Armenian Apostolic Church, Dioceses of America
630 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10016-4885
The Armenian Apostolic Church was established at the foot of the biblical Mount Ararat in the ancient land of Armenia, where two of Christ's Holy Apostles, Saints Thaddeus and Bartholomew, preached Christianity in the 1st century.
In A.D. 301, the kingdom of Armenia became history's first Christian nation, when king Tiridates III was baptized by Saint Gregory the Illuminator. Gregory became the patron saint of Armenia, the first in a line of 132 Catholicoi of all Armenians, and founder, in A.D. 303, of the historic Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, which still serves as the central, pre-eminent shrine of the worldwide Armenian Church. The present day Catholicos of All Armenians is His Holiness Karekin II.
In 1891, in fulfillment of a petition to Holy Etchmiadzin, Armenian immigrants to America built and witnessed the consecration of the New World's first Armenian Church, in Worcester, Massachusetts. In 1898, the 125th Catholicos of All Armenians, Mgrdich Khrimian, established a diocesan jurisdiction for the burgeoning communities in North and South America.
Today, the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) administers parishes in the eastern half of the U.S., with separate dioceses governing parishes in California (the Western Diocese, established 1927), Canada (the Canadian Diocese, established 1984), and South America (various jurisdictions and dates). Other centers of major significance for the Armenian Apostolic Church are the Catholicate of Cilicia (located in Lebanon), the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople.