St Stephen's Armenian Apostolic Church is the oldest Armenian Church in Connecticut and the second oldest prelacy church in the country - With construction overseen by the founding members and building committee members Avedis Atashian, Amrah Bayramian, Giragos Hagopian, George Kevorkian, Karekin Kevorkian, Yervand Papasian, and Aharon Parparian, St. Stephen's Armenian Apostolic Church was Consecrated in New Britain, Connecticut in May 1926.
This "Altar of Light", as it was called in 1975 by then Pastor Reverend Sahag Andekian, was built through "Self-giving, Sacrificial efforts so that you, their children, may grow in the Armenian spirit and with the Armenian language.
The Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church is affiliated with and under the jurisdiction of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia, located in Antelias, Lebanon. His Holiness Aram I is the Catholicos of the See of Cilicia. The Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy is His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian.
The Prelacy office located in New York City since 1958 is responsible for a continuing program of community-wide activities: religious, educational, cultural, and social. In addition, the Prelacy has expanded its mission in Armenia where it currently sponsors many religious, educational, and charitable endeavors.
The Eastern Prelacy extends from the East Coast to the Mississippi to the Atlantic Ocean, with the demographic center located in the North East and the Armenian population is concentrated most heavily in the U.S. Megalopolis (New England to the District of Columbia) Area.
Der Samuel Ajemian
Born in Aleppo, Syria on January 3, 1996, with the baptismal name Sarkis, he received his elementary education at the Sahagian national school and subsequently attended the Karen Jeppe Academy for one academic year. He was accepted as a student at the Armenian Theological Seminary of the Holy See of Cilicia in Antelias Lebanon for the 2008-2009 academic year. After successfully completing the preliminary four-year high school program prior to entering the theological school as a seminarian.
He was ordained sub-deacon by His Grace Bishop Norayr Ashekian on June 2, 2013, and on June 1, 2014, he was ordained deacon by His Eminence Archbishop Kegham Khacherian. In June of 2016, Deacon Sarkis, having completed the full 8-year course of study, received his diploma from the seminary.
At the same time, he petitioned the Eastern Prelacy to be accepted as a candidate for priesthood and upon acceptance, completed a two-year compressed course of studies in 2018. After completion, he married Patil Arabatlian on July 29, 2018, and was ordained to the priesthood on October 7, 2018 by His Grace Bishop Meghrig Parikian with the new name of Fr. Samuel.
From 2018 - November 2020 he served as Pastor of Holy Pentecost Church in Tripoli, Lebanon. From October 4, 2020, until his departure for the United States on November 5, 2021, Der Hayr was designated the Pastor of Sts. Vartatantz Church in Bourj Hammoud, Lebanon by His Eminence Archbishop Shahe Panossian, Prelate of Lebanon.