Who are we?

Pine UMC, acknowledged as the "mother" church of all Japanese American Methodist Churches in the United States, was formally founded in 1886 when Dr. Merriman Harris arrived from Japan, having been appointed Superintendent of the Japanese Missions by the Methodist California Annual Conference. However the true beginnings of Pine UMC can be traced back to the 1870's when a group of young men from Japan began to meet in the basement of the Chinese Mission in San Francisco (at the corner of Washington and Stockton Streets). Under the guidance of Dr. Otis Gibson, then the Superintendent of the Chinese Mission, the young men met regularly to study the Bible and English. In 1877, this small group formed the Japanese Gospel Society or Fukuin Kai. Out of the Japanese Gospel Society evolved not only Pine UMC but all Japanese Christian churches in the United States. This early period is called the Anagura Jidai or "Cellar Days" and launched the history of Pine UMC.


1886 Pine United Methodist Church founded
1892 August: Land for an independent church building was purchased at 1329 Pine Street
1894 Consecration of the new building
1900 Pacific Japanese Mission Conference organized under Methodist California Conference
1909 Moved to 1359 Pine Street
1942-1945 Church closed due to WWII and the forced Internment of 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast
1946 Church doors reopened
1965 Church moves to 426 33rd Avenue, it's present location
1973 Mortgage burning service for the present church
1986 Celebrated 100 Year Anniversary
1994 Church declares itself a "Reconciling Church"
2003 Church becomes a "Sister Church" to Masjed Darussalam Mosque
2006 The CityLight Fellowship is launched
2006 Celebrated 120 Year Anniversary
2014 Celebrated 20 Year Anniversary as a Reconciling Church

And the history of Pine UMC continues...