The Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs was born of a deep inner conviction on the part of the many Armenians living on Long Island for a place where they could worship God as their ancestors had worshiped throughout the centuries. Their hopes and dreams were to have a place where old and young could gather to keep alive the rich Armenian spiritual and cultural heritage.
The desire grew and gained momentum, and in 1954 a Building Committee was formed to make the necessary transactions for the purchase of the property on which Holy Martyrs is now located. Three prominent members of the community, Artin Aslanian, Dadour Dadourian and Poozant Piranian, generously contributed the initial cost of the land. In June of that year the Certificate of Incorporation, filed in Albany, made the church an officially chartered institution. As a bona fide parish of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, Holy Martyrs was assigned its first priest-in-charge, Fr. Torkom Manoogian,(of blessed memory His Beatitude Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem) who will long be remembered affectionately by the community for guiding its leaders in the right steps toward the formation of the parish.
Fundraising campaigns in the 1950s and 1960s produced the amounts necessary to construct the house of worship, consecrated in 1958. The purchase of a parish house close to the church provided adequate housing for our pastor. In the course of time, a school and community center was built for the church’s Sunday School and Armenian Language School. The Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School, an accredited elementary school through sixth grade, is also housed in the complex. Many auxiliary groups are currently supporting and serving the church in its mission to keep the Armenian spirit alive on Long Island. This year Holy Martyrs is celebrating its 60th anniversary.
Since 1955, the following clergymen have served Holy Martyrs as pastors, assistant pastors or visiting pastors:
Rev. Fr. Vartan Megherian of blessed memory,
Rev. Fr. Carnig Hallajian,
Rev. Fr. Michael Buttero of blessed memory,
Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian,
Rev. Fr. Krikor Hairabedian of blessed memory,
Rev. Fr. Yeghia Hairabedian,
Very Rev. Fr. Vazken Karayan,
Rev. Fr. Arakel Aljalian,
Very Rev. Fr. Samuel Aghoyan,
Very Rev. Fr. Haigazoun Melkonian of blessed memory,
Very Rev. Dr. Vahan Hovhanessian (now His Grace Bishop),
Very Rev. Fr. Davit Karamyan,
Rev. Fr. Bedros Kadehjian
and presently Rev. Fr. Abraham Malkhasyan.