Bill and Ann will next be in the USA, based in Pasadena CA, in 2018. Email them to extend an invitation to visit your congregation or organization.
About Bill and Ann Moore’s ministry
When it comes to reaching people with the gospel in Japan, Bill and Ann Moore are willing to buck the odds. In a country with a tiny Christian population that’s centered in the cities, they have been charged with developing a new church in a rural/suburban community.
The Reformed Church in Japan (RCJ) is a longstanding partner of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Like other denominations in Japan, its congregations are mostly in urban areas. The RCJ’s Western Presbytery invited Bill and Ann Moore to begin a congregation in Nishitani, a rural and suburban community just north of the Osaka/Kobe metropolitan area. Bill is the organizing missionary and is responsible for evangelistic outreach, pastoral care, preaching, and organizational leadership. Ann directs the Sunday school and is involved in the women’s organization and the leadership council.
The Moores are encouraged by the progress of the new church development in Nishitani. “With God’s help, we have been able to reach people with the good news and incorporate them into Christ’s church,” Bill says. “Families who are not members are sending their children to Sunday school and participating in church events.”
Bill and Ann Moore say the congregation serves a traditional Japanese community. It is home to six Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. The new church development, which is a chapel of the Itami Reformed Church, is Nishitani’s first Christian house of worship. The congregation met for a decade at the office of Dr. Haruki Kondo, an elder at the Itami church who opened a medical practice in Nishitani. Dr. Kondo and his wife, Toshiyo, sensed a call to begin a practice in the community in order to help the new congregation. “This valued medical contribution to the community has given visibility to the chapel and provided opportunity for evangelism,” Ann says.
In late 2011 the Nishitani congregation moved into its own building with funds contributed by its members, other Japanese Christians, and supporters in the United States. “In challenging economic times it was miraculous to see how God worked to provide the resources for the building, which we were able to complete debt-free,” Ann says. “Now we are able to enlarge our ministry by having programming during the week.”
Without the ministry of the Moores this new church development would not have been possible. “There is a serious shortage of pastors in Japan, so maintaining existing churches takes precedence over organizing new ones,” Bill says. “Also, our salary support by the PC(USA) has enabled the partners to help fund the construction of the chapel.
Japan is the world’s third largest producer of goods and services in the world and the fourth largest importer and exporter. Japan has a large industrial capacity and is home to some of the largest and most technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronics, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemical substances, textiles, and processed foods. Japanese workers enjoy a high standard of living. More than 127 million people live in Japan, making it the 10th most populous country in the world. Most people in Japan consider themselves adherents of Shintoism, Buddhism or both. Fewer than 1 percent are Christian.
About Bill and Ann Moore
Many Japanese people are spiritually hungry, and some are open to the Christian faith, Bill says. As the Moores try to reach these people, they consider themselves “ambassadors of Christ,” a phrase used by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:19-20. “As ambassadors for Christ,” Bill says, “it is a blessing to share with them in word and deed the sacrificial love of God that has reconciled us to himself and in doing so satisfies our spiritual hunger and empowers us to lives of service and witness.”
Bill grew up in Korea, the son of Presbyterian missionaries. He is a graduate of Davidson College and Union Presbyterian Seminary. Before entering mission service he was pastor of Little Falls Presbyterian Church in Falling Waters, West Virginia. He is a member of Shenandoah Presbytery.
Ann is a native of Korea and earned a bachelor’s degree from Meiji University in Japan. She has worked for a Japanese trading company and as an English tutor. She is a member of Little Falls Presbyterian.
Bill – April 24
Ann – March 12