Our present pastor Keishin Mizutani sought the truth at a Catholic church and at the Hamamatsu Baptist church. Then he heard the voice of the Lord at noon on October 30th, 1968 and followed the God of the Bible. He had an experience of the Holy Spirit the following spring, and after that joined the group of Tatsuo Koike named Nippon Christian Ecclesia (Shodan). On June 26th, 1982, Sapporo Christian Ecclesia (Shodan) was founded by Tatsuo Koike’s announcement, and Mizutani was named the person to be in charge. On December 21st of the same year, Mizutani received a heavenly revelation about the last days. He was serving at a juvenile reformatory, a home for the aged and at a rehabilitation facility for the mentally handicapped, while at the same time, teaching at a senior high school and organizing a family congregation affiliated to the non-church movement. From that time, miracles of God started to happen one after another. On March 24th, 1991, a “House of Prayer” as a hub of faith was built in Sapporo, and on September 30th, it became a religious corporation. In 1988, Mizutani was taught the meaning of the mystery of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. In the process of building the church, on December 11th, 1995, by a heavenly vision he was instructed to found a “harbor of life”. In March of the next year, he resigned as a teacher, obtained an orchard of 10 chobu (approx. 1000 acres) and started a community, called Keisenjuku as a place to practice faith. Over the next 16 years, more than 800 people have had their problems solved, and shown the works of God through experiences at Keisenjuku. In these past years the following have been built: a “Pre-Keisenjuku” for adapting to life at Keisenjuku at a flexible pace, Keisen House of Prayer for long-term stays, New Keisen House (Keisen-An), a men’s dormitory, Keisen Villa (Keisen So) and Keisen Lodge for participants in Keisenjuku activities while living half independently, Keisen mansion (Yakata) for the lives of the elderly and for young residents helping each other. Recently houses have been built one after another in the area around Keisenjuku making up a village. Moreover, as workplaces, there is a farm (Keisen Noen) mainly consisting of fruit trees and vegetable gardens, henhouses (approx. 100), and Keisen Yama of 40 chobu (approx. 4000 acres) to be a ranch in future (goats and sheep). 3 Agricultural products processing and sales division (Keisen Amos Factory), a carpentry shop (Keisen Noah Workshop) and a bakery (Keisen Manna Bakery) are all nearby, sending out original products produced in our daily lives. These activities became independent as a limited liability company in August, 2005. As of 2012, the following have been added: a publication division (Monzen Shoin), a home nursing station (Keisen Maria Home Nursing Station), a funeral and ceremony business (Hallelujah Ceremony), an insurance business (Vita Port Ai) a Japanese-style inn (Tanba-no-Yado Keisen), a coffee and bread shop (Shop Vita), a Chinese restaurant specializing in flour dishes (Keisen), a home-visit care station (Keisen Hikari Home-visit Care Station), a sewing business (Beau Sewing), terminal care home (Rest House Keisen), a planning business (Event Kikaku), a designing business (Keisen Design Room), a system for studying in the U.S. (Keisen International Program) a product showroom (Bazaar Vita)1. These business places are used to train the Keisenjuku graduates for readjusting to society. Meanwhile the Keisenjuku activities are spreading and regular meetings take place throughout the country from Hokkaido to Okinawa. Furthermore, the happenings of Keisenjuku are reported in an irregular publication Hatoba D ayori , and the following books: Kowareta – Watashi ; Revised (Monzen Shoin), Inochi – no – Izumi (Monzen Shoin), Mit s ubasa – no – Kage (Kirisuto Shinbun, Co., Ltd.) and they have received a great response.
Sapporo Christian Ecclesia (Shodan) calls for “en Christō” (in Christ) which Paul mentions in his Epistles, to return to the 2000 year old Apostles’ faith starting all over again from there, and thereby advancing a new religious reformation. The fundamental structure of our faith is to receive the cross of Christ (His redemptive love, namely self-sacrificing love) with the whole body by the body-reading of the Bible and prayers prompted by the Holy Spirit and then to offer one’s self in practical service of love in everyday life by the filling of the Holy Spirit. 1 See pp. 12-14. 4 The cross and the Holy Spirit are two focuses of an ellipse. The life of the believer is to keep moving forward centripetally while describing the ellipse revolving around Christ the Sun, with these two focuses symbolizing redemption and the practice of love, until one is eventually transformed into the likeness of Christ. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are practiced as a grace from heaven to fully understand the mystery of the Gospel of the cross and the resurrection (to die to the old life and then to be raised in the new life of Christ.)