CHRISTIAN ACTIVITIES IN THE CAMPS
In each camp, churches were established which developed their own activities. They published weekly bulletins, held special evangelistic meetings and New Year's conventions, and conducted regular prayer meetings and Sunday worship services.

Table 12 describes the number of Holiness members, as well as the number of other Protestant ministers (by denominational background) in each camp. It also reveals that the ministers were randomly assigned to each relocation center, so that the ratio of Christian ministers to camp population varied greatly. In Granada, the ratio of ministers to the camp population was 1 to 500, while in the Rohwer and the Jerome Relocation Camps it was 1 to 1,400. Also, the denominational background of the ministers was not considered when the government assigned them to various camps. In Granada, thirty-eight Holiness families lived with five Holiness ministers, while in Heart Mountain there were seventeen Holiness families with no Holiness minister.

Table 13 lists the 1943 location of each Holiness minister. Although Sadaichi Kuzuhara, Yasushi Hashimoto and Akira Kuroda were sent to the Amache Relocation Center, they subsequently moved to Chicago and began ministries there. Akira Kuroda first graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, before going to McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago from 1943 to 1947.

Sadaichi Kuzuhara with his son, Chiaki, went to Chicago where two leading members of the Los Angeles Holiness Church, Dr. Tomojiro Yoshida and Takuji Matsuo, had relocated during the free-will evacuation period and were awaiting their arrival. In Chicago, these dedicated laymen performed pioneer work along with other Los Angeles Holiness Church members such as the Okada and Yakura families. Dr. Yoshida opened his home for the church's activities. Kuzuhara’s first ministry in Chicago began with about fifteen in attendance.

[Rohwer Federated Christian Church; Rev. George yahiro, Mrs. masako Kabashima, Mrs. Nami Kimura]
At Heart Mountain, the majority of evacuees were from the Los Angeles area, with others from Northern California as well as from Washington. Two Christian assemblies operated in the center. One was in Building 22 where regular Christian activities were held. Ten ministers in all were there, both English and Japanese-speaking. The other involved a handful of laymen who met in Building 9 for daily early morning prayer meetings. Although no Holiness pastor was present in this center, several, including Sadaichi Kuzuhara and Waichi Suehiro visited there encouraging the Holiness members.

At Rohwer, the first thing many Christians did was to organize a federated church. The group included Baptists, Methodists and others in a cooperative ministry. The Camp Administration provided one barrack for the Protestant Church and another for the Buddhist Church. Within the one-mile-square camp, Sunday schools were held in various barracks. Evangelism was prominent. Upwards of three hundred worshippers attended the English-speaking services each Sunday. Harper Sakaue was the only Nisei minister serving alongside six Japanese-speaking ministers in the Federated Church. Only the Holiness and the Free Methodist groups held their own separate services. Traditionally, the Holiness Church has always been somewhat isolated over theological issues.

The Rohwer Federated Christian Church maintained close contact with the Nisei Servicemen wherever they were serving. Ministering to the survivors of the Nisei men who died in the service was one of the ministries of comfort which the ministers of the Rohwer Christian Church performed in such times of great need. One of the most illustrious servicemen to come out of the Rohwer Christian Church was George Aki, a Congregational minister, who served as a chaplain in the United States Army with the famous 442nd Regimental Combat Team in the battlefields of Italy and France. He held the rank of Colonel (Kimura 1973:145).

[Rohwer Church's Sunday school; Rev. Sakaue at the rear]

At Poston, there was a Christian church in each of the three camps (There were three separate camps at Poston: I, II, III). Twenty-four ministers, the largest number gathered in any relocation center, took turns preaching. Tameichi Okimoto and Kanichi Niizato were the Issei Holiness evangelists located there. Okimoto served as a secretary at the church in Poston III. He was also the coordinator for all of the Holiness ministers scattered in the various camps.

At Poston III, two services were held for the convenience of the worshippers; however, everyone gathered together once each month. They published a weekly bulletin, drafted a Constitution, held special evangelistic meetings whenever they had an outside guest, and organized a New Year’s convention. In other words, church activities were very similar to the ones they held outside of the barbed wires. Once when the blind evangelist Kanichi Niizato spoke, more than 600 gathered to hear him.

At Manzanar, there were three Christian assemblies, seven Sunday school meetings, three prayer meetings, and three home meetings. Ten ministers presided over these activities. Although no Holiness ministers were sent to this camp, three families from the Los Angeles Holiness Church were interned there. The Holiness members held their meetings in conjunction with the Free Methodist Church, as did others in other relocation centers. In the fall of 1943, a mass evangelistic meeting was held and 1,200 people gathered at the Sunday morning service. That number represented twelve percent of the entire camp population, a response which the Christians had never expected. Upon leaving Manzanar, the Tadahisa Tomita and Motaro Kato families returned to the Los Angeles Holiness Church.

[In front of the Granada (Amache) Federated Christian Church]

At the Granada (Amache) Relocation Center, the largest number of Holiness members were gathered, including ministers Sadaichi Kuzuhara, George Yahiro, Akira Kuroda, and Yasushi Hashimoto. According to the February 1944 address book of these Holiness church members, twenty-four families and twenty-one individuals had settled there. Eventually ten families and thirty individuals relocated to the Midwestern States. In 1943, Sadaichi Kuzuhara resumed his ministry in Chicago where former Los Angeles Holiness Church members were laying a foundation. The church became the Lakeside Christian Church.

[Granada (Amache) Church Ministers: Kuzuhara, Hashimoto, Kuroda, Yahiro]

It was a tumultuous time for Japanese-Americans who had been uprooted so abruptly from their rather tranquil lives to be placed in internment camps. Christians as well as non-Christians suffered immeasurably. But in spite of the indignity, positive testimonies were shared by Christians. Gunsaku Kuwahara, a Los Angeles Holiness Church member, said that the three-plus years of his life he spent in the camp were like a vacation for the Lord; for the time provided him a unique opportunity to evangelize his fellow Japanese. Nami Kimura, a former San Fernando Holiness Church member, said that everything she saw—trees, drops of rain, and snow—seemed brilliant under the sun. Even though she was incarcerated in a camp, having lost everything in the war, she was very thankful and happy to be a Christian.

In every center, Christmas celebrations were also memorable. American Christians generously by sending thousands of Christmas gifts to every relocation center. A quote from The Rohwer Outpost of December 26, 1942 notes:

[The Granada (Amache) Federated Christian Church]

The merry childish laughter and the strains of Christmas carols will flow through the Center more cheerfully than anticipated this Christmas because Santa Claus will come to distribute over 3,500 gifts to the children. In these gifts, the significant faith in our community and trust in our belief that we are Americans are full (Suzuki 1977:42).

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