Aug 062020

mary taylor

Missionary Mary Taylor was sent to Japan by Bethel Temple in 1950. She started a  church in Hamura City. There she met a Korean Christian (named) Chin, who introduced her to Tamura-san, who was also living in the Mizuho area, close to Mary’s house. So, Mary began home meetings at Tamura-san’s house. At one of these meetings, Pastor Megumi Tanabe was saved upon hearing the scripture, “I am the light of the world.” She was 30 years old. Since then Pastor Tanabe preached the gospel with missionary Taylor. She was involved in Japan missions from 1950 to 1953.

Missionary Mary Taylor preached Jesus with unconditional love of God to the Japanese people who were living in the devastation after World War II. Despite living in poverty, she voluntarily continued street evangelism for the sake of the gospel. She was the instrument of God’s love, giving up her dream to become an actress, and giving herself fully to God as a missionary for Japan.

askewsAfter her, missionaries Manfred and Hope Askew came to Japan from Bethel Temple. The foundation of the church was established by the couple and the buildings of the church and the kindergarten were completed in 1955. Christian education for young children was started in Mizuho are at that time.

The Askews utilized tents set up on unused land for their evangelical meetings. Many people attended these meetings. Many of these people were spiritually very hungry, and they would gather in the church without being called.

Mr. and Mrs. Askew’s oldest son Donald, who later died in a car accident, and Mitsuyasu Fujita, a future pastor (and currently pastor of Next Town Mission of Japan), were saved at these meetings. Their oldest daughter, Ruth Naomi Askew-Edwards, got married and is presently living in the US state of Texas.

nozomi kindergartenMizuho Nozomi Kindergarten, which was built on the church property, has seen more than 1,463 children pass through its doors since 1955. The name “Nozomi”, which means “Hope” in Japanese, was adopted from Hope M. Askew’s name. Tanabe-sensei is pictured here second from right.

Mizuho (Bethel) Christ Church celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2010. The old buildings, including the kindergarten and the church, were torn down, and a new church incorporating a kindergarten was built.

Below is a picture of the original Mizuho (Bethel ) Christ Church building and congregation in the 1950s.

mizuho bethel 2

(Japanese) webpage address for Mizuho Nozomi Kindergarten

(Japanese) Facebook address for Mizuho Nozomi Kindergarten:瑞穂のぞみ幼稚園/142610209139452

Source: Japan Bethel Mission History

 Posted by at 5:24 AM
Nov 232019

Pastor Doug McMurray went home to be with the Lord on November 17, 2019  in Vancouver, WA. He was 77 years old. He leaves behind his wife, Sandy, and his children and grandchildren.  

Doug evangelized in the northern states and pastored five churches. In spite of an enlarged heart, with a heart murmur (leaky valve) due to having had rheumatic fever in his youth, he led a very active life filled with effort and zeal. He had numerous friends in many cities. About a month ago he was able to visit Oak Point Community Church in Longview, WA where he pastored for five years. 

According to Doug’s wife, Sandy, funeral services will be held on Friday, December 6th at 4:00 p.m. at the Holiness Campground on Covington Road in Vancouver, WA. 

Sandy related, “There will be lots of live music and a potluck afterwards; just what Doug asked for. A wonderful happy Graduation Day. Hope to see you there.” 

 Posted by at 6:40 AM
Feb 202019
Bible scholar and theologian
Kevin John Conner passes away at 92

Bethel Fellowship has been notified by Australia’s CityLife Church Executive Minister Peter LEIGH of the passing of Bible teacher and theologian Kevin Conner in the following obituary. We will also add the weblink address to Kevin Conner’s website where more details are listed.

Bethel Fellowship International sends condolences of comfort and peace to the extended Conner Family. Please pray . . .

. . . the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep the Conner Family’s  hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.

Kevin John Conner, a hero of our Christian faith, a great man of God, and our second Senior Minister (1986-1995) passed away peacefully yesterday (18th February 2019) at age 92.

He lived a full life, inspired others with his knowledge of the Scriptures and imparted a love for God and His Word.  He touched many lives through his teaching and with his humble and faithful example as a servant leader. Kevin was a much loved pastor and teacher and will be remembered as having strengthened our faith and understanding of what it means to be the church.

Kevin was not only dedicated to the local church, he was recognized widely around the world as a teaching-apostle and was highly sought after as a teacher in Bible Colleges and a speaker at churches and conferences.  A great legacy is the many textbooks he has written which have been translated in multiple languages and are used by ministers and students throughout the world.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Kevin’s daughter, Sharon Damazio and her husband Frank and their children, and with Mark Conner (Kevin’s son and Senior Minister of CityLife Church 1995-2017) and his wife Nicole and their family in their time of loss.

No doubt, Kevin has heard his Lord and Saviour say “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord” as he is promoted to glory. 

A public thanksgiving service to honour Kevin’s life and ministry will be held at the auditorium of CityLife Church Knox, 1248 High Street Road, Wantirna South Victoria, on Wednesday, 27th February at 5.00 pm (Melbourne, Australia time).  All are welcome. Refreshments will be available after the service.  

Rather than flowers as a tribute, the family has requested that any donations can be made to either Conner Ministries Inc. to further Kevin’s ongoing teaching legacy or directly to the Salvation Army where Kevin began his life as a follower of Jesus.

We hope you can join us on Wednesday 27th February at 5pm to celebrate Kevin’s life. For those not able to join us in person, this thanksgiving service will also be live-streamed (Please note: link will not be live until 4:45pm local Melbourne time).

PLUS an excellent Vimeo presentation with Kevin Conner sharing past, present and future details of his life at age 86. 

 Posted by at 10:06 AM
Jul 142018

Bethel Fellowship International would like to update you on a very recent and important project about which we’ve just been informed. It comes from our missionaries in Japan, Nils & Andrea OLSON. 

We encourage you to read the following and pray about participating. As small as this church on an island in southern Japan is, they are doing their very best to prepare for the promised ingathering of souls into the Kingdom of God. 


And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh . . . and it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. —Acts 2:17-21

Remote Japanese Island Bethel Parsonage Roof Needs Replacement Badly

The Miyanoura Christ Church is located on the island of Yakushima in southern Japan, only reachable by a two to four hour ferry ride, or by airplane. Where in the world is Yakushima? Notice the little red circle.

Both the church and parsonage were built more than 50 years ago by a missionary who went to their reward many years ago. The former 78 year-old pastor of the church is no longer able to work due to illness. He has asked the Japan Bethel Mission (JBM) to become its overseer. JBM is a small group of four full-Gospel churches in Japan including Tokyo, Rikuzen Takada, Kurume and Munakata cities. All are directly related to the Bethel Fellowship International in Washington state. JBM has no available ministers to go to the island and oversee the flock of four believers. However, since retiring the pastorate of a JBM church, as a missionary I am able to visit the church at least once a month to build up and encourage the faith of the believers.

L to R: Missionary Nils Olson, Believers: Etsuko KURISAKI, Kimiyo KINBARA and Daisuke SHIBA.

Upon my first trip last month, I slept in the church parsonage (left). It was an unhealthy couple of nights sleeping in the moldy, mildewy and leaky-roof former pastor’s residence. Because of the leaky roof, the entire house is in DIRE NEED of remodeling (new walls, ceilings, floors and bathroom). I asked for a local architect to come over and give an estimate for remodeling, however, he said, “Remodeling would not be wise until the entire roof is replaced.” Thus, I asked him for a new roof estimate.

Moneys from this gofundme project will be fully used (with the exception of gofundme’s 2.9% portion) for the replacement of the parsonage roof. From the photo above the roof may look fine, however, photos of ceilings on the  inside of the house show clearly that it leaks badly in every room.

Living room ceiling-1

Living room ceiling-2

Bedroom ceiling-1

Toilet room ceiling


These are only a few photos of ceilings, but every room has this kind of water damage due to the bad roof. I will also post a photo of the floor plan of the parsonage. The building is not that large, for which we are thankful, because if it were any larger, the replacement cost would be much higher.

In 1993 Yakushima was recognized as a World Heritage Site since which the island has seen a tremendous increase of travelers from around the world. Perhaps the oldest cedar trees in the world are found in the mountains of the island. As in many places in Japan’s countryside, especially islands, young people leave to go live and work in the metropolises. Yakushima has suffered the same plight, leaving only a small number of believers in the church. However, there are still some 13,000 inhabitants on the island, and only this one church to reach them with the Gospel.

Since summers are so extremely hot and humid in southern Japan, the architect said a good time to replace the roof would be in the fall, perhaps beginning in mid-September, 2018. Here is a copy of the architect’s  estimate to replace the roof:

Roof Construction:   ¥  897,150
Overhead Expenses: ¥  134,573
Sub Total: ¥ 1,031,723
Tax: ¥ 82,538
Discount: ¥  -14,260
TOTAL: ¥ 1,100,000

Estimate Cost: ¥1,100,000 @ 110.65 ¥ per $ (6Jul) = US $  9,941.26
We have rounded up the estimate to $10,000 for this particular gofundme project.

Perhaps taken out of context, but I think this verse relates well to this roof replacement project. Nehemiah 4:10 says,

In Judah it was said, “The strength of those who bear the burdens is failing. There is too much rubble. By ourselves we will not be able to rebuild the (roof) wall.”  ESV (parenthetical is my edit).

Your consideration of participating in this project, plus your believing that all things are possible, will be a tremendous encouragement to the Miyanoura Christ Church on the island of Yakushima, JAPAN.

Thank you so very much for taking time to read through this project description. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Nils OLSON, Missionary
Japan Bethel Mission, Tokyo, Japan
Bethel Fellowship International, Federal Way WA, USA






 Posted by at 4:44 PM