HomeCommunity IssuesNBC: Campaign to Save Historic Japanese American Church in Orange County

NBC: Campaign to Save Historic Japanese American Church in Orange County



Japanese Presbyterian ChurchThis story is a great example of the power of the written word.

Mary Urashima started writing a blog this year about the Japanese American Church in Orange County after she learned it was slated for demolition. City Council members formed a committee to look at saving the church after learning about it through Urashima’s blog.

“I would like to see as many buildings as possible preserved,” Mayor Connie Boardman said. “That’s where we need the help of the greater community. We need money, and we need volunteers, ” the mayor told NBC

 Urashima says the land tells the story of the Japanese American pioneer.

“For a long time, Japanese Americans didn’t feel they were worthy. They did not consider their land to be historic,” Urashima said. “This history right here is older than Huntington Beach.”

The church first opened as the Winterburg Japanese Presbyterian Mission in 1904 and was dedicated as the Japanese Presbyterian church in 1934 before being closed down when Japanese Americans were sent to incarceration camps in World War II.

It reopened in 1945 and was identified as an historic cultural landmark in 1973.




  1. We welcome you to learn about our effort to save Historic Wintersburg, the rare Japanese American heritage site mentioned in this post, at http://www.HistoricWintersburg.blogspot.com. Please like our Facebook page to show local officials there is broad support from outside our community, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Historic-Wintersbur…. Although a community effort, we also have a City web page for our task force, http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/i_want_to/give/d
    Thank you, Asian American News!


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