FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE/KSEE) – A church that’s a staple in the Fresno community celebrated 125 years on the Memorial Day Holiday.
The First Armenian Presbyterian Church was founded on May 30, 1897. It’s the oldest church of its kind in California.
The church put on not only a celebration for the church’s anniversary but for the Memorial Day holiday, that their anniversary landed on.
“What this picnic represents is not only coming out after COVID, but its huge arms welcoming the community,” said Lead Pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Greg Haroutunian.
He and his team put together this Memorial Day and anniversary event filled with food, activities for children and the train at Hillcrest Farms.
He says this event isn’t just to celebrate the Armenian community.
“Also the valley community,” he said. “We’re really excited about it. The church started 124 years ago and we came in as immigrants, and now it’s open for everybody.”
“I’ve been a part of the church forever. I worked for the church for 22 years as the music director. Then I worked in the office back in the 70s in the church so it is close to my heart,” said Jane, an event attendee, and church go-er.
On this Memorial Day, those enjoying the event are not forgetting why they celebrate.
“What goes through my mind is those who have sacrificed their lives for the freedom of our country, and mind you, freedom isn’t free,” added Jane.
This day meant a lot to many, especially those who hold it so close to their hearts.
“We want to honor them. My own son is a cadet at West Point right now,” said Haroutunian.
“Having a son who is [serving] makes the reality of that sacrifice or that potential sacrifice… boy it hits home, it hits home,” he concluded.
There are a total of seven churches in all of Fresno.
The event was completely free including all the food, drinks, and activities.