OF HOLY CROSS ARMENIAN APOSTOLIC CATHEDRAL
The number of immigrant Armenians in Los Angeles at the beginning of the twentieth century was still very few. However, the core of Armenian national and spiritual life was already established among the few dozen Armenians already here. By gathering on Sundays or holidays in sister churches and chapels, Armenians kept the old traditions alive through centuries –old prayers and their faith.
The 1916 annual general membership meeting decided to elect as pastor Archdeacon Mihran Melikian of Fresno’s Holy Trinity Church. On March 16, 1917, he was ordained a priest by Bishop Papken Guleserian, and was renamed Father Adom Melikian.
Subsequent to the 1921 annual general membership meeting, a major fundraising effort was initiated, which resulted in collecting $5,000.00. Father Adom also toured various communities around America, and under difficult circumstances managed to collect $21,179.00, of which $10,305.00 was donated by Armenians in Los Angeles.
On March 26, 1922, Very Reverend Father Vartan Kasbarian officiated at the founding of the church. Construction of the church was completed in 1923, and the consecration was officiated by Very Reverend Father Dirayr Markarian. The church was named Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Church. Around the same period, the Torkomian Choir was also organized. The Ladies Aid worked hard to beautify and improve the church. Through many long years Holy Cross Church remained the main spiritual home of this community’s religious and national life.
The 1959 general membership meeting unanimously decided to affiliate Holy Cross Church under the auspices of the Catholicossate of Cilicia.
In January 1961, Very Reverend Father Sumbat Lapajian was appointed as pastor of Holy Cross Church. He served diligently for 13 years the church and community, and was subsequently elected as the first Prelate of the Western United States.
The original location of Holy Cross Church was near the corner of Maple and 20th Street until 1978. Deterioration of the surrounding neighborhoods, gradual urbanization of parishioners and the establishment of new Armenian churches in Los Angeles, all led to the relocation of Holy Cross Church. Through the fundraising efforts of the community, a five-acre parcel of land was purchased near the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Montebello Boulevard