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Japanese Language Group of North Shore Baptist Church Celebrates its 60th

• The North Shore Baptist Church Japanese language Group marked its 60th anniversary on September 28, and other church members got together at the church to celebrate the anniversary.

• The Japanese congregation started on September 26th, 1954 when a group of Issei (the first generation of Japanese Americans) were looking for a place to worship, and North Shore Baptist Church graciously took them in. Since then, Japanese students, business people and others from Japan joined the group, and Issei served home-made Japanese dishes for them after worship. The church became a precious place for them to remember their home.

• Most members remember Rev. Masaru Nambu who served for the congregation from 1959 to 2007, and now Rev. Yuki Scroggins has been serving the group for four years as the fourth pastor.

• At the 60th ceremony, Rev. Scroggins spoke about the significant U.S. history starting in the year of 1954.
• According to Rev. Scroggins, the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed segregation in public schools in 1954. It is known as Brown case - Oliver Brown, an African American welder and a pastor in Kansas, claimed that his daughter should be able to go to a public school nearby their house, instead of having to travel by bus to go to another school.
• On May 17, 1954, U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. It was a starting point for the Civil Rights Movement. At that time, the chief justice was Earl Warren.
• Rev. Scroggins said that ironically chief justice Warren had been the moving force to send 120,000 Japanese Americans to internment camps during WWII when he was first Attorney General and then Governor of California. Warren was one of those who strongly influenced President Roosevelt’s decision to sign Executive Order 9066, which removed Japanese Americans from U.S. society and forced them into the camps.

• She also said, “In a strange twist of history, the Civil Rights Movement is connected to internment camps of Japanese Americans, and I find this very interesting and also it helps me to value God’s presence and provision in history.”

• During the luncheon, which was prepared by the Japanese language group, a Power Point Presentation about the Japanese congregation was displayed.
• After the luncheon, Fukin played nostalgic Japanese music by shakuhachi (a clarinet type of bamboo flute) accompanied by koto (a harp type of Japanese strings).

• The Full story is available in Chicago Shimpo’s October 24th issue.


The members in recent years

A member gathering in unknown year.

A scene from the 60 year celebration