The Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America held a special assembly on Saturday–September 11–1999–10 a.m. at St. Paul Armenian Church in Fresno. The assembly was held under the presidency of His Eminence–Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian–Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America.
The Divan of the Assembly consisted of: Chris Yaldezian–Chairman; Khajag Konialian–Vice Chairman; Deacon Steve Adams–English Secretary and Fr. Sipan Mekhsian Armenian Secretary. A quorum of the Assembly was established–with 86 out of 100 members present.
Following the Opening Prayer by the Primate–the Assembly Chairman welcomed the delegates and wished them success in the decisions they will be making. Parish Council Chairman of St. Paul–Ben Krikorian–on behalf of the entire St. Paul Parish of Fresno–welcomed everyone to the Parish and invited them to the luncheon at the adjournment of the Assembly.
Chairman Chris Yaldezian announced the appointment of three committees. The Primate expressed his joy to see so many delegates present. His Eminence emphasized the importance and the significance of this Assembly–since the elected delegates of the Western Diocese–along with the delegates of other Dioceses–will be electing the 132nd Catholicos of All Armenia’s.
The Primate also informed the Assembly about the forthcoming National-Ecclesiastical Assembly and the Election of the Catholicos of All Armenia’s and his Consecration–which will be held at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin from October 26-31–1999.
The election of the delegates was held by a Secret Ballot. Following are the results of the election.
Clergy: Fr. Arshag Khatchadourian–St. James–Los Angeles; Fr. Yeghia Hairabedian–St. James–Sacramento; Fr. Shnork Demirjian–St. Peter–Van Nuys; Fr. Sahag Kaishian–St. Mary–Yettem; Fr. Kevork Arakelian–St. Gregory–Fowler.
Southern Region: Armen Hampar–Diocesan Council Member; Flora Dunaians–St. Gregory–Pasadena; John Yaldezian–Diocesan Council Member; Bob Barsam–St. James–Los Angeles; Dr. Gary Lulejian–St. Peter–Van Nuys; Krikor Garabedian–Diocesan Council Member; John Ketchoyan–St. Peter–Van Nuys.
Central Region: Deacon Dr. Varouj Altebarmakian–St. Paul–Fresno; Deacon Barlow Der Mugerdichian–St. Paul–Fresno; Deacon Dr. Arra Avakian–St. Paul–Fresno; Deacon Allan Yeghia Jendian–St. Paul–Fresno; Deacon Armen Devejian–St. Paul–Fresno.
Northern Region: Charles Tateosian–St. John–San Francisco; Aram Janjigian–St. Andrew–Cupertino; Everett Berberian–Esq.–St. John–San Francisco; Anto Cignoz–St. Vartan–Oakland.
Mission Parishes: Deacon Dr. Steven Ovanessoff–Armenian Church–Arizona.
Clergy and lay Alternate Delegates were also elected.
The Assembly Delegates then–considered and discussed the possibilities of buying a parsonage for the St. Andrew Armenian Church Parish in Cupertino. Later–Chairman of the AYCO 50th Anniversary events–Deacon Armen Devejian–gave a short report on the upcoming activities to be held over the Thanksgiving Weekend in Fresno–California.
The Special Diocesan Assembly was adjourned with the closing remarks and benediction by the Diocesan Primate–His Eminence Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian. Upon conclusion of the Assembly–the St. Paul Parish hosted a luncheon for all the delegates at the Berberian Hall.