LOSSES DUE TO THE WAR
Due to World War II, Japanese-Americans were scattered all over the United States. Many were hesitant about returning to their former homes because they had lost everything when they left for the relocation camps. Moreover, since churches were closed, many members did not return.

Many young men sent off to war did not come back from the front lines. It is still unknown to what extent the war truly affected the Japanese Christians and churches, as well as the general Japanese-American population. However, there are several areas of losses that can be identified.

First, almost all information regarding prewar church activities was lost. Currently, the Reisei (the monthly bulletin started in February 1922) and the Minutes of the 1938 General Conference are the only existing sources which recount the prewar history of Holiness Church activities. Due to wartime hysteria, families burned documents which they thought might link them with Japan. Many personal belongings, including houses, cars, and furniture had to be sold at giveaway prices. As a result, whatever else could not be stored with friends, was discarded. So it was with the Christians. Most of the church-related documents were lost forever. Fortunately, Eiji Suehiro, a retired Issei minister of the Los Angeles Holiness Church, had saved every issue of the Reisei from its very inception, including the hand written wartime Reisei.

During the postwar period in Japan, especially during the first seven years after the war known as the Seven Golden Years, people gathered together in every church and worship attendance multiplied. On the other hand, due to the exigencies of reestablishing homes and businesses, church attendance among Japanese-Americans suffered. Some churches forced to close during the war never reopened.

The Hilo Church in Hawaii, started by Stephen Haraguchi, was closed due to the war. The Wahiawa Church in Oahu, served by Takeo Shimotori, had already closed in 1940 before the war. The Centerville Church was not reopened. The Modesto Church was a wartime casualty and closed in 1949. Both the San Fernando and the Baldwin Park Churches remained closed until enough people returned from the East. The war brought devastating damage to the churches.

Yasushi Hashimoto did not return to the Holiness Church from the Chicago Special Mission. Most of all, Sadaichi Kuzuhara remained in Chicago and never rejoined the Holiness Conference. During the relocation period, Kuzuhara restarted his ministry in Chicago and founded the Lakeside Christian Church.

The Lakeside Christian Church did not use the Holiness name because many of the members were not from the Holiness Church and they considered the name unacceptable for them. Moreover, a feeling persisted that the theology of the OMS Holiness Church was too radical, even though the OMS Holiness Church was sound and evangelistic in its theology. Thus sensitive to his responsibility as minister of the believers there, Kuzuhara decided to remain in Chicago. Nevertheless, he remained as the Honorary Bishop of the OMS Holiness Church of North America. His new ministry was called the Chicago Special Mission and it enjoyed a fraternal relationship with the Holiness Church of North America.

Not only the churches, but also the church members tread lightly as they adjusted to the postwar years on the West Coast. Since members were busy in starting afresh, it took more than a year to resume pioneer work in both the San Fernando and the Azusa areas. During the recovery period from 1944 to 1950, no new church was pioneered and it took ten years before a new church was established: the West Los Angeles Holiness Church.


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