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St. Ephraim's Church
Burbank, California

Source: Photograph taken in July 1997


900 N. Glenoaks Blvd.
Burbank, California 91502
(818) 953-7170

Brief History

St. Ephraim Church was founded in Hollywood, California in 1962, by a few Syrian Orthodox families lead by the late Rev. Father Fadel Fedail. The community acquired the Church building on Hoover Street in 1967. By the mid seventies, the membership had grown to about 60 families. In the late seventies and early eighties, as a result of relatively large scale immigration from the Middle East, membership grew to several hundred families.

After the passing away of the Very Rev. Fr. Fadel Fedail in 1982, Fr. Nimeh Farah served the congregation until the end of 1985. In January 1986, the Rev. Dr. Joseph Tarzi assumed pastorship and the Church entered into a new era of spiritual growth and activities. But the real expansion and prosperity of the Church did not begin until after August 1989 when the Church moved to Burbank.

In the new facility, and through the leadership of Rev. Dr. Joseph Tarzi, the hard work of the Boards of Trustees, and zealous parishioners, many cherished dreams have been fulfilled. A strong Youth Organization directed towards faith, discipline, Christian love and virtues was founded. A fine Choir performing delightfully during worship and a lively Sunday School implanting faith and fear of God in the hearts of our young ones were formed. A strong and active Ladies Auxiliary was formed which proved to be an invaluable asset to the Church. Bible study and Syriac Classes were held to interpret and understand the word of God and teach the holy language of the Lord.

A full time staffed Church office was created and equipped with modern office equipment to efficiently carry out office operations. The publication of St. Ephraim’s News Bulletin-Magazine, "Mhadyono," was a further achievement. In 1995 work began on establishing a day care center in the church premises to be the nucleus of a future elementary school. The Center was officially opened in the Fall of 1996, and soon became a thriving School.

All these dreams came true with the help of God and with the encouragement and support of our beloved faithful and the late Mar Athanasius Y. Samuel of blessed memory.

In November 1995, the Holy Synod headed by our beloved Patriarch His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I, Iwas, decided to divide the Archdiocese of the United States and Canada into three Archdioceses, one of which is that of the Western United States. His Holiness further appointed H. E. Archbishop Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan to be the Patriarchal Vicar for the newly created Archdiocese. His Eminence assumed his duties on April 7, 1996 and now resides at the Archbishop's house adjacent to the Cathedral.

Through the personal efforts of H.E. Archbishop Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan, a strong Boy and Girl Scout movement has been established in the Archdiocese based out of St. Ephraim Cathedral.

Through the help of God and the leadership of H.E. Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan, and prayers of His Holiness, St. Ephraim Cathedral will grow further and prosper into the 21st century.

Congratulations to our congregation for such important accomplishments. May God bless our people. May their work be for the glorification of God and the prosperity of our Holy Syrian Church.


The Very Rev. Joseph Tarzi, Ph.D.
The Cathedral Arch-priest


Courtesy Link:

@LA: The Guide to Greater Los Angeles and Southern California

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Last Update: August 2, 1997