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Title: Emery Brooks Andrews Interview
Narrator: Emery Brooks Andrews
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: March 24, 2004
Densho ID: denshovh-aemery-01-0005

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TI: So, let's talk about, so we're back in Seattle and we're just, you mentioned he got involved with the, sort of the Japanese American community.

EBA: Right.

TI: And so, about when was this? What year was this?

EBA: This was about 19... let's see, probably 1920, somewhere around there. Not too long after he moved up here and was married and so forth. The, it's, my understanding is that the Japanese Baptist Church was a church plant or a mission plant of First Baptist Church, downtown Seattle. And I think in those early days of the church, my father was part of the American Baptist Denomination Missions group. [Narr. note: At the time, the American Baptist Denomination Missions group was called the Northern Baptist Convention Home Missions. I misnamed it for that time period. The named was changed in later years.] And so he was probably more of a missionary at that point, early on, and then just evolved as being supported by the Japanese Baptist Church itself.

TI: So how does that work; when you say it's a mission church? So we have the First Baptist Church in Seattle.

EBA: Right.

TI: So that's like the main, the main church?

EBA: Yeah, it's the large, large Baptist church in Seattle. And through their mission outreach and so forth, they would go out into the community and find a place that there's a need and they would reach out to, to the minorities in that time.

TI: And so would they, would the Japanese Baptist Church, at that point, did they have their own building or did they, how did that work back then?

EBA: The Japanese Baptist Church started... early on it was, I think it was a house. It was on a, in a house, I think it was on Yesler, somewhere right in the International District. And I don't recall at this point the year that the present Japanese Baptist Church was built.

TI: But in terms of the organization, I was thinking, I was talking to Yosh Nakagawa, just a couple of years ago they celebrated their centennial recently, Japanese Baptist Church.

EBA: Yes, they did.

TI: So this is 2004, so it was about early 1900s, so like --

EBA: Early 1900s, yes.

TI: -- 1901, 1902 that the church was, was established.

EBA: Right.

TI: And then your dad came about, oh, mid-1920, so about twenty years later?

EBA: Yeah.

TI: Okay. And so you have the main First Baptist Church and then you have sort of a mission church, Japanese Baptist Church?

EBA: Uh-huh.

TI: Okay. So what did your dad do in those early years when he first got started with the Japanese Baptist Church?

EBA: In those early years he was very active in the community, visitation, going out and visiting the families, encouraging them in their faith, finding out what their needs were, whether it be physical or spiritual, and work with them that way. And he would be preaching at the church and just everyday routine of a, what a pastor does.

TI: Now, I'm thinking about the, the year, so if we're in the 1920s, at that point, in terms of adults, they would be more the Issei, or the first generation.

EBA: Yes.

TI: The Niseis, a lot of them were actually born in that era of 1920s.

EBA: Right.

TI: And so they would, most of 'em would be quite young. So was he dealing more with the first generation, the Isseis, or with the Niseis? Do you have a sense of that?

EBA: I think, I know early on that he was heavily involved in the kindergarten, the younger children, would be the Nisei of those, of that time. And he, I'm sure he must've taught in the kindergarten school that we had at Japanese Baptist Church and at times drove the kindergarten bus, the small bus that would pick up the children. In fact, I have pictures of myself walking down the steps to my house on Fifteenth Avenue with my little lunch bucket in my hand and getting into the nursery school bus and going to nursery school.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.