Church History


Establishment of the Buddhist religion in this community began in 1907 when area Japanese held services in various homes with visits from Reverend Eitatsu Kudo and Reverend Eikyo Ushio of Sacramento Buddhist Temple. Services were conducted in the homes of Mr. Sekizo Kuroda, Mr. Buichi Watanabe, Mr. Kumazo Murata, Mr. Saiichiro Hiraoka and Mr. Buntaro Nakamura. The practice of holding religious observation in the homes of the faithful continued until a permanent meeting place could be located.

In March of 1908, Buntaro Nakamura went to Sacramento Buddhist Church to request a branch of the Church be established in Marysville. As a result, the Marysville Buddhist Church was officially recognized as such on April 1, 1908. This designation continued until 1930 when the Marysville Buddhist Church became independent.

In 1928 the first formal meeting place was established for the Church. It was a leased building located on the southwest corner of B and 2nd St. in Marysville. Services were conducted monthly at this location until the building was destroyed by fire on July 6, 1930.

The Buddhist community members met on October 14, 1930 to plan the construction of the building to serve as both a Church and Social Hall. The site selected was south of the Marysville Gakuen. Construction began in November 1930 and on April 25, 1931 the Japanese Community Hall was dedicated as Church and Hall with Bishop Masuyama officiating.

The first Buddhist Church cabinet was organized with Mr. Kumaichiro Wada as president on May 1, 1931.

On November 20, 1931, the Fujinkai was founded by the Buddhist women of the community, and was to become the most valuable affiliate. At the time this group was organized with a stipulation that there would not be a president elected, and that it would operate on a toban system. However, when Rev. Chonen Terakawa was appointed the first resident minister in 1936, Mrs. Terakawa became the first Fujinkai president with treasurers Mrs. Ichi Nakamura and Mrs. Tamaru Wada.

On April 3, 1932, Sumire Kai was organized. This group was originally a local Girl’s Club which later became affiliated with the Y.B.A. Three years later, on January 3, 1935, the Young Men’s and Women’s Association was organized for the young people.

In 1934 there was an absence of a resident minister. On October 7, Mr. Mishima arrived to act as assistant minister until a permanent minister was assigned to the church.

Caption: Dedication of Marysville Buddhist Church, Marysville, California, October 23, 1938