The weekend of December 17th, 2009, was a momentous one for the Western Prelacy as the parish community of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Las Vegas celebrated a milestone, the purchase of a property that will house the future church and cultural center. This historic step was achieved through the diligent efforts of the parish council and a generous donation.
The property is located at 2054 East Desert Inn, Las Vegas, Nevada 89169, and will soon undergo renovations to convert it into a church and cultural center.
On this occasion, on Sunday, December 20, Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, and Executive Council Chairman Dr. Garo Agopian visited the parish where the Prelate celebrated Divine Liturgy. Assisting at the altar were Very Rev. Father Nerseh Shekhougian, (Dean of the Venezuela Armenian Prelacy who was on a brief visit to the US) and Rev. Father Avedis Torossian. Members of the Prelacy Ladies Auxiliary Guild were also in attendance.
Following the church service, the Prelate and Dr. Agopian met with the parish council and community members, congratulating them on this accomplishment. The Prelate saluted the church’s grand benefactor Larry Barnes, expressing his gratitude to Barnes for his $400,000 donation to honor the memory of his late wife Seda Der Garabedian-Barnes and the memory of Der Garabedian family members, among them Seda’s two brothers who perished in the Genocide. Appropriately, the church will be named St. Garabed and the dome will be a replica of the church on Akhtamar, given that the Der Garabedian family was originally from Van.
The Prelacy announced that due to the benefactor’s generosity and the collaboration of community members, the property was bought with no outstanding balance.
How The Dream Was Realized
The Las Vegas parish community has for years dreamt of having its own church and center. Three years ago, with the parish’s re-establishment and re-organizing headed by Adroushan Armenian, this dream was once again put on the agenda. A few months earlier, the parish council began looking for a suitable property that could be converted into a church, and their efforts paid off when they found such a location.
On Sunday, December 20th, following Divine Liturgy, a requiem service was offered on the first anniversary of Seda Der Garabedian-Barnes’ passing. Later during his meeting with parish members, the Prelate lauded the decades-long devotion and service of the late Mrs. Barnes to the Armenian community, who until her passing worked towards the dream of the Las Vegas community having its own church. And now, her dream is becoming a reality.
The Next Phase
The property is in need of renovations and remodeling to convert it to a church and center. In its present state, the property consists of two major sections, one of which will soon be converted to the cultural center and its hall temporarily used for church services. The second phase of the project involves converting the other section into a church, which will require more time and resources.
The Prelacy has no doubt that the community will continue to financially and morally support and encourage this project until its successful completion.