HISTORY

1940s


Philip & Jane Foxwell arrived in Japan in February 1948 under the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions (IBPFM). Within a year, five additional IBPFM missionaries arrived: John & Jean Young came from Nanking, China in December 1948 and joined the Foxwells in Yokkaichi for evangelism and church planting, while Evelyn Little, Anne Krause, and Anne Wigglesworth settled in Osaka.


The missionaries began moving to Tokyo in 1949 to help begin Tokyo Kirisuto Shingakko (Tokyo Christian Theological Seminary, which two years later became Japan Christian Theological Seminary) in the Horinouchi area of Suginami, Tokyo. Most of the ministers in the eventual Japan Christian Presbyterian Church came from this seminary. Within a year, they added a college division with 17 students.


1950s


The main work of the missionaries was theological training, church planting, and publishing materials. In the early 1950s, Addison & Roz Soltau and Mary Johnson joined the missionary team. In 1957, the first presbytery of the Nihon Kirisuto Choro Kyokai (Japan Christian Presbyterian Church) formed.


1960s


In 1960, the legal and ongoing name of the mission became Nihon Choro Dendo Kai (Japan Presbyterian Mission / JPM). The missionaries joined World Presbyterian Missions. In 1968, the seminary moved to Higashi Kurume, Tokyo along with a housing complex for the missionaries.


1970s


In 1973, with a second presbytery, the General Assembly of the Nihon Kirisuto Choro Kyokai (Japan Christian Presbyterian Church) formed. In 1975, Bruce & Susan Young arrived after language training and went north of Yokkaichi to start a church. In 1977, Stephen & Sarah Young arrived and went south of Yokkaichi to start a church. The work of these two families set the stage for the coming church planting thrust of Mission to the World in Japan.


1980s


In 1980, Japan Christian Theological Seminary moved to Kunitachi and restored its first name, Tokyo Christian Theological Seminary (TCTS). In 1982, the Reformed Presbyterian Evangelical Synod merged with the Presbyterian Church in America, and World Presbyterian Missions merged with Mission to the World. Mission to the World Japan was born! During the 1980s Benson Cain served as JPM’s final TCTS professor. From the mid-1980s, a number of new missionaries came to serve on two church planting teams, in Nagoya (led by Bruce & Susan Young) and in Chiba (led by Dan & Carol Iverson). JPM sold its Higashi Kurume missionary housing property to help fund the teams’ ministries.


In 1983, three Japanese pastors from the Japan Christian Presbyterian approached the Presbyterian Church in America to help them start a new presbytery in Chiba. This team came together at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi and officially started in 1987.


1990s


In 1993, the Nihon Kirisuto Choro Kyoukai united with the Nihon Fukuin Choro Kyokai (Japan Gospel Presbyterian Church) and became the Nihon Choro Kyokai (Presbyterian Church in Japan / PCJ).


2000s


In 2004, the Christ Bible Institute Team started. In 2005, Christ Bible Seminary started, meeting in Nisshin Church in Nagoya. In 2008, the Tokyo Bay Church Planting Team formed.


2010s


In 2011, Christ Bible Seminary moved to their own building in downtown Nagoya. In 2012, Community Arts Tokyo formed, which later became the Community Arts Tokyo Team in 2018. In 2013, the Tokyo Team formed, which became the Tokyo City Church Planting Team in 2019. In 2015, NEXT Asia-Pacific started. In 2019, the Chiba City Church Planting Team started.


2020s


In 2020, Kaihin Makuhari Church Planting Team started.