The Armenians of The St. Sarkis Church, DFW
Armenians continue to uphold strong cultural, religious, and historical customs and traditions. The St. Sarkis Armenian Church and its parish are an example of such an active Armenian community. In the late 70s and early 80s, a wave of immigrant families had begun settling in the Dallas area. They wanted a place to gather, socialize, worship and preserve their heritage. With generous donations and the support of already established families, notably the godfather of the church Dr. Sarkis Kechejian, the community finally had a sanctuary consecrated by the Primate in 1991 as the St. Sarkis Armenian Church. An energized community planned their future by creating a place for their children to learn their ancestral heritage and practice the Armenian Christian faith.
St. Sarkis is now the gathering center for Armenian families of North Texas and parts of Oklahoma. A dynamic young priest and his family, an active Youth Group, an energetic Women’s Guild, a combined school to serve the Armenian Language and Sunday School, a Church Choir, a Seniors Group, and a successful annual ArmeniaFest complete the picture of a vibrant community.
The Future of St. Sarkis Parishioners
The St. Sarkis community has been blessed with the generous donation of a 4.5 acre land by the Elie and Ela Akilian family, which has renewed our enthusiasm to build an Armenian church with a community center as a sustainable model for our next generations. The community is working diligently to realize this goal.
Annexation is Complete!
The new St. Sarkis church property on Charles Street is now officially part of the City of Carrollton. Our church has had a long history of great relationship and support with the City of Carrollton for over 25 years, when we first purchased our current property on Random Road. With the ground breaking ceremony in May and completion of the annexation process, we are very pleased about our progress. Detailed planning and architectural work continues.
Celebrating Armenian Culture
It's no coincidence. It does not just happen that we have ArmeniaFest in Dallas. For several years this community became the fusion of Armenians arriving from different parts of the United States, and the world. Looking for a place to call home. In the eighties we gathered in temporary rental halls and loaner churches. Taking every opportunity to celebrate our culture at the Dallas International Festival or bringing dance troupes from Armenia to connect with our heritage.
In 1991, we built our church - the St. Sarkis - and within a short few years a cultural hall. Now it was time that we had our own showcase. An event that all community members could be part of - young and old, talented or not, Armenian and non-Armenian, parishioners and non-parishioners - to enjoy and be proud members of the extended community of Armenian-Americans growing up in north Texas. We were forming our family.
ArmeniaFest started with a simple premise: "Armenian-Americans have a rich and ancient heritage that they want to share with their wider circle of friends and neighbors in north Texas." We posted this quote in our first black and white brochure in 1996 and that's the start of our history.
This is the annual banquet where we invite everyone to join our "family table." The food is delicious, the dances are fun, and it's an opportunity to tell you our stories and share our culture. It's where we meet and make new friends, and our extended family grows larger by the year.
We are proud to call ArmeniaFest a family gathering. This is when all of our community volunteers join hands to display what's best in our heritage and provide an opportunity for young members to connect with their roots. As I told a reporter many years ago, "It's like finding the heirlooms that your grandparents left you and showing off to your friends and neighbors." With the persistence and dedication of our young adults, and wonder and passion of our children, we hope that this annual family reunion will continue for generations.
Armenian traditional folk tales always have this beautiful ending: "Three apples fell from heaven... one for the teller, one for the listener, and one for all the peoples of the world." Come and hear our stories, they are in our music and in our dances. We are sure you will enjoy this annual celebration with our family. We love to share an "apple" with you.