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JAPAN : Church of God Celebrates 60th Anniversary

Church of God leaders in the country of Japan recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Church of God in the Asian country.

On January 14, 1952, NBC’s Today show aired for the first time. On February 7, 1952, Elizabeth was proclaimed Queen of England following the death of her father King George VI. Both winter and summer Olympics were held in 1952, in Olso and Helsinki, respectively. Later that year, General Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected President amid growing Cold War tensions emerging with post WWII Russia.

One key event, however, took place in 1952 that is particularly noteworthy for the Church of God. World Mission missionaries L.E. (Buddy) and Letha Heil traveled by ship to Japan to establish a ministry for the denomination. The legacy impact that they made as pioneers, along with former national leaders such as Overseer Pastor Kazumoto Yatsuzuka, were key sources of celebration during the recent 60th Anniversary of the Church of God Japan.

Church of God Asia Pacific Field Director Ken Anderson and Regional Superintendent Marc Morris, along with representative leaders from fraternal Pentecostal denominations, attended the festivities that included a lavish banquet program on Monday October 7th at the Tokyo Lighthouse Church of God. Current Overseer Eriya Yatsuzuka and his team prepared many months to properly honor their history and to humbly commit themselves to carrying the torch of His light into the future. A special video with overdubbed greetings from Letha Heil, Wayne Heil, Bob and Jeanette Cary and Max M. Morris was shown to the delight of everyone.

During the Sunday afternoon worship celebration of all the churches and pastors, Ken Anderson powerfully encouraged the leaders and members to continue fulfilling the Great Commandment, even to the unreached people groups. At the close, a beautiful charcoal painting of Kazumoto Yatsuzuka was presented to the family and local church in memory of one of the Church of God’s greatest overseas leaders. To God be the Glory, great things He hath done!

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