Parish Profile

St. Mesrob Armenian Church

4605 Erie St. Racine, WI 53402-2818

(262) 639-0531

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Pastor: Rev. Fr. Avedis Kalayjian

Establishment: In 1914, the community requested from the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America the services of a clergyman. That same year, the Rev. Fr. Mesrob Sahagian arrived in Racine to conduct the first vesper service which was held in Wergeland Hall, located at 1343 State Street. This clergyman had been the last priest of the St. Stepanos Church of Efkere, which is also located in the province of Gesaria.

In 1915, a committee consisting of Hovhannes Poladian, Avak Kalfa Akgulian, Nishan Bokazian, Hairabed Dadian, and Barsam Kalfayan undertook the task of arranging the visits of Armenian clergymen. There was no Board of Trustees or formal church membership at the time.

The first recorded Board of Trustees meeting was held on January 13,1913 at S. Luke's Episcopal Church, located at 614 Main Street. This church was used until the Armenians had their own church building.

Consecration: On January 23, 1973, the second St. Mesrob Church at 4605 Erie Stree was consecrated by His Eminence, Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, Primate.

Past Sanctuary: On January 3, 1926, the first St. Mesrob Church was consecrated by the Primate, His Eminence, Archbishop Tirayre Hovannesian. Krikor Bajak Keishian, the godfather of the church, requested that the church be named Mesrob in honor of St. Mesrob, the inventor of the Armenian alphabet, and in memory of his father Mesrob. On August 19, 1923, the Building Committee was formed.

Present Sanctuary: Construction of the current structure and sanctuary began in 1972. The members of the 1972 building committee consisted of Rev. Fr. Guregh Yetinkikian, President; Harry Cherkinian, Chairman; Sam Akgulian; Vice-Chairman, Mike Kanikian; Secretary, Perry Paragamian; Treasurer. The other members were Mike Garoukian, John Esayian, Mark Akgulian, Harry Akgulian, Al Topalian, Sahag Akgulian, Dick Vartanian, Paul Buchaklian, Ira Eland, Sarkis Kazarian, Joe Yahnian, Frank Vidian and George Stevoff. The church also owns a Parish house, which is located on the purchased property.

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