TRANSITION PERIOD OF THE HOLINESS CHURCH: 1945 TO 1962
Although the war continued in the Pacific, on January 2, 1945, Executive Order 9066 which authorized the forced removal of all Japanese-Americans from the West Coast, was rescinded. The Jerome Relocation Camp was the first to be closed on June 30, 1944, Its 5,000 remaining internees were sent to other camps, many to nearby Rohwer. Tule Lake was the last camp to be closed on March 20, 1946.

[The first General Conference after the war in August 1946]

Knowing the urgent need for shelter among those returning from the relocation camps, most of the Christian churches, including the Los Angeles Holiness Church, opened their doors to the returnees. With the help of American churches, the Southern California Church Federation decided to open every church door to the returnees. One of the first and largest hostels was opened in Boyle Heights and was called the Evergreen Hostel. It had the capacity to hold 150 people and was coordinated by the Friends church. Father Lavery of Maryknoll Catholic Church and Herbert Nicholson, a Friends missionary, were among those who greatly assisted the returning Japanese.

Not all Christian churches were open to returnees. An incident was cited in which a Methodist minister rejected Issei returnees for fear of what others might think. The Salvation Army also did not welcome the Issei; as a result, many returnees harbored ill feelings toward Christians. In March 1945, George Yahiro returned to Los Angeles from the Granada Relocation Camp to reopen the church. He wrote about his experiences at that time:

I returned to my home in March 1945. The Los Angeles Church building had been rented to Indians, so meetings could not be held there. Both the 35th Street and the 28th Street parsonages were also rented. I had to ask my American Christian friend if I could stay at his house. To support myself, I began to work as a gardener. As time passed, the church facility and parsonages were vacated one by one, so we began prayer meetings first. A building next door to the church and belonging to another denomination was vacant, so we rented it as a hostel for returning evacuees. As membership increased we began Sunday worship services and home meetings (Suehiro 1972:150).

The hostel was called the Holiness Hostel and remained open until January 1949. Holiness church members, including the Kimuras and Kuwaharas, rented rooms there until they found permanent places to live. Marian Kadomatsu, a member of the English Department of the Los Angeles Holiness Church, also wrote about her experiences:

In September 1945, my husband, Masao, was then a language instructor with the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Language School, at Fort Snelling, Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was employed by the Federal Government, War Relocation Authority, in Minneapolis, in a secretarial position. I assisted evacuees from the various relocation centers with finding employment and housing in that area. When we were informed that my parents and family had to leave Manzanar, we immediately returned to Los Angeles to help my family find housing and establish themselves in the Los Angeles area. My father soon had a gardening route and was able to buy a car, thus allowing them to resume their membership in the Los Angeles Church sometime in 1945 or 1946, I believe. Meanwhile, Masao and I returned to Minneapolis with our six-months-old daughter, Patrice.

This period can be described as a time of transition within the Church from the Issei, who spoke primarily Japanese, to the Nisei, who were more comfortable speaking English—or from the Japanese language division to the English language division. By the end of this period, although the Japanese division worship attendance was larger, the English division began to surpass them in the area of finances. It is apparent that with the maturation of the Nisei generation, a new period had come to the Holiness Conference as well as for all Nikkei churches. The transition from the predominance of the Japanese division to that of the English division is shown in Table 14.

This transitional period was marked with the implementation of new organizational structures spearheaded by the Nisei leadership. A major change was witnessed by the adoption of a new Constitution and By-laws at the 1954 General Conference. The significance of this change was for a more democratic form of government in the Conference. In the prior setup, the Bishop was the sole authority in making major decisions, e.g., in the stationing of pastors at various churches. At the 1958 General Conference, a committee system with a representative form of government was unanimously accepted. In 1960, in conjunction with World-wide Communion Sunday, the first Sunday of October was set aside also as Conference Extension Sunday to encourage new work. During this period a medical insurance program for pastors was instituted, while in 1962 a pension program for pastors was created.

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