The Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church (ACEC) of today started its mission as the Armenian Congregational Mission of Pasadena, California, on June 18, 1922. It was the first Armenian church in Pasadena. Later in 1927 the church changed its name to the Armenian Cilicia Congregational Church. The “Cilicia” portion of the church’s name reflected the fact that the majority of the founders were refugees of the 1915-1922 genocide perpetrated by Ottoman Turks. They were originally from the portion of Turkey which used to be called Cilicia, an Armenian Kingdom of the 12-14th centuries. The church was formally recognized by the Southern California Congregational Conference as a “Member Church” on November 10, 1927.
At the beginning, Sunday services were held in the homes of various members. Later several local churches offered the use of their buildings until 1937 when the church completed construction of a sanctuary at the corner of El Molino Avenue and Mountain Street. Services were held for many years at this location, led by several well known ministers from North America and the Middle East.
Although the El Molino property was sold in 1974 due to the severe deterioration of the surrounding area, services continued to be conducted in rented local church facilities. In 1991 the congregation purchased the building at its current location in a residential neighborhood on Santa Anita Avenue, on the border of Pasadena and San Marino. The campus grew by the addition of the new Fellowship Hall which was built by a generous donation from Henry and Anahis Derian. The facilities are fully utilized hosting church and community events.
The ACEC is a small church but with a big heart and open doors, inviting all who believe in our Lord Jesus Christ to join together and worship Him. The Church is bilingual with messages delivered in English and Armenian every Sunday.
We are confident that with the Lord’s guidance and assistance, we will continue to thrive being an asset to the community.