In 1931, the congregation adopted the name Armenian Gospel Mission. Rev. Elmajian continued to serve as pastor of the church for the next seven years. Then the pastoral responsibilities were passed on to Rev. Peter Agulian. The congregation was steadily growing in number and there were approximately 120 individuals attending the worship services on Sundays. The pastor and the congregation felt that no facility would meet all their needs unless they built it themselves, so they decided they wanted a place of their own. Rev. Agulian and Brother Shahbaghlian initiated a search for land in order to construction of a church building. In 1945, they located a property on the corner of London Street and Silverlake Boulevard for $3,900. It was an exciting time for everyone.
Members of the congregation worked hand-
From 1954 until 1958 Rev. Nerses Sarian served the church taking on the pastoral responsibilities. After Rev. Sarian finished his four-year term, the church was left without a pastor for a period of time. It was at this time that Rev. Touryan assumed pastoral responsibilities both at his home church in Pasadena as well as the Silver Lake Church. Membership declined over the the next few years. Of notable change was the mass exodus of the young generation of. Children and Youth ministries ceased to exist for a time. Rev. Touryan commuted from Pasadena every Sunday to preach and to administer communion. During his tenure the church was renamed Armenian Evangelical Brethren Church in 1959.
In 1964, Brother Baghdasar Ajemian, from Lebanon, aided with Sunday Sermons. In 1973, Brother Missak Hairapetian, from Iran, helped Brother Ajemian in conducting these services. However, in 1985, Brother Ajemian moved to Fresno and Brother Hairapetian welcomed the task of leading Sunday Services as well as reestablishing and leading the youth group.
In mid 1986, Rev. Dikran Shanlian, who visited occasionally with Rev. Touryan was asked to serve as pastor. Within two years Rev. Shanlian was ordained as senior pastor of AEBC. Rev. Konsulian, Brother Hairapetian and the elders of the church officiated.
A few years after Rev. Shanlian started serving in the church, Antranig Afsharian joined alongside him for many years serving as moderator, worship leader and elder. He aided Rev. Shanlian in all duties and along with his wife Sara Afsharian he revived the music ministry of the church as well.
In 1987, AEBC started publishing its newsletter, “Բարի Լուր” (Good News). Pastor Shanlian wrote and edited this newsletter which featured a devotional, words of wisdom, endeavors of the church and other announcements.
In 1996, with God’s will and grace, a new church was founded in Salt Lake City, Utah. With the leadership of Gevork Paronyan, the Ararat Evangelical Church continues to grow and minister to the Armenian familes in the Great Salt Lake City area.
In 2005, the church family and friends celebrated 80 years of ministry. There had been discussions and fundraising for many years leading up to this milestone for a new church property which could better accommodate present and future needs. The following year, a new property was located in Glendale on the corner of Lake Street and Thompson Ave., close to the Interstate 5 Freeway.
After lengthy meetings and timely decisions the property was in escrow. In January of the following year the property belonged to AEBC and renovations started. In May of 2006, the congregation had their last service at Silver Lake. The following Sunday the doors opened at Lake Street for the first Sunday worship service.
In September the official dedication ceremony was held in the main sanctuary with family, friends and dignitaries. With God’s grace and the leadership of Pastor Shanlian and the church council, we was able to purchase the Lake Street property without selling the Sliver Lake property. The property was purchased from the New Life Christian Church with the assistance of a short-term loan from the Armenian Missionary Association of North America (AMAA). The Sliver Lake property continues to serve as a place of worship for non-Armenian congregations. In the fall of 2015 we celebrated our 90th anniversary and that same year we paid off our debt to the AMAA on the Lake Street property.
We exist to glorify God, preach Christ crucified, grow a place of belonging for our people and serve the greater community.