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Finding Aid for the West Adams Christian Church Records
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Collection Overview
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The collection consists of documents, photographs, and a small number of three-dimensional artifacts produced or housed by the West Adams Christian Church (formerly the Japanese Christian Church) from its inception in 1908 to the 1970s. During World War II the All People's Church used the Japanese Christian Church's facilities, thereby preserving all pre-war records at the facility. The collections' strengths include Japanese language material from the 1920s-1930s, detailed correspondence and reports on resettlement and the return of church members to the area, and an associated book collection (see 2004.227). In addition to materials produced by the church, newsletters of other churches and local/regional ecumenical organizations were collected and housed in the church's office, and are included in the collection. These include Southern California Japanese Christian Church Federation reports, summer school (held annually at Terminal Island Baptist Church) newsletters and other documents.
In 1904, as part of the Disciples of Christ's ministry to the Issei men living and working near Los Angeles at the turn of the twentieth century, the denomination funded the Japanese Christian Institute which served as temporary housing for immigrants and through which ministers conducted English and Bible lessons. The Institute was supervised by the United Christian Missionary Society, the Disciples of Christ's missions organization. In 1908, the Japanese Christian Church was initiated by a group of Japanese immigrants as part of the Institute's outreach activities. The first Japanese pastor, Teizo Kawai, was invited in 1909 from Japan and the Institute and church moved to 936 Wall Street in 1911. By this time, the Institute was also conducting kindergarten classes for children and sewing classes for women.
16 linear feet
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in this collection must be submitted to the Collections Management and Access department at the Japanese American National Museum (collections@janm.org).
By appointment only. Please contact the Collections Management and Access department by email (collections@janm.org) or telephone (213-830-5623).