Fresno, CA

California's Oldest Armenian Church to Mark Centennial of National Forget-Me-Not Day at Harvest Season Gathering

Armenian California

The autumn food bazaar at California’s oldest Armenian Church will take place on the Centennial of National Forget-Me-Not Day, a day of remembrance of wounded soldiers and their sacrifices.

The 2021 Merchants’ Lunch and Country Store of The First Armenian Presbyterian Church will serve from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, November 10, at the Church Campus, 430 South First Street at Historic Huntington Boulevard, near Downtown Fresno.

The 123rd annual harvest season gathering will feature freshly grilled beef lulu kebab at $16 per person, with accompaniments including rice pilaf, cheese boereg, garden salad, peda bread, and paklava. Proceeds will benefit Central Valley Justice Coalition, a 501(c)(3) ministry that partners with the Church and community to prevent human trafficking.

Meals will be available to guests for drive through. Three drive-through lanes will be located on the Church Campus, in the block bound by First and Raisina Streets between Huntington Boulevard and Balch Avenue, just south of the City of Fresno Holmes Playground.

A drive-through Merchants’ Lunch Country Store will be open throughout the luncheon hours for holiday shopping. The Store will offer such ethnic delicacies as cheese boereg, plain and filled choreg, paklava, souboreg, tourshee, rojik, and garlic and red sauces.

Online orders for meals and Country Store comestibles may be placed by visiting: tinyurl.com/fapcmerchantslunch. More information is available by calling (559) 260-4647, faxing (559) 237-9526, or e-mailing administration@fapc.net.

Ohio Superior Court Judge Robert S. Marks (1889-1960) initiated Forget-Me-Not-Day on November 10, 1921 to raise awareness of wounded World War I soldiers and their sacrifices. A native of Ohio, Judge Marx was injured in one of the final battles of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and received the Distinguished Service Cross and Purple Heart. He was a founder and first National Commander of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). The Library of the University of Cincinnati School of Law is named in his honor.

The autumn food bazaar marks the 28th Anniversary of the publication of “A Hundred Years and Still Cooking,” the FAPC Fidelis Women’s Society Centennial recipe collection. First published in 1993 by H. Markus Printing, the 496-page volume includes instructions for preparing 636 different ethnic recipes and sells for $25. Food writer Barbara Hansen, a James Beard Award winner, reviewed the volume in the January 14, 1998 edition of The Los Angeles Times under the headline, “Leaves from Fresno.” The cookbook is a unique compendium of heritage recipes, Scriptural truths, Old World culinary precepts, and Central California ethnic history.

Reverend Gregory Vahack Haroutunian is the Senior Pastor of the Congregation. Maryvonne Gagliardi is the Chair of the 2021 Merchants’ Lunch and Country Store.

Chartered by 40 immigrants in a rented hall on July 25, 1897, FAPC was the boyhood church of authors William Saroyan and A.I. Bezzerides and documentary filmmaker J. Michael Hagopian. Six generations and 12 decades later, FAPC is a multigenerational congregation drawn from the Old and New Worlds.

FAPC is a member congregation of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America. The 124th Anniversary theme of the congregation is “Love Christ. Love Others. Make Disciples.”

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First Armenian Presbyterian Church 123rd Annual Merchants' LunchFAPC/David Jon

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