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Events & Festivals

121st Annual Merchants' Luncheon at William Saroyan's Boyhood Church

filian1900 | Oct 3, 201805:54 PM    

California’s oldest Armenian Congregation will mark the silver anniversary of a congregational cookbook at its annual harvest season community luncheon.
The First Armenian Presbyterian Church of Fresno will hold its 2018 Merchants’ Lunch and Country Store from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, November 8, at the Church Campus, 430 South First Street at Historic Huntington Boulevard, near Downtown Fresno.
The 121st annual gathering will feature lunch at $15 per person, with seasoned beef filet kebab or garlic chicken kebab, rice pilaf, cheese boureg, garden salad, pickled tourshee, fresh peda bread, paklava, among the offerings. Photographs, paintings, and artifacts depicting a century and 21 years of Central California ministry will be on display during the culinary event.
Meals will be available to guests for dine-in, take-out, or drive through. The drive-through lane will be located on the Raisina Street side of the Church Campus, one block west of First Street between Huntington Boulevard and Balch Avenue. More information is available by calling (559) 237-6638, faxing (559) 237-9526, or e-mailing administration@fapc.net.
The autumn food bazaar marks the 25th Anniversary of the publication of “A Hundred Years and Still Cooking,” the FAPC Fidelis Women’s Society Centennial recipe collection. First published in 1993 by H. Markus Printing, the 496-page volume includes instructions for preparing 636 different ethnic recipes and sells for $35. Food writer Barbara Hansen, a James Beard Award winner, reviewed the volume in the January 14, 1998 edition of The Los Angeles Times under the headline, “Leaves from Fresno.” The cookbook is a unique compendium of heritage recipes, Scriptural truths, Old World culinary precepts, and Central California ethnic history.
The Merchants’ Lunch Country Store will be open throughout the luncheon hours for holiday shopping. The Store will offer such ethnic delicacies as choreg, souberag,
paklava, yalanchi, bottled grape leaves, gutah, tourshee, rojik, and basdegh. The abundant produce of the San Joaquin Valley and a host of homemade breads, jellies, and pastries will round out the comestibles in the Store pantry.
Reverend Gregory Vahack Haroutunian and Reverend Mgo Mekredijian comprise the FAPC Teaching Elder Leadership Team. Lisa Tokatian, Maryvonne Gagliardi, and Jonelle S.G. Kazarian are Co-Chairs of the 2018 Merchants’ Lunch and Country Store.
Chartered by 40 immigrants in a rented hall on July 25, 1897, FAPC was the boyhood church of authors William Saroyan and A.I. Bezzerides and documentary filmmaker J. Michael Hagopian. Six generations and 12 decades later, FAPC is a multigenerational congregation drawn from the Old and New Worlds.
FAPC is a member congregation of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America. The 121st Anniversary theme of the congregation is “Love Christ. Love Others. Make Disciples.”

1993 Cover Photo of Acclaimed Armenian Cookbook

photo credit: H. Markus Printing
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