BINGHAMTON, NY – City officials helped to celebrate the anniversary of a church on Binghamton’s Southside that was founded by immigrants fleeing oppression.
Saint Gregory the Illuminator Church is marking its 90th anniversary this year.
It was founded in 1931 by Armenian-Americans who had escaped the genocide perpetrated by Turkey.
In celebration, Mayor Rich David and former Mayor Rich Bucci raised the Armenian flag outside of City Hall.
Father Kapriel Mouradjian has only been the parish priest for less than a year.
But he says he quickly fell in love with the congregation and the broader community.
“Our community has not only survived, but we have thrived here in this city. We do that because of the relationships that we have with wonderful men like these and a small token of the families that we have here today,” says Mouradjian.
Armenian immigrants began settling in our area in 1923, going to work in the local shoe and cigar factories.
The church sponsored a monument that is a memorial to the genocide that sits near the south end of the South Washington Street pedestrian bridge.