History of ACYO

The Armenian Church Youth Organization of the Western Diocese, ACYO-WD, was established in September of 1949 in Fresno, California. Late Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan established the ACYO as a visionary foundation for all youth across the United States of America which has been enveloped into a long-lasting legacy. The first major immigration of Armenians to the United States had occurred nearly a generation earlier, and the children of Genocide survivors made every attempt to preserve their faith in their forefathers, their identity, their cultural heritage, and most importantly, their faith. The ACYO was created to build strong and faithful Christian Armenian Americans who could grow within the Armenian Church and hold fast to the values of their people. This vision has been at the core of the ACYO for nearly four generations and has consistently been the instrument through which young men and women are trained to not only become faithful Armenian Orthodox Christians but the leaders of our Church and community. With each generation, the organization adapts to develop the tools needed to address the ever-changing nature of American culture and adapt to communicate the true meaning of Christ’s message and value of our Armenian Apostolic faith.

The Late Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan

We are living in a young and vigorous country. The freedom we enjoy has made this country great. Our prosperity is proverbial in the whole world. We must use these blessings to good purpose. And good purpose does not mean only pursuit of material comfort and enjoyment: it does not mean only the use of more gadgets for our ease and pleasure. Ultimately only One is Good, and that is God, as the Lord Jesus said. And while our ultimate purpose is to realize God’s will in us and in our society, all intermediate good things must serve and be directed towards the uplifting of our souls to God.

As long as our members are motivated in their actions by the same holy purposes of their Christian faith and their love for our Mother Church, their freedom will be creative and fruitful. It is that kind of creative and constructive freedom that we want our Organization to have. Subjecting oneself to God’s will is the loftiest and most satisfying way of being free. Because by working with God, we shall partake of God’s own infinite freedom.

Read more of Late Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan's Message