Welcome to Sendai Evangelical Free Church’s official website! We are really grateful for your visit. Here we introduce our vision, gatherings with timetable and many bible messages including voice sermons (Japanese only). Our church does not basically have English service yet, however, if you are willing to come to our church, we will sincerely welcome you!
Development of SEFC
SEFC is one of the church belongs to Evangelical Free Church of Japan (EFCJ). EFCJ is consist of over 70 churchs and their first church is Urawa EFC. SEFC has been developed as memorial mission as EFCJ’s 40th anniversary. It was decided on Domestic Mission Committee of EFCJ that they would sent pastor Yoshida family, former Higashi-Ohmiya EFC’s pastor, as domestic missionary to Sendai church’s development in 1989. Also Stan & Joyce Conrad and Berra Lau had been sent from Evangelical Free Church Mission of Japan (EFCMJ, now ReachGlobal of EFCA) at the time the mission had started.
By Lord’s blessing, SEFC got over 400% growth in first 4 years of development. In 1995, SEFC has started Furukawa development with Bowman family, the missionary from EFCMJ. After gigantic earthquake of east Japan in 2011, SEFC has started supporting activities for survivors around coast area of Miyagi prefecture. As a result of these activties, SEFC again started new church planting in Ishinomaki, the 2nd largest city in Miyagi in 2014.
Where is Sendai?
Sendai is the largest city in Tohoku area, the north eastern part of Japan. Sendai is also a capital of Miyagi prefecture. Sendai has about 1.08 millions population, this is 11th biggest city in Japan. It takes 2 hours by Shinkansen(super express) , 6 hours by car from Tokyo, the capital of Japan. (see map1)
Sendai’s industrial structure is mainly composed by services, transport and education. For example, large suburban shopping mall, food manufacturing factory, junction port and many high education school such as Tohoku university, the 2nd oldest national university of Japan.
Sendai is also famous for the city which was made by ‘Masamune Date’, well known military commander in the age of civil war period (16th century) of Japan. From 16th century to present day, Sendai has been developed as an entrance of Tohoku area.
“Tohoku” means “north east” in Japanese. Tohoku area is composed of 6 prefectures, Aomori, Iwate, Akita, Yamagata, Miyagi and Fukushima.(see map2) Major industry of Tohoku is agriculture such as rice, apple, cherry and so on. As you can see the naming, Tohoku is colder than south part of Japan. It falls large amount of snow in west half of Tohoku such as 5m to 10m in total in winter season. On coldest day, it drop under -10 degree Celsius even in Miyagi, relatively warmer place in Tohoku.
Mission in Tohoku
On ministry condition, major portions of Christians live in urban area in Tohoku. Because people lives in Tohoku area has a strong unity with their local community. You can see mini shrine here and there if you go to countryside in Tohoku. Though they don’t believe deeply in those icons, it is their ancestral legacy. It is hard to missionize these people because they are bounded by such legacy. So, most churches in Tohoku has only 10 to 20 attendance in average. In Sendai city, mission is litte bit easier than other place. There are over 100 churches in Sendai and about 5,000 people is a Christian.
Pastor Kouzou YOSHIDA
He was born as youngest(fourth) son at Hatogaya, Saitama in 1951. He graduated Saitama prefecture’s Urawa-Nishi high school and faculty of economy of Saitama University. He was baptized in term of college student and stepped into Japan Bible Seminary soon after graduation. After 2 years intern period, he became Katayanagi EFC’s associate pastor in 1978. Next, he was engaged to Higashi-Ohmiya EFC’s pastor in 1980. In his works of HEFC, he was called to Sendai EFC development as domestic missionary in 1989. Sendai EFC called him up as pastor in 1992 and his works up to now. He wrote “The twenty-one Bible messages giving you changes” (Japanese; Word of Life Ministry Press). He is a father of a son and 3 daughters.
Cooperative Pastor Nobumoto KURIHARA
He was born as the youngest son in Tochigi in 1944. His home is Japanese pickles maker. He graduated Tochigi High-School, Doshisha University. In his college days, he was bapterzied. Then he entered Japan Bible Seminary. In 1972, he became a pastor and seved at Hatogaya, Kuki and Nagareyama. During this period, he had also served three years at Batu Seminary in Indonesia. He stated minstering for Furukawa EFC in April, 2004. In April of 2012, he became Cooprative pastor of Sendai EFC. His hobbies are golf, making a smoked fish, journaling on hot springs, trecking and cultivation of vegetables.
First Sunday Service Sunday 8:30-9:40
The earliest service suitable for house wives, and people who has plan in the afternoon. Average attendance is 35 people. There is offering time (voluntary).
Second Sunday Service Sunday 10:30-12:00
The largest service. Average attendance is 70 people. Sermon is same as first service. In the middle of the service, kids service started in education center beside chapel, so this service is suitable for family attendee. There is offering time (voluntary). After the service, there is a program for youths.
Kid’s Service Sunday 10:45-11:30
This service is held in education center (‘Olive-kan’) beside the chapel. Worship time and bible message for kids. After the service, church school begins.
Youth Group (JYLC） Sunday 12:00-13:00
After the second service, youth program start at education center. Worship with guitar, sharing and chatting for youth, also birthday celebration and summer camp.
Video Service Sunday 16:30-17:40
Service for who can not attend first or second service. The recorded video of 2nd service is projected on screen. Average attendance is 3 to 5.
Morning Part Wednesday 10:30-12:15
It is morning on ordinary day, mainly women attend this meeting. Start with worship songs and bible message, spread for small groups (two or three each) for sharing prayer requests, and then pray for each, church and local community. Average attendance is about ten persons. After the prayer, potluck-syle lunch is offered.
Evening Part Wednesday 19:30-21:15
Evening prayer meeting for working person and college students. The program is same as morning’s. Average attendance is three to five.
Sharon Gathering Every 2nd friday 10:30-12:30
Women’s gatherings learning human relationships from the bible. It has been held over hundred times and about 30 to 40 persons attended. Occasionally guest musician’s concert and gueat speaker’s seminar are planned. Each messages have been summarized and some of these were published as “The bible messages changing You” (World of Life publishing, 1999).
Friday Gathering Every Friday 10:30-12:00
For the beginners who want to learn or question about the bible. Everyone is welcomed. On second friday it doesn’t open due to Sharon Gathering above.
Waku-waku Saturday Club Every 4th Saturday 13:30-15:30
For infants and elementary kids. Main program varies for each month, for example, making pizzas, cake, icecream and experiencing “Sado” (Japanese tea pouring). Also short bible message and singing worship songs. Every children can enjoy those.
Simon Gathering Every 4th Friday 19:00-21:00
For working men. Chatting, sharing and listening a message from the bible. Also snacks and coffee. Every working or retired men are welcomed.
Patchwork class Every Monday 10:00-14:00
For women who are intereted in kilting and hand craft. One of the church member who had learned kilting in America teach for attendance. Some of their works are displayed inside the church. Also chapel time (short bible message) and lunch. Beginners are always welcomed.
Olive Bible School Every 2nd Tuesday 10:30-12:00
Rev. Nobumoto Kurihara (Cooperative Pastor of SEFC) widely teaches biblical theology, church history and history of Chritianity in Tohoku. Rev. Kurihara had taught theology at the seminary in Indonesia. Beginners who are interested in the bible are welcomed.