Aster K. Ikezoye
My Memories of the Westside Church of Christ
As far back as I can remember, I attended this church as early as 1934, maybe even before that because my older brothers and sisters were attending before I did. At that time, the church was located on 37th Street and was known as the Japanese Church of Christ, I believe. Mr. Ishiguro was the minister.
We were living on 35th Place and the church was very close to our home. After our family moved to our home on 30th Street from 35th Place, Mr. Takata used to pick us up and bring us home again every Sunday. It must have inconvenienced him many times, but he was always so cheerful and had a smile on his face. We will always remember his kindness.
Mrs. Haruko Itow was my Sunday School teacher and she taught us so much about the Bible --we memorized all the books of the Bible, the Lord's Prayer, the Beatitudes, the Ten Commandments and several other important verses. Beyond that she was also a good friend and shared many Sunday afternoons with us, planning activities and excursions. She made the days very special, and I used to actually look forward to going to Sunday School. I will always be grateful to her for giving me a strong religious foundation, which resulted in my making Christianity a very important part of my life.
Another memory I have of the church are the Christmases. The children were considered to be an important part of the church and were always treated as such. Very nice gifts were distributed to each and every child at Christmas in a special program and the children who had perfect attendance throughout the year were given a second gift. As a child, that was really worth working for!
After our return to the West Coast in 1945, the church was established at the present location and became the Westside Church of Christ and Mr. Michio Nagai was the minister of the Nisei congregation. Many of us, all adults by then, and the Issei members returned to the church and renewed old friendships and once again became a close church family.
After my move to Camarillo, I haven't been able to attend the church very often, but I always think of the people I met through my years at the church. The fond memories I have will be with me forever.
Aster K. Ikezoye