St. Vartan Armenian Apostolic Church
|ADDRESS:||650 Spruce St. Oakland CA 94610|
In 1929 during the Great Depression a group of Armenian families began a search for a suitable house of worship to start a parish in Oakland. They formed a Parish Council and a Ladies’ Society and were approved by the Western Diocese. Meetings were held in turn at members’ homes, and church services at the Episcopal Church on Sunday afternoons.
A full choir, organist and two deacons assisted the very first Pastor, Very Rev. Fr. Vartan Kasparian. Through the years the congregation grew and the parish was able to purchase a church on 23rd Ave. in Oakland. Feeling the needs for a larger space to accommodate a growing community, the parish purchased the present site in 1955. A Building committee was formed to review architectural plans and raise funds, which the parishioners did diligently.
Plans bearing the traditional Armenian style were drawn up by Mr. Lawrence Cone, who had also designed Holy Trinity in Fresno using Etchmiadzin as an inspiration.
The formal consecration ceremonies were held April 7, 1957. Two years later having paid off the church mortgage, plans began for the second phase of St. Vartan.
The hall, kitchen, classrooms, offices and restrooms were completed and dedicated in 1960. Once again the faithful provided the funds for the furnishings and equipment.
St. Vartan Armenian Apostolic Church stands today thanks to the spiritual leadership of our successive pastors. Their vision, encouragement and shepherding talents have nourished the community of St. Vartan Parish.