The Holiness Experience of the Young Dedicated Christians

(Taken from “A History of the OMS Holiness Church of North America” by Reverend Tsukasa Sugimura)

The early converts were all dedicated Christians who emphasized sanctification as a cardinal theological experience. Nakada describes their experience in the Reisei, as follows:  

Each Sunday, after the worship service, several young people stayed at the church and ate together. They were Henry Sakuma, Goichi Okamoto, Hatsu Yano, and George Yahiro, who came to the church as a friend of Hatsu Yano. Since the summer of 1920, I had been living in the church, and they eventually began to visit me not only on Sundays but also on weekdays. We prayed, discussed the faith, sang together, and studied the Bible. Throughout these activities, they were full of fire and courage. It was a small revival during which some repented of their sins and some experienced the grace of holiness. They allcommitted their lives unto the Lord through their revival experiences: Goichi Okamoto was saved, Henry Sakuma decided to become a minister, and George Yahiro experienced the grace of God. Lying on the floor, they prayed and shed copious tears. They were transformed in the same way as were the disciples who experienced Pentecost two thousand years ago (Nakada 1963:329). 

In addition to those noted above, Toshio Hirano also experienced a second blessing. As a result these four people—Henry Sakuma, George Yahiro, Hatsu Yano, and Toshio Hirano—laid a strong foundation for the OMS Los Angeles Church.