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Inventory of the Gordan K. Chapman: Protestant Church Commission for Japanese Service Collection
GTU 2002-9-01  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography/Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Gordon K. Chapman: Protestant Church Commission for Japanese Service
    Dates: 1941-1947
    Collection number: GTU 2002-9-01
    Collector: Chapman, Gordon K.
    Collection Size: 1 box

    1 linear ft.
    Repository: The Graduate Theological Union. Library.
    Berkeley, CA 94709
    Abstract: The Protestant Church Commission for Japanese Service was set-up in response to Executive Order 9066 ordering all Japanese-American citizens and aliens evacuated from the U.S. West Coast and relocated to centers in the interior. The Commission acted as a conduit of information among the camp churches, various denominational headquarters, and the wider American culture. Toward the end of the War, the Commission's main activity was to aid returning evacuees, clergy in resuming their interrupted ministries, and lay people with their lives. Gordon K. Chapman, a Presbyterian minister with extensive Japanese missionary experience, was the Executive Director from start to finish.
    Physical location: Shelf Location 5/I/3
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Graduate Theological Union as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    Gordon K. Chapman: Protestant Church Commission for Japanese Service, GTU 2002-9-01. Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.

    Acquisition Information

    Received in 2000 as part of the Lester Suzuki Collection (GTU 2000-11-02).

    Biography/Administrative History

    The Protestant Church Commission for Japanese Service was set up in response to Executive Order 9066 ordering all Japanese-American citizens and aliens evacuated from the U.S. West Coast and relocated to centers in the interior. It was first named the Western Area Protestant Church Commission for Wartime Japanese Service. The majority of the members were Protestant ministers who had served as missionaries in Japan for considerable amounts of time, several from about 1900 on.
    The Commission was headquartered in Berkeley, California, for the first few months during 1941-42. It then moved to San Francisco. As the government evacuation orders were being enforced, Japanese and Japanese-American ministers, working with their congregations in the assembly centers (transit camps), appealed to their Caucasian colleagues for assistance. The Commission was formed for the purpose of assisting the Japanese and Japanese-American ministers with their pastoral duties in the relocation centers (commonly know as camps).
    The U.S. War Relocation Authority authorized church activities, but would give no monetary or material assistance. As the internees were relocated from the assembly centers to the camps, various Protestant churches and denominations came together to lend assistance. These activities included: 1) staffing stationary camp churches, 2) designing and building churches, 3) setting up preaching missions to the camp churches, 4) assisting returning missionaries from Japan to seek employment in the camp churches, or with the WRA as teachers or social workers, 5) setting up denominational conferences for ministers in the camps, and 6) other activities such as funding drives, and providing Bibles and other religious tracts.
    As the War continued, the Commission acted as a conduit of information among the camp churches, various denominational headquarters, and the wider American culture. Toward the end of the War, the Commission's main activity was to aid returning evacuees, clergy in resuming their interrupted ministries, lay people their lives. Discussions centered on whether or not it was better for returnees to be integrated as members of the local congregations or form separate ethnic congregations as they had been prior to the War. During the spring and summer of 1945 as the camps were being emptied, the Commission recruited divinity students as volunteers to minister to the dwindling numbers of internees. The Commission ceased operation in late 1945.
    Gordon K. Chapman, a Presbyterian minister with extensive Japanese missionary experience, was the Executive Director from start to finish. There was one paid secretary. All expenses were borne by the various Protestant Churches through monetary allocations, in-kind loan of ministers, or sponsoring fund raising activities.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Protestant Church Commission for Japanese Service was set-up in response to Executive Order 9066 ordering all Japanese-American citizens and aliens evacuated from the U.S. West Coast and relocated to centers in the interior. The Commission acted as a conduit of information among the camp churches, various denominational headquarters, and the wider American culture. Toward the end of the War, the Commission's main activity was to aid returning evacuees, clergy in resuming their interrupted ministries, and lay people with their lives. Gordon K. Chapman, a Presbyterian minister with extensive Japanese missionary experience, was the Executive Director from start to finish.
    Mrs. Lester Suzuki, donor of the Lester Suzuki Collection reported that Gordon Chapman gave the collection to Rev. Suzuki when Suzuki was working on his Doctor of Ministry thesis, Ministry in the Japanese Assembly Centers and Relocation Centers of World War II (San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, CA, 1975). The thesis was later published: Ministry in the Assembly and Relocation Centers of World War II (Berkeley, Calif.: Yardbird Publishing Co., 1979), GTU Library Call No. BR563 J35 S89.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Japanese Americans--Evacuation and Relocation, 1942-1945--History--Sources
    Japanese Americans--Evacuation and Relocation, 1942-1945--Churches
    Church Work with Asian Americans--History--Sources
    Japanese Americans--Religious life
    Bovenkerk, Henry George, 1904-
    Burnett, Clyde J.
    Cobb, John B.
    Evans, Elizabeth M.
    Fisher, Galen Merriam, 1873-1955
    Fisher, Royal H.
    French, Holland
    Gillett, Clarence S.
    Hawes, Hampton B.
    Hannaford, Howard Dunlop, 1887-1973
    Long, Ward Willis, 1880-
    Noble, Douglas W.
    Reifsnider, Charles S.
    Smith, Frank Herron
    Sugioka, James
    Unoura, Kijiro
    Wickizer, Willard, M., 1899-1974

    Related Material

    Note

    Related Collections in the Graduate Theological Union Archives
    • J. Stillson Judah: Japanese Camp Books Collection, GTU 2001-3-01.
    • Japanese-American Internment Camp Worship Bulletins and Newsletters Collection, GTU 94-9-02.
    • The Sunday Before: Sermons by Pacific Coast Pastors of the Japanese Race on the Sunday Before Evacuation to Assembly Centers in the Late Spring of 1942, GTU 97-5-02.

    Note

    Related Collection at the University of California at Los Angeles
    • The Clarence Gillett Papers, 1942-45, Collection number 130, UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections, Manuscripts Division.