purchase the property located at 2054 East Desert Inn Road on December 18, 2009. The first course of action included making necessary repairs, and ensuring the first Holy Liturgy (Soorp Badarak) along with the Washing of the Feet (Vodenleva) were able to be held on April 1, 2010. Prior to the purchase of the church building, the Las Vegas Parish Council had ensured church services were held in various rented churches within the Las Vegas metro area from 1988-2010.
To honor the memory of late Seda Der Garabedian-Barnes, and her parents who had faithfully served the Armenian Apostolic Church, the sanctuary and the complex were named the “St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church and Cultural Center.”
From April 2010 through December 2013, Archpriest Father Avedis Torossian was assigned to serve as the full-time pastor of the Las Vegas Parish.
On October 20, 2011, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, paid a Pontifical Visit to the Armenian community in Las Vegas, Nevada and performed a groundbreaking service for the complex and the construction of the dome cross, done according to Armenian church traditions dating back thousands of years. The actual construction phase began on August 24, 2012. On October 5, 2012, an important milestone was reached when the cupola was raised by a crane draped with both with the U.S and Armenian flags after receiving a blessing prayer by Prelate Mardirossian.
On December 2, 2012, the Prelate visited our parish while the construction was still in progress and celebrated the first Divine Liturgy in the semi-finished church. Construction continued on schedule and Saint Garabed church received her Certificate of Occupancy on February 21, within only 125 business days from the start of the construction. While interior details were being finalized, Holy Week services were held in the new church in order to accommodate the large number of parishioners attending Easter services.
The weekend of April 13-14, 2013, St. Garabed Church was consecrated by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, during Divine Liturgy.
On November 22, 2013, Prelate Mardirossian visited the Las Vegas parish and introduced Rev. Fr. Arsen Kassabian, who was assigned as the new pastor.
The weekend of October 18-19, 2014, was a momentous one for members of St. Garabed Church of Las Vegas who celebrated the grand opening of the Cultural Center and Koujakian Hall, signifying the successful completion of the project which had begun in December of 2009 with the purchase of the building.
The weekend’s festivities commenced on Saturday, October 18 with a celebratory banquet held at Cili Restaurant at Bali Hai Golf Course. The official opening of the new complex was conducted by H.E. Archbishop Mardirossian, Prelate, on Sunday, following Divine Liturgy. The Executive Council members participated in the events.
On Sunday morning, October the 19th 2012, the Prelate celebrated Divine Liturgy and delivered sermon at St. Garabed Church, assisted at the altar by Parish Pastor Rev. Fr. Arsen Kassabian. His Eminence began his address by congratulating and commending the parish members on their latest achievement, in particular Mr. Larry Barnes, The Dream Fund at UCLA, and the Fattal, Yemenidjian, and Koujakian families whose generosity was vital to the success of Project completion
On August 1st, 2018, Archpriest Fr. Vahan Gosdanian was appointed as the new pastor of St. Garabed Church, succeeding Rev. Fr. Arsen Kassabian who had served as Pastor since 2013.
In late 2020, having introduced deacon Sevag Badoyan to St. Garabed Church Parish through Archpriest Fr. Vahan Gosdanian as a candidate for priesthood, His Grace Bishop Torkom Donoyan ordained the deacon renaming him Rev. Fr. Artsakh Badoyan on January 24, 2021.
Present Board of Trustees
Garabed Bayramian, Chairman
Yeghia Yeghiayan, Vice-chair
Araxi Demirjian, Treasurer
Deacon Tommy Gerjekian, Vice-treasurer
Krikor Darakjian, (2021- April, 2023 Secretary)
Hagop Havanjian, Secretary
Present Ladies Auxiliary Members
Arpy Bedrossian, Chairlady
Rose Saatjian, vice chairlady
Arpine Hovhannessian, vice chairlady
Siran Nersessian, Treasurer
2019-2021 Board of Trustees
Arpi Khachadourian-Hicks, Chairperson
Garabed Bayramian, Vice Chair
Lila Darakjian, Secretary
Araxi Demirjian, Treasurer
Yeghia Yeghiayan, Advisor
Hagop Havanjian, Advisor
Jasmen Sharoyan, Advisor
Levon Gulbenkian, Advisor
Garabed Bedirian, Advisor (Deceased)
Former Board of Trustees
Garabed Bedirian, Chairman
Yeghia Yeghiayan, Vice Chairman
Adroushan Armenian, Secretary
Hagop Havanjian, Treasurer
Arpi Khachadourian-Hicks, Advisor
Avo Jabourian, Advisor
Maria Demirjian, Advisor
Tamara Avetisyan, Advisor
Garo Maknissian, Advisor
First Parish Council Members (appointed)
Seda Der Garabedian- Barnes
Tro Alex Danielian
Past Ladies Auxiliary Members
Christianity in Armenia can be traced back to the age of the Apostles. The Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew were the first evangelizers of Armenia and, according to tradition, were martyred there. There is historical evidence of the existence of a Christian community and clergy in Armenia prior to the fourth century. The church historian Eusebius of Caesaria (c. 260-c.339) refers to Meruzhanes, a bishop of Armenia in the middle of the third century. It was at the beginning of the fourth century, in 301, that Christianity was first proclaimed as the official religion of Armenia. This proclamation was the result of the missionary activity of St. Gregory the Illuminator (240-332). The fifth century historian Agathangelos recounts the works of the patron saint of the Armenian Church. St. Gregory, a relative of the Armenian king Tiridates (c. 238-314), was brought up as a Christian in Caesarea in Cappadocia. The pagan Tiridates had St. Gregory imprisoned for nearly fifteen years in Khor Virab (“deep dungeon”) in Artashat. Several years later, a group of Christian nuns, led by St. Gayane and fleeing persecution in Rome, came to Armenia. King Tiridates was attracted to one of the women, St. Hripsime, who resisted his attempts to possess her. In his anger, Tiridates had the women killed. After the martyrdom of the women, Tiridates was struck by an illness that turned the king into a wild boar. After all other attempts at curing him failed, the king’s sister St. Khosrovidoukht told her brother that only St. Gregory could cure him. Fifteen years had passed since Gregory’s imprisonment in the dungeon so he was presumed dead. But he was still alive and was released from the dungeon. Gregory cured Tiridates and converted the king and the royal family to Christianity. At this time, Gregory had still not been ordained. In 302, he left for Caesarea, which was an important see at the time, where he was ordained a bishop by Leontius, the Archbishop of Caesarea. Gregory returned to Armenia, baptized the king and the royal family, was installed as the first Catholicos, or chief bishop of Armenia, and continued to convert the Armenian people.
Another important event associated with St. Gregory was the vision that he had in Vagharshapat of Christ descending from heaven and striking the ground with a golden hammer. It is at this spot that the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin (“the Only Begotten descended”) was built. Nearby were built the churches of St. Hripsime and Gayane, where the relics of the martyred nuns are kept.
With the support of the royal family, Christianity was able to spread quickly throughout Armenia and within just a few centuries to permeate all aspects of Armenian life and culture. Furthermore, Armenian missionaries were sent among the Georgians and Alans, who also subsequently established their own national churches.
St. Gregory’s son, Aristakes, succeeded his father as Catholicos. Aristakes had been the representative of the Armenian Church at the Council of Nicaea (325). The Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical council, set forth the orthodox Christian doctrine of the Trinity. This doctrine is formulated in the Nicene Creed (Havadamk), which is professed every Sunday during the Divine Liturgy. Under Catholicos Nerses the Great (c. 326-373; Catholicos from 353 to 373), monasteries and various charitable institutions were first established throughout Armenia
CREED OF THE ARMENIAN CHURCH. THE PROFESSION OF FAITH OF THE ARMENIAN CHURCH BY ST. NERSES SHNORHALI. BOSTON: BAIKAR PRESS, 1941; PP. 60 – 61. PROFESSION OF ORTHODOX FAITH (A LATER CREED, BY GREGORY OF TATHEV)