On Sunday, November 27, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), visited St. James Church of Richmond, VA, as the community celebrated the parish’s 60th anniversary.
Archbishop Barsamian celebrated the Divine Liturgy with the assistance of St. James pastor Rev. Fr. Tatev Terteryan. During the service, the Primate ordained Yessie Saakian and Michael Karapetian as acolytes.
Following the Divine Liturgy and ordination services, the parish held a celebratory luncheon honoring the history of St. James Church and its leaders over the years.
“We are grateful to all those people, grandparents and parents, godfathers and founders of our church who contributed generously and offered all their efforts to build this church, so that their grandchildren would have a place to worship, a place where they could keep alive their unfading traditions and identity,” Fr. Terteryan said.
St. James parish council chair Leiza Bouroujian welcomed the Primate and honored guests, including the General Minister of the Virginia Council of Churches Rev. Jonathan Barton. She expressed her gratitude to all who worked to make the weekend festivities a success.
The luncheon featured poetry recitations along with song and dance performances from students of the St. James Sunday and Armenian schools.
Fr. Terteryan also reflected on the community’s long and storied history, commending “our current community members and those who are not here today, who contributed immensely to the fruitfulness of the mission of our church.”
The banquet closed with remarks from the Primate, who expressed his congratulations and blessings to the community.
“I want to congratulate the St. James parish for its continued success,” said Archbishop Barsamian. “Surely, the strong foundation that was built by those who lived in Richmond 60 years ago has given life to a vibrant church whose future continues to shine.”