The Early Years
Sakai International Bible Church (SIBC) was started by Pastor Teiichiro Kuroda in 1986. The initial vision of the church was to minister to the spiritual needs of English-speaking foreigners living in the Osaka area. As time went on, many Japanese young people began attending the Sunday service, and it was then that SIBC decided to become a bilingual church.
In 1998, Pastor Kuroda planted a second church in the center of Osaka City called Kitahama International Bible Church (KIBC). At that time, about half of our members went to KIBC to help Pastor Kuroda with the new ministry there.
By September 1999, Pastor Kuroda was finding it difficult to pastor both churches, so it was at this time that he officially handed the ministry of SIBC over to Michael & Chris Mason.
Over the next 15 years, the Masons, the leadership team and the members at SIBC worked to build the church and make a difference for the kingdom of God in the southern Osaka area. Our average Sunday attendance reached about 40 adults and 15 children.
In November 2006 the church was forced to vacate it current facility. It was then that we moved to the 3rd floor of the Shin-Nikken Building. While the move was a great blessing in many ways, our new worship facility was almost double the rent of our old place (even though the size was about the same). As a result, we began to feel a financial pinch.
By 2009, we realized that we need to reconsider finding a cheaper worship facility. However, each time that the church brought the matter before the Lord, we sensed that it was not yet time to make a move.
A New Beginning
Finally, in January 2012, after a week of prayer and fasting, it seemed to the SIBC family that the Lord was finally giving us the green light to look for a new facility to meet in. After exploring a number of different options over the next few months, in June 2012 we sensed that Jesus was leading us to leave our current location in downtown Sakai and transition to a simple-style church gathering in a home in Izumiotsu City. One year earlier, we would have never even considered the possibility of meeting in a home, but through a 27-week sermon series called "Re-Thinking Church: Exploring God's Heart for the Church," God began to reveal to us a simple, more biblical understanding of what it means to be the family of God. So, after 25 years of meeting in rented buildings, we made the transition to meeting in a home.
Obviously, this is a very big step for us, but we are excited about how the Lord is leading us. Jesus promised that He would build His church, and so we are trusting Him to do that. In early 2013, we changed our name to Oasis Church, because we believe that the Lord wants us to be a spiritual oasis for those who are thirsty for more of Him. As we learn to look to Jesus, draw near to Jesus and be obedient disciples of Jesus, we expect our future to be characterized by much growth, much fruit and much impact for the Kingdom of God in Japan.
Jesus is our Good Shepherd, and we are now on a wonderful new journey of learning to follow Him. Won't you consider being a part of that journey with us?
1989 SIBC Worship Service
1998 SIBC Worship Service
Pastor & Mrs. Kuroda with the Masons (2001)
Click HERE to listen to (or download) the sermons from our "Re-Thinking Church" sermon series.