About St. Mary Armenian Church, Cost Mesa
In April of 1985 Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian celebrated the first Divine Liturgy of the Costa Mesa Parish at St. James Episcopal Church in Newport Beach. The Liturgy was sung by the Khatchadourian Choir with the attendance of over five hundred Armenian faithful.
Soon a Parish Council was appointed chaired by Mr. Paul Hachigian, and the parish was named Armenian Church of Newport Beach. A Memorial Building Fund Committee and a Building Fund Committee were appointed, chaired by Antranik O. Zorayan and Civan Kalfa, respectively, and entrusted with the task of finding a new site. At the same time the Ladies’ Society and Ararat Soccer Club were also created.
Visiting clergy were sent by the Primate to celebrate Liturgy once a month. In March 1989 a church with adjacent facilities in Costa Mesa was purchased, a land of 1.4 acres. Soon a choir of fifty members formed, in addition to an Armenian folk dance group; the AGBU Orange County Chapter also met at the church regularly.
Within a span of seven years the parish matured and was able to take a more active role within the life of the Diocese. Having been appointed by the Primate, Archpriest Fr. Moushegh Tashjian assumed the responsibility of Pastor of the Costa Mesa Parish on April 1, 1992 and on June 13 and 14 of the same year the church was consecrated and named St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church.
On June 8, 1997 the parish honored their Pastor Archpriest Fr. Moushegh Tashjian, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his ordination. On October 16, 1997 the church dedicated a new belfry, presided by the Primate Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian. St. Mary Armenian Church functions thanks to the efforts of the Parish Council, Ladies’ Society, Sunday School, Saturday Armenian School (AGBU), ACYO, Trust Fund Board, Cultural Committee, Hovsepian Choir, Zvartnots Children’s Choir and Dance Org., and Mommy and Me.
As part of a future expansion project on March 8, 2005 the parish purchased a six-unit apartment building adjacent to the church for $1.2 million with funds donated primarily by faithful parishioners.