SHINODA, DANIEL
Daniel Shinoda was born on November 22, 1918, in Oakland, California. He was raised in a family of two sisters and six brothers. He graduated from Benjamin Franklin High in Los Angeles in 1935 and from UC Berkeley in 1939, and attended Gordon Theological Seminary in Boston from 1944 to 1945. He also attended Berkeley Baptist Seminary following World War II and finished most of the necessary courses.

Shinoda was led to Christ by his Sunday school teacher at Los Angeles Union Church and was baptized by Rev. Watanabe, Nichigo pastor of the church. Shinoda went to the Los Angeles Holiness Church when he was thirteen years old, and was taught by Eiji Suchiro, who, by example and teaching, nurtured him in the faith.

Shinoda’s parents had been converted to Christ by a pioneer missionary, Lord Buxton, in Tottori-ken in Japan around the turn of the century. Suffering social ostracism and economic loss because of their faith, they had decided to come to the United States in 1912. They both set an example for Daniel and greatly influenced his faith.

Daniel Shinoda married Yuri Shigekawa on March 8, 1941, in Berkeley, California. Her father had been a pioneer Issei pastor in the Japanese Free Methodist Church. She was led to Christ at the Free Methodist summer conference held in Pacific Palisades in the early 1930’s, Yuri was nurtured by missionaries appointed to the Free Methodist Church, since there were no English-speaking Japanese churches prior to the war.

Shinoda and his family voluntarily relocated prior to the evacuation. First they went to Central California in April 1942, then to Blackfoot, Idaho, and finally to Grand Junction, Colorado. It was a difficult transition to become a mere farmhand after having to leave a thriving nursery business. However, it was during this period that Shinoda committed his life to serving the Lord and, consequently, attended Gordon Theological Seminary. Following the war’s end, he returned to run the family business, the San Lorenzo Nursery. He also started the English Division of the San Lorenzo Holiness Church in 1945.

He served the San Lorenzo Church until 1967, establishing a strong family-oriented church. Also during this period, he was instrumental in starting the Berkeley Free Methodist Church (now known as East Bay Free Methodist Church) and was involved with the Berkeley Layman Church from 1950 to 1955. He was able to do this, since the majority of the people in the area were involved in the flower business or farming, which made it difficult to attend Sunday morning services. San Lorenzo did not yet have Sunday morning worship services at that time.

In 1967, Shinoda was assigned to the Santa Clara Valley Japanese Christian Church which he served until 1974. From 1974 to 1977, he served at the Peninsula Free Methodist Church while on loan to the Free Methodist Conference. During that brief ministry he helped the church acquire their first permanent building by purchasing and renovating an old post office building. Then in 1977 Shinoda was assigned to establish a new work in the Walnut Creek area. One of the most exciting and memorable moments of his ministry was the building and dedication of the new educational and office facilities in July of 1987.

In the fall of 1990, Daniel Shinoda retired from the Holiness Conference after an illustrious forty-six year ministry. It was a very unique ministry, for throughout it, Shinoda worked full-time with the San Lorenzo nursery. Additionally, he served on various Conference executive committees and was instrumental in setting up the Conference pension program, among other accomplishments. Shinoda was also one of the original founders of the JEMS and served for many years on the Mt. Hermon Christian Conference Board of Directors. After retirement, he served one year at the San Gabriel Valley Japanese Christian Church as a supervisory pastor from 1991 to 1992. Presently Shinoda is still involved with the San Lorenzo Nursery, while maintaining a deep concern for Conference matters.


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