St. Andrew Armenian Apostolic Church History

1950’s – Armenian community goes back to mid-1950 when a social group calling themselves the Armenian Society was organized.

1960 – “the first monthly prayer services commenced in August 1960 when Dr. Deacon Shahan Sevhonkian arranged with Rev. Fr. Shahe Altounian of St. Vartan Church in Oakland, Ca. to conduct prayer services in the hospitality room of a San Jose bank.

1961 – This Parish Council arranged for the first Divine Liturgy to be celebrated in the Santa Clara Valley by Bishop Papken Varjabedian at Trinity Church in San Jose on Sunday, January 29, 1961.

On February 7, 1961, a meeting was held for the Parish to became established on a formal and legal basis – affiliated with Etchmiadzin and under the jurisdiction of the Western Diocese

1963 – July 1963 – regularly held monthly church services by visiting Priests took place at St. Timothy Episcopal Church in Mountain View. By this time a choir had been formed and participated in all the services.

September 30, 1963 – first Armenian Language Class

1964 – March 21, 1964  first official Parish Assembly meeting took place under the Presidency of His Eminence, Abp. Torkom Manoogian, Primate of the Western Diocese of North America, with thirty-five (35) parishioners becoming Charter members of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Santa Clara Valley.


  • Zaven Victor Paparigian, Chairman
  • Aram Henesian, Vice-Chairman
  • Victor Vasgerdsian, Treasurer
  • *Marion Paparigian, Recording
  • *Hysmig Ronnie Henesian, Corres. Secretary
  • Jacob Hagopian, Advisor
  • Aram Tootelian, Advisor


  • David Sohigian, Chairman
  • Margaret Hagopian
  • Vice- Chairman
  • Sue Sevhonkian


  • Haig Tusoosian
  • Zaven Victor


  • Jack George Henesian
  • Haig Tusoosian
  • Rose Tootelian

*It must be noted that Marion Paparigian and Hysmig Ronnie Henesian were the first women to permanently serve on a Parish Council in the Western Diocese.

1965 – June 27,1965, the first annual picnics

1973 – Closing of escrow on small ranch house on S. Stelling Road in Cupertino, November 9, 1973, sight of future St. Andrew Armenian Church

1976 – August 1976-September 1977 1st permanent priest the Very Rev. Fr. Samuel Aghoyan

1978 – Very Rev. Fr. Sipan Mekhsian became our spiritual leader for four years from March 1978 to March 1982

1982 – Rev. Fr. Vazken Movsesian celebrated his first Divine Liturgy at our church on Sunday, October 24, 1982 at the St. Sava Serbian Church hall in Cupertino.

1984 – June 15, 1984, the name of our church was officially changed from Armenian Apostolic Church of Santa Clara Valley to St. Andrew Armenian Church in honor of one of our benefactors, Andrew Amerian.

1985 – November 17, 1985, groundbreaking ceremonies for our new church

1988 – June 24, 1988, our congregation met regularly at St. Sava Serbian Church in Cupertino.

July 1988, construction began on church

December 7, 1988 when Armenia was devastated by an earthquake!

1989 – September 1, 1989, the main dome was lifted onto the roof

1990 – January 6, 1990, the two huge crosses made and placed upon the large and smaller domes of the church.

Sunday, April 15, 1990 Special permission from the City of Cupertino, we were able to celebrate our very first Badarak on Easter.

1991 – the doors to St. Andrew Church were opened on January 6, 1991 for the jubilant celebration of Armenian Christmas

March 3, 1991, first ordination in our new church when he conferred the offices of Deacon and Sub deacon to Raffi Nalvarian and Zaven Paparigian.

1992 – Saturday, May 16,1992, the formal Consecration was begun with the ceremony of “opening the doors” of St. Andrew Church by His Eminence, Abp. Vatche Hovsepian

2000 – On February 27, 2000, His Eminence, Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian officially installed Rev. Fr. Datev Harutyunian as our Parish Priest