A Historical Day for the Adventist Church in Korea


April 3, 2011, Japan

The Seventh-day Adventist Yongsan Japanese Church (not yet organized as church) was officially opened at the 3rd floor of a building in Yongsan, Seoul, Korea on March 5 (Sabbath), 2011 by the hard work of Pastor Harutsugu Ogawa’s family, Japanese Pioneer Mission Movement (PMM) missionaries from Japan to Korea in the past 5 years. This is a historical day for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Korea to open a Japanese church first time though there has been a “Japanese Language Church” in Seoul.

There was a special church service in the morning.  The three Japanese pastors and their spouses in the office of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD) except one pastor attended to Yongsan Japanese Church from the Sabbath School.  Although the name is the “Japanese Church,” the Korean people who are able to listen and to speak Japanese are also coming to this church.  Thus, during the Sabbath School Study Guide hour, there were Japanese, Korean, and children classes in the different rooms.

Dr. Tadaomi Shinmyo, NSD acting associate secretary, preached in the church service under the topic “God’s Blessing and Human Obedience” and encouraged the congregation to be faithful to God who is always ready to bless His people.  Brother Na, Young Bon was translator from Japanese into Korean language for the Korean people. There were 24 people including children who joined the church service in the morning. The lunch time was another joyful occasion to communicate with fellow believers.  There were a variety of delicious foods and all enjoyed them.

Then, the official opening ceremony of the Japanese church was conducted from 3:30 pm by getting many significant church leaders and lay people in the chapel.  Pastor Ogawa resided the service with Professor Kim, Soo Ho of Sahmyook University (SY) as translator till 5:00 pm. Pastor Moon, Chi Yang,  president of the East Central Korean Conference (ECKC), made a congratulatory speech.  Pastor Yutaka Inada, secretary of the Japan Union Conference (JUC) made a thankful message to the representatives from the Korean Union Conference (KUC) and NSD whose organizations have supported the missionary work for Pastor Ogawa on behalf of the JUC. After the special song by Miss Kim, Ji Hae, SY student, Dr. Akeri Suzuki, NSD secretary, preached how God has been merciful and faithful to him and his family members.  He appealed the congregation to follow this God continuously. All participants must have been touched by his message. Pastor Hwang, Chun Kwang, ministerial secretary of the KUC, gave the closing prayer.

Professor Kim has helped Pastor Ogawa in many ways in the past years with his wife and three daughters.  Professor Kim’s wife intentionally attends to this Japanese church regularly to assist the Ogawa family.

Miss Tomomi Amao, a Japanese language teacher, wrote, “I am very happy to witness that the former Kangnam Japanese Language Church (not yet organized as church) became independent as the Yongsan Japanese Church.  I was baptized through the Kangnam Japanese Language Church four years ago.”  Mrs. Tomoko Ogawa, pastor’s wife, says, “Our five years missionary life has not been always easy.  However, as we review the past, we can always witness that there is the Lord Jesus with us.  May the Lord be only glorified.”  Pastor Ogawa comments as follows: “I want to go forward to do the missionary work with prayer for Koreans learning Japanese and for Japanese living in Korea.  I believe in the Lord who will show His grace and blessing to us and will give us many souls.  Further, I believe in and work for that from here a lot of true disciples will be raised up and they will depart here for their missionary work.”

A desire to establish a Japanese church in Seoul became reality by the great effort of the ECKC as well as the KUC and JUC.  All attendants pray that this church will be an agency used by God to lead as many as Japanese and Koreans in Seoul area through Pastor Ogawa’s dedicated ministries.