Los Angeles Holiness Church, c. 1925
Welcome to Our Church
Thank you for your interest in the OMS Holiness Church of North America. We are a conference of churches composed of local fellowships in California, Arizona, and Hawaii. As a congregation, we are moved by Christ's love and compelled through the Good News of God's grace–our highest calling and greatest joy. Our church members are restored by a personal relationship with God, His mercy, and grace through His Son, Jesus Christ. We affirm church members are called and gifted in ministry through the Body of Christ, including pastors whose ministries teach the Word and equip those under their care.
A Brief History:
OMS Holiness Church of North America
The OMS Holiness Church emerged from the Oriental Missionary Society (OMS) in 1901 when American missionaries Charles and Lettie Cowman partnered with Japanese minister Juji Nakada to hold Christian evangelistic meetings in Tokyo, Japan. These meetings led to an organization of churches, which grew and flourished as an association in the Japanese Holiness Church (JHC).
The Japanese Holiness Church movement spread to the United States in the early-1900s, pioneered by a small group of Japanese men and women who came to America in their twenties. Their mission was to witness God to Japanese Issei immigrants and Nisei Japanese Americans. The group's core members were Hatsu Yano, Rev. Joichi George Yahiro, Rev. Goichi Paul Okamoto, Rev. Teru Henry Sakuma, and Rev. Toshio Charles Hirano, sometimes called the "Holiness Five."
In 1921, The Los Angeles Holiness Church was established in a small house in South Central Los Angeles, near Exposition Park and the University of Southern California, as the JHC's first American mission, The Japanese Holiness Church movement flourished during the following two decades, and by 1940, church meetings were happening across the city. The Japanese Holiness Church was one of Southern California's fastest Japanese American church movements, as this period saw ten new Holiness churches established.
The latter half of the 20th Century was a time of transition for the OMS Holiness Church of North America. It evolved as Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans resettled local communities and neighborhoods after mass incarceration in U.S. prison camps during World War II. What began as a Christian movement witnessing and ministering to Japanese-speaking Issei immigrants matured into a conference of churches that represented and pastored Japanese-speaking and English-speaking Japanese American members together.
The OMS Holiness Church of North America continues this multicultural ministry in the present day, maintaining Japanese and English departments in their churches as a vital part of their Christian identity and fellowship. In 1973, the Oriental Missionary Society (OMS) changed its name to the One Mission Society (OMS).
Organized as a conference of churches with local fellowship, the OMS Holiness Church of North America is also affiliated with the Japan Holiness Church One Mission Society and other sisters' Holiness Conferences, such as the Evangelical Holiness Church of Brazil.
In 2021, the OMS Holiness Church of North America celebrated its 100th Anniversary and published a history of its church movement in the United States to commemorate it. The book, 100th Anniversary of the OMS Holiness Church of North America, 1921–2021, is available for $20. Please get in touch with the OMS Kuzuhara Library at email@example.com if you want to buy copies today. The book is available in English and Japanese, and its sale supports our library.
100th Anniversary of the OMS Holiness Church of North America, 1921 – 2021 by the OMS Holiness Church of North America, 2021.
OMS Holiness Church of North America Conference of Churches
The local churches in the OMS Holiness Church of North America conference of churches.