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Our History

Wesley United Methodist Church was established in 1895 by the evangelical spirit and vision of pioneer Issei (first generation Japanese-American) Christians and the struggles and hopes of immigrant families who had come to farm the rich soil of the Santa Clara Valley.

With a simple faith, sincerely felt and expressed, these early Issei gathered to worship God, to have fellowship, and to nurture each other in Christian love.  In 1913, their sacrifices and labor built the first modest church structure at our present site.  With the help of Christian community workers, they began Church School for the children.  From the church's earliest beginnings, its women organized to provide care and support for almost every aspect of church life.

After World War II, spurred on by a steadily growing congregation, Wesley Church burgeoned with programs and ministries and new facilities.  The Choir was born; lively youth fellowships developed for junior high, high school, and young adult ages; the congregation continued to reach out with mission programs for world hunger, for abused women and children, families of prisoners, and Vietnamese refugees.

In 1952, church members built a Chapel with an entry tower, followed by a Church School building in 1959 and its second floor addition in 1964.  By 1974, our congregation had purchased more land for a parking lot and had completed a large, much needed Fellowship Hall.  And in 1989 construction of the current Sanctuary and Chapel were completed.

Many dedicated ministers of the gospel have served and guided Wesley Church during its history, and our church has influenced and nurtured several of its young members who have chosen to pursue the pastoral ministry. You can find more information in our centennial history book, which can be purchased in the main office.

Today, Wesley Church, in its English-speaking and Japanese-speaking congregations, actively serves and ministers to our community, drawing people together from all parts of the Santa Clara Valley for worship, education, and fellowship.

We rejoice with the energy and activity of our youth groups, Church School, and Young Adult Fellowship.  We find Christian nurture in Bible study groups.  Our activity calendar is filled with youth and adult conferences and camps, the church picnic, family camp;  Aki Matsuri (fall festival) and Mochitsuki (steamed rice making); workshops, discussions, and special speakers.  As Christians, we believe that we are called to a ministry of healing and reconciliation, and Wesley Church strives to be true to its call, reaching out with social concerns programs such as that forthe homeless.  We make our facilities available to senior citizens', educational, service, and cultural groups.

Wesley United Methodist Church seeks to glorify God through a diversity of programs - and all serve as a testimony to the vitality and commitment of our Church in addressing the needs and concerns of our community.

While remaining true to its Japanese heritage, Wesley Church in recent years has become a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-generational church family. All are welcome to worship and fellowship at Wesley, where people of diverse backgrounds seek unity in the common ground based on the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.