Reverend Ichibei Honda is our English department pastor. He was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1966, and came to the U.S. at the age of 8 months. He experienced an overwhelming sense of God´s love at a Bible camp in Japan in the summer of 1976. However, it was not until he was at a Mt. Hermon Conference in 1979 that he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Lord.
He was baptized at SDJCC on April 12, 1981. Growing up, he had a clear sense of God′s calling to be in full-time ministry. During his years at the University of California, San Diego, he began to explore the possibilities of tent-making missions work in India. After graduating from UCSD with a BA in Urban Studies and Planning in June 1988, he went to Japan to work. He was then sent to Torrance CA to help start a medical device manufacturing plant. He started attending the South Bay Free Methodist Church and it was there that he met his wife-to-be, Yunike Kawano. Continuing to seek opportunities to minister in India, he went to Eastern College (near Philadelpha, PA) and graduated with a MS in Global Economic Development in 1996. That same year, he was called upon to do simultaneous translation for Dr. Billy Graham in San Jose and through this experience felt God′s calling into an English-Japanese bilingual ministry. He joined the OMS Holiness Conference in 1998 and was ordained as a minister in July 2000. He is married to Yunike and they have 5 children: Timothy, Jonathan, Stephen, Keileina and Phillip. Pastor Ichibei loves to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with whoever is wiling to listen. ____________________________
Reverend Makoto Okura is our Japanese-speaking Department Pastor. He was born in Korea to his Korean father and Japanese mother. When he was only 3 months old, his father passed away. At the age of 2, his mother moved he and his sister to Japan, where he was raised as a pastor′s son. His mother continues to serve in ministry and presently pastors the Yanagawa church in Fukuoka, Japan.
Pastor Okura accepted Jesus as his Savior at the age of 10, and when he was 18, he moved to the United States to study at Tusculum College in Tennessee, graduating with a degree in psychology. He describes himself as a prodigal son during these years. After graduating from college, he traveled throughout China and India to "seek himself". It was during these travels that God spoke to him. He received God´s calling to become a pastor by the Ganges River in India. He later attended and graduated from Tokyo Biblical Seminary. Pastor Okura has a wife, Mika, and 3 children: Kou, Kana and Kei. ____________________________