SAKUMA, TERU HENRY
Henry Sakuma was born in Chiba-ken, Japan, on May 26, 1900 and came to the United States when he was about eighteen years of age. Like many new immigrants, he became a schoolboy upon his arrival.

As written in the section of the Holiness Experience of the early converts in Chapter One, he was not certain of his salvation experience until the Holy Spirit convicted him of his sins. Although he had earlier repented of his sins and had become a born again Christian, he was still troubled by what he perceived in his own heart. At a prayer meeting the Holy Spirit spoke to him from scriptures like Romans 10:10. “If you confess with your lips...and believe in your heart...you will be saved.” He received further assurance from the words of Jesus in Matthew 9:2: “Take heart, my son: your sins are forgiven.” However, still bothered by unresolved anger toward the others, the words of Paul, “Oh, what a wretched man I am!” became his own as well. He recalled the words of Ugo Nakada who had said, “We, Christians, still need to be cleaned from our sinfulness by the blood of Christ by the Holy Spirit.” Suddenly realizing his need of the power of the Holy Spirit to cleanse him of his sinfulness, he went to a friend’s house for prayer. After much fervent prayer, believing that the blood of Christ had cleansed him completely, a whole new life opened up to him. At last, he was able to escape his sinful life.

In June 1927, Sakuma graduated from the Huntington Park Training School with Goichi Okamoto. Working as gardeners, together they helped to support the Kuzuhara family, as well as church needs. The following year Sakuma was appointed to the Modesto Holiness Church succeeding Goichi Okamoto, who had returned to Japan.

In 1930, he went to Japan and married Matsuko Yasufuku, who had been introduced to him by Bishop Nakada at the Tama Holiness Church in Okayama. Matsuko was born in Taiwan of Christian parents, but attended the Osaka Women's School. Soon their only child, Megumi Grace, was born.

On January 21, 1934, Sakuma was assigned to the San Lorenzo Holiness Church. Then in May 1938, he was appointed to the San Fernando Holiness Church and later began to serve at Baldwin Park as well. In 1940, he was assigned to the Seattle Holiness Church.

When World War II broke out, the Sakuma family was sent to the Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho. In 1945, they relocated to Chicago where Sadaichi Kuzuhara was already serving among the evacuees. While working as a gardener, Sakuma began pioneer work in the Chicago southside, renting a Nazarene church for services. Later, the rented church became the Chicago Holiness Church. Then in 1963, Sakuma returned to the San Lorenzo Church. He served there for ten years until Yuichiro Nakano arrived from Japan to replace him.

After a fifty-three year association with the Holiness Conference, and as one of the original founders, Henry Sakuma retired in 1973. In retirement, he assisted the Santa Clara Nichigobu for a few years before moving to Wheeling, Illinois with his wife. On October 16, 1,992, at the age of ninety-two, Henry Sakuma passed away. Services were conducted at the Lakeside Christian Church.


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