By George Masuda
The Hamilton Japanese United Church’s congregation was formed in 1946 at the former All Peoples United Church. The founder of the congregation was Rev. Takashi Komiyama and his wife May. Most of the members were from the United Churches in British Columbia who were evacuated from B.C. after the 2nd World War ended. Eventually, the members and their children outgrew the rented church and since most of the young couples were living on the Hamilton Mountain, a central location was found at 715 Upper Gage Ave. The site was formerly home to a Presbyterian church. The members paid off the mortgage in 5 years, a major accomplishment that, at the time, was quite unheard of. It was officially dedicated as the Hamilton Japanese United Church by the late Honourable Mayor Lloyd D. Jackson. At that time, there were two services, one in English and the other in Japanese. Having been the only Japanese United Church in southern Ontario, the outreach program extended to Chatham, London, Niagara and the Japanese Seniors Home in Beamsville. The Sunday School attendance grew so fast, that an extension was built on the rear of the building. It was dedicated in 1970 and was named the Takashi Komiyama Christian Education Centre. Most of the Church’s Ministers were of Japanese descent until recently. Today, the majority of members are fluent in English and the younger members are often inter-married with non-Japanese. We have more recently moved to having just one worship service, all in English, where we gather and celebrate as a united faith community. Our worship is Sunday’s from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and is presided over by Rev. Dr. Lark Kim. Our Sunday School also meets at the same time. Our church is a part of the United Church of Canada and abides by the Church’s guidelines and Manual.
Our church doors are wide open to all who wish to come in and worship with us.