San Diego Armenian Church another step closer to reality
Published: Thursday April 28, 2011
San Diego community discusses new church construction
San Diegos Armenian parish gathers for ground blessing
San Diego, Calif. - At a fundraiser on April 2, fifty passionate supporters donated $60,000 to a campaign aiming to raise $2 million for the First Phase of a new church project in San Diego.
The event, hosted by Khoren and Kathy Kassardjian at Bernardo Heights Country Club, was an intimate dinner, which brought together devout patrons of San Diego's dynamic and diverse Armenian community.
In 2008, the Trust Fund Committee of St. John Garabed Armenian Church of San Diego purchased 14 acres of premium property near Del Mar, California. In less than one year, a total of $360,000 has been donated to the fundraising campaign called "Bridge to the Future." The objectives of the First Phase are to secure the necessary government permits and finalize property acquisition. The vision is a new life experience for the Armenian community of San Diego to fulfill the region's future spiritual, social, cultural, and educational needs.
Following an invocation by Rev. Fr. Datev A.K. Tatoulian, Parish Priest of St. John Garabed Armenian Church, Honorable Joe Kellejian, the Master of Ceremonies, kicked off the evening stating, "When I think about this 'Bridge to the Future' campaign, I am reminded about the founding members of St. John Garabed in San Diego. We were a group of 17 supporters who raised $17,000 in one night and charted the course for our community. That was in 1977. Here we are today with a unique opportunity to take that mission and create something new and extraordinary."
Kellejian is the Deputy Mayor of the City of Solana Beach, Chairman of the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency (LOSSAN), and American Lung Association's "2011 Clean Air Circle Honoree" for the role he has played in improving air quality in California. He is a five-term member of the Solana Beach City Council, serving as its Mayor four times.
The evening's Guest of Honor, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Armenian Church of North America Western Diocese, bestowed a message of encouragement and inspiration:
"I am most impressed with this major undertaking to build a church campus that will serve the many different needs of this community. Your vision will unite all Armenians with its sanctuary, education and youth centers, and athletic facilities. This will be the very place that will bring us together as one family, where we will teach our children and grandchildren about the culture and traditions of our forefathers. This project invites all the members of this community to be at one with God, and I have no doubt that the divine strength is here.
"Tonight's fellowship is important because we are the messengers of this mission. We will ask our fellow Armenians to bear witness to this worthwhile endeavor and become shareholders in our vision as well as partners in God's dream. With your hands, you will become the spiritual architects of the future of the San Diego Armenian community."
The new property is located at 13860 El Camino Real in the City of San Diego. It is east of the 5 freeway on El Camino Real between Del Mar Heights Road and Via de la Valle. Periodically, religious services and special events take place on the land.
The site plan for the church campus includes a state-of-the-art banquet and reception hall, church sanctuary, cultural center and library, youth activity center, classrooms for educational programs, gymnasium for athletic activities and special events, Armenian heritage park, large outdoor pavilion, picnic and meditation spaces, and abundant parking. The professional team includes the architectural firm of Hyndman & Hyndman, consulting services by The Atlantis Group, John Leppert Engineering, and a landscape architect.
For more than 30 years, St. John Garabed Armenian Church has been at the heart of Armenian community life in San Diego. St. John Garabed is a vibrant parish with many active church organizations and groups, including the Parish Council, Ladies' Society, Sunday & Armenian School, Church Choir, and A.C.Y.O. The Trust Fund of St. John Garabed Armenian Church was created for religious, charitable, or educational purposes as established under the tax-exempt status provided in the bylaws of the Western Diocese.
To make a cash donation, establish a bequeath, donate a vehicle, contribute securities or real estate, transfer ownership of an insurance policy, or create an endowment, please contact Gary Takessian, Trust Committee Fundraising Chair, at [email protected]
or (858) 569-6527. All contributions are tax-deductible. For more information, visit www.stjohngarabedtrust.org