KIMURA, REN
Yoshikata and Nami Kimura, parents of Ren Kimura, came to San Francisco in the early 1900’s from Japan. Ren was born in Manhattan Beach, California on July 3, 1919, as the second of the three sons born to the family. His parents were saved through Goichi Okamoto’s ministry at Tadahisa Tomita’s cottage meeting in the mid 1920’s.

After receiving Christ at the 1935 Summer Conference in San Diego, he was baptized by Sadaichi Kuzuhara in the San Gabriel River with his brother Shigeru and the Okada brothers. In 1938, after graduating from Redondo Union High School, Ren helped his parents in their prospering flower business. However, with the outbreak of World War II, the Kimuras lost everything when they were sent to the Rohwer Relocation Center in Arkansas.

In camp, greatly influenced by Harper Sakaue’s life and ministry, Ren decided to dedicate his life to the Lord. A year-and-a-half later, Ren went to Robert Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York. He also attended Greenville College in Illinois. After graduation in 1917, Ren returned to the San Fernando Valley to work with his parents. He then went to Asbury Seminary in Kentucky to continue his theological studies. After a year at Asbury, Ren again returned to San Fernando and began a Sunday school at the San Fernando Holiness Group in 1950. He was assigned as an assistant pastor of the church in 1952. He received his bachelor of divinity degree at the California Baptist Theological Seminary in Covina, California in 1953.

At the 1954 Annual Conference at Gilroy Hot Springs, he was ordained with Arthur Tsuncishi and served the San Fernando Church for eight years. In 1962, he went to Japan to study Japanese, but he also had an opportunity to teach English at Aoyama Gakuin University. After his marriage to May Omura in Tokyo, Ren returned to the United States and served the Monrovia Holiness Church for nine years. From 1972 to 1976 he served at the West Los Angeles Holiness Church. During that time, he earned a doctorate degree from the California Graduate School of Theology. In 1976, he was assigned again to the San Fernando Holiness Church. He pastored the church until 1979, during which time he began the West Valley extension ministry in the San Fernando Valley.

Subsequently, he resigned from the Holiness Conference to pastor the new independent work which was named the Japanese Community Christian Church. Four years later, the church became the West Valley United Methodist Church. Upon his retirement, the church conferred on him a Pastor Emeritus status. Through the years his artistic printing skills have assisted many Southland churches, as well as community organizations. He is the Human Resource Director of the San Fernando Valley Japanese Community Center, as well as serving as its Director at one time. The Kimuras, who presently reside in Northridge, California, have three children: Susan, Grace and Paul.

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