A SHORT HISTORY
By Mr. Adrian Zmed, Actor
Dear faithful of Holy Trinity Parish and distinguished guests and friends,
From the first meeting on June 25, 1939, at the home of Petru German to this day, the history of Holy Trinity has been one of much effort and growth to be a live Orthodox Christian witness in California and one which enjoys its roots in the Romanian tradition.
Incorporated in 1940; purchasing its first property in that same year; its second move in 1947; its present housing in the old Holy Apostles Episcopal Church since 1949, Holy Trinity has earnestly sow to root itself permanently.
The clergy who served the parish, Reverend Fathers Grigore Coste, Victor Barbulescu, Coriolan Isacu, Anchidim Useriu, Richard Grabowski and Constantin Alecse each added some particular hand to the shaping of this parish and are an intimate part of the live of the community and the personal histories.
With the organizations such as the Ladies Auxiliary (1948); LAROY (1960); Orthodox Brotherhood (1970), and the Parochial School (1948), Holy Trinity was helped on a local level and took its place on a national, Diocesan level as well, being presently considered as one of the 10 big parishes of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America.
THE BUILDING PROGRAM
Now, after more than 60 years of existence, t he new 2001 building committee is working hard to raise funds to build the new church facilities, complete with church school classrooms, youth activity facilities, a cultural center, and sufficient room for the social activities.
Since 1987, the year the Sunland property was purchased, a building program was launched in a positive structured manner.
At that time, t he following were the items of immediate importance to be established by the Building Committee:
1. The exact map location of all the church membership to help determine its present and future growth locations.
2. To determine the suitability for future growth in the present location versus a new location.
3. To determine the full implication of building on the present site on Verdugo Road versus building in a new location.
4. Look at the possibility of purchasing an existing church that could be architecturally modified to suit Holy Trinity's future needs.
5. To determine where to look for new church property at an affordable place that would meet the needs of the future needs of the Romanian American generations.
An all-out effort covering all points ensued, including a proposal of approximately 2 + acres that was being considered as a new building site, which was eventually discarded as not suitable for the purposes.
That same year, Mr. Miron Bonca and Fr. Alecse were able to locate another parcel of land of approximately 7.6 acres in Sunland, California, known as the Wentworth Street Property.
The 7.6 acres could be purchased for approximately $240.000.00, without any utilities (gas, water, electricity and sewer, located close enough to make this available land a prime choice for purchase consideration).
The property is located on Wentworth Street, Sunland (the Hansen Dam area) between Freeway 210 and Freeway 5, making it an ideal location for the purposes based on the church membership map of greater Los Angeles.
Members of the building committee and architectural groups all agreed that this property would be well suited for the coming generation's needs. It was also determined to be more economical and better suited to build on new land than to build on the current confined space on Verdugo Road, which is surrounded with light industry and is not conducive to the future growth of the Holy Trinity Church in the coming generations.
On June 14, 1987, the Holy Trinity Special General Assembly meeting overwhelmingly approved the purchase of this property.
Very soon, after receiving the General Assembly approval, approximately 11 individual soliciting teams were formed to solicit funds from members and nonmembers, each according to their capabilities, to collect the entire amount of $235,000.00 needed for escrow closing. Thus, on October 14, 1987 transaction CLOSED.
The conditional use permit
The newly purchased property on Wentworth Street, in Sunland, is located in a residential area. To build on that property, the Holy Trinity had to go through 4 Public Hearings in order to secure its Conditional Use Permit: (1) December 4, 1987, The Zoning Administrator; (2) March 15, 1988, The Board of Zoning Appeals; (3) June 28, 1988, The Planning and Environmental Committee and (4) July 26, 1988, The Los Angeles City Council. The outcome of this last hearing was the adoption by the LA City Council of the recommendation of the Planning and Environment Committee to grant us the Conditional Use Permit, also imposing on Holy Trinity Church 21 specific conditions.
For the last decade (1990-2000), the parish instructed the Building Committee to plan-ahead the fund raising programs, the drawing of the general blue prints and decide on vigorous actions when the time to start construction is right.
During this time, 8 Building committees were appointed, headed by the following chairpersons: Joseph Oros, Miron Bonca, Mircea Popa, Traian Pincu, Ion Anton, Dr.Sorin Muntean, Mrs. Maria Pincu and presently Constantin Jercan.
Now, as the New Building Committee, under Constantin Jercan's chairmanship, undertakes vigorous actions to raise funds to start building the new church facilities, Holy Trinity church thanks all of its members and non-members who have contributed so generously to the Building fund to date and the many more who were and presently are involved in contributing their efforts to build a New Holy Trinity Romanian Orthodox Church and Cultural Center for the future generations of Romanian-Americans in Southern California.
Last, but not least, Holy Trinity thanks all of you, participants and generous donors at this fund raising event, thus helping us to see our dreams come true, hopefully, very, very soon.
Thank-you all for coming. God Bless America, and God Bless you all.