Nisei Gospel Church

photograph of group of women, men and children sitting on chairs in rows in a room with wood panels and 3 windows

Members of the Nikkei Gospel Church, Lethbridge, 1953. Left side, right to left – Row 1: Dianne Nago. Row 2: Wally Strom, Reverend Charles Bayley. Row 3: woman with hat Row 4: Reverend Phillip Hatano, Yvonne Okita, Mr. and Mrs. Okita. Row 5: Mr. I. Iwabuchi, Mrs. Iwabuchi, Mr. Tonomura, unidentified, unidentified. Row 6: woman with white collar Row 7: Ray Reinheller, unidentified, Mary Nago, unidentified, Mrs. Ito. Back row looking down: Bill Hoshizaki. Right side, left to right – Row 1: Lynda Nago, Florence Kanashiro, Faye Nago. Row 2: Gladys Going, Nora Kadonaga. Row 3: Mrs. Tonomura. Row 4: Gordon Kogawa, Lillian Kogawa, George Nickel. Row 5: Arnold Dyck, unidentified, Mary Dyck, Edna Bayley. Row 6: Uriah Gingrich, Mrs. Sameshima. Back Row Reverend Nori Kanashiro, Mr. Ito.
Galt Museum & Archives exhibit file

Started in the fall of 1953 to respond to a need for centralized fellowship, studies, and worship among Nisei evangelical Christians. At its inception, the church began meeting weekly at the YMCA and then in the Moose Hall in north Lethbridge, primarily ministering to the Nisei. With a strong membership, the church bought the Bethel Baptist Church building on 5th Avenue North in 1963.

Attendance began to decline throughout the 1960s as members left the region for other work. The church adopted a “community church” philosophy and changed its name to Grace Gospel Church to gain wider community appeal. The church was in existence until 1971 when the building was sold.