The mission of the United Armenian Congregational Church is to bring people to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. The church is committed to gathering Christians for the purpose of worship, missions, instruction, spiritual growth, fellowship, training and leadership development. The focus is on Armenian-Americans, their families and friends in the greater Los Angeles area.
The United Armenian Congregational Church (UACC) had its genesis in the late 1950s when the Christian Endeavor youth groups from various Churches throughout Los Angeles and California enjoyed Christian fellowship and knew each other well. The young people wanted to merge Churches and, beginning in 1959, a series of talks and meeting between the leaders of Gethsemane Armenian Congregational Church and Masis Congregational Church resulted in a proposal to join the two congregations. The merger officially took place in January 1963, and the name “United Armenian Congregational Church” was adopted. About one year later the Armenian Congregational Church of the San Fernando Valley joined the fellowship.
The Gethsemane Church was sold and services were held at the Masis facility under the joint leadership of Pastors Paul Avazian and Senekerim Sulahian.
Numerous sites were considered for relocation and eventually the present property in Hollywood was purchased, with groundbreaking ceremonies in June 1965. Subsequently, Rev. Sulahian accepted a call from the Armenian Evangelical Church in New York, the Masis Church facility was sold, and services were held in The Seventh Day Adventist Church in Hollywood from 1967 to 1969 during construction of the new Church. In February 1969, the present facility was completed and dedicated.
Because of UACC’s growing congregation and expanded activities, Rev. Edward Tovmassian was called as Associate Pastor. He and Rev. Avazian worked together until the untimely death of Rev. Avazian in 1976. At that time Rev. Tovmassian assumed full responsibilities while continuing the Armenian language program he had initiated. Rev. Varkes Kassouni was invited as Senior Pastor in 1977 and, when the pulpit of the Immanuel Armenian Congregation Church vacated, Rev. Tovmassian accepted a call to serve there.
In July 1982, Rev. Berdj Djambazian was called as Associate Pastor. He was elevated to Senior Pastor following Rev. Kassouni’s resignation in 1984 and in 1986 Rev. Steven Muncherian was called to serve as Assistant Pastor. In 1985, the Church installed a translation system enabling Armenian and English sermons to be simultaneously translated from one language to another.
Following the resignation of Rev. Djambazian in 1993, Rev. Peter Doghramji came out of retirement to become Interim Senior Pastor. Rev. Mgrdich Melkonian joined the staff two years later as Associate Pastor for Parish Development. When Rev. Ron Tovmassian was called as Senior Pastor in 1996, Rev. Doghramji returned to retirement.
In 1997 a $1.6 million retrofitting and remodeling of the Church sanctuary was undertaken. The project included a new sound system and translation system with a hearing impaired feature. Additionally, a new, state-of-the-art digital pipe organ was installed, further enhancing the musical portion of the worship service.
UACC offers Sunday School classes for all ages, with special provisions for cradle through pre-school ages. For many years, a special education class has been maintained by dedicated, trained teachers. Monthly Armenian Heritage classes help our children to be more aware of their Armenian Christian roots and background. In addition to several youth groups, there are special adult groups for men, women, singles and couples that meet regularly throughout the year. The Chancel Choir provides anthems during worship services as well as other seasonal performances. A special youth choir participates monthly during the worship service. All these programs and groups provide Christian fellowship and are designed to meet the spiritual needs of the parishioners.
Currently, UACC has over 800 Communicant members and serves approximately 1,500 parishioners. To better serve these people, the Church staff has been expanded and many laypersons take an active role in serving the needs of the Church. The main goal is that our Church be a strong witness for Jesus Christ and give praise and glory to God, while providing an atmosphere in which our Lord Jesus Christ may be ever-present and more relevant in each person’s life.