Former First Armenian Church's Pastor Set to Lead Oldest Armenian Church in California

Gregory Haroutunian spent 10 years leading Belmont's Armenian congregation.

Greg Haroutunian and his wife, Sossi, with their three children.
Greg Haroutunian and his wife, Sossi, with their three children.
The pastor of Belmont's First Armenian Church of Belmont will soon begin his tenure as senior pastor of California’s oldest Armenian congregation as he returns to a church he ministered for more than a decade.

In September, the membership of the First Armenian Presbyterian Church of Fresno, Calif. elected Rev. Gregory V. Haroutunian as the 12th senior pastor of the congregation in the heart of the Golden State. 

Rev. Haroutunian’s first Sunday in the pulpit will be Feb. 2.

For Haroutunian, his new job is a return home as he grew up in Easton in rural Fresno County, graduated from Stanford University in 1982 and served as associate pastor of First Armenian Presbyterian from August 1989 through March 2001 after earning a Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Evanston, Ill in 1989.  

Founded in 1897, First Armenian Presbyterian is the boyhood congregation of authors William Saroyan and A.I. Bezzerides.

Since Dec. 2003, he has served as Senior Pastor of Belmont's First Armenian Church.

For a decade he has been a member of the committee that plans the Annual Massachusetts Statehouse Commemoration of theArmenian Genocide.  From 1998 through 2009, he was a member of the Board of Directors of John Stott Ministries.

Haroutunian and his wife, the former Sossi Tumberian, have three children, Mark, Ani, and Alexan. 

On April 15, 2013, the Haroutunian family was situated across Boylston Street when bombs detonated at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  

“Peace in the midst of terror and trauma is inexplicable, however, we experienced the assurance of the Holy Spirit, that He, the Sovereign One, not a bomber decides when we ‘come home.’ We were absolutely safe in His hands," Haroutunian later wrote.


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