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Westside Church of Christ History Project

I hope things are well with everybody. Everything
with our family is fine. I think the idea of a website
is great and I hope this will help your endeavor.

The following is my memoir of the Westside Church
of Christ.

I guess I would have to say my attendance to Westside
started at birth, as both my parents Hisami and Tamae
Nogaki were already members of the church. My earliest recollections of attending Westside as a toddler was that of being in the Issei service with all the sweet Issei ladies always giving me treats. I also remember attending picnics held at the old Pepperdine College campus.

As I got a little older I remember attending Sunday school. I remember people like Joe, Nori Sekino, and others volunteering as the Sunday school teachers giving us valuable lessons while trying to keep the classes entertaining for us kids. I can also recall attending Vacation Bible School during one summer where my teacher was Francis Ito. I believe she was a college student at the time. I also remember during this time a lady by the name of Mrs. Yoshimune who would be at the church before the Sunday school classes started to turn on the furnace so the children would have warm classrooms during the winter. Later I became to respect Mrs. Yoshimune, as the epitome of what a Christian should be like. I will never forget the time Mrs. Yoshimune was brutally assaulted and later prayed to God for the person that attacked her to forgive him of his wrong doing. At that point I thought this is what Christianity is all about.

The building of the new worship hall is also something that I will never forget. I can remember the members getting together to build the new building. Countless hours of volunteer labor went into that building. I can recall giving up Saturday afternoons to help my father "fish"' wires through conduit as he was an electrical engineer at the time. I also remember families getting together on weekday nights to finish painting the inside of the building as soon as possible. This was truly a labor of love.

It was also at Westside that I learned quite a bit about the hardships of the first generation Japanese Americans and what a desire to succeed and a strong work ethic can accomplish. I can remember at the potluck lunches held after services, listening to their stories of how they struggled here after first arriving from Japan. It made me appreciate how much easier they made it for the second and third generation Japanese Americans.

I can also remember some of the ministers for both the English and Japanese speaking services. I can remember people like Bob Waldron, Ken Robb, John Smart, Mike Gose, etc. and also people like Mr. Nomura, Mr. Saito, Mr. Nonaka, Mr. Matsunari and Mr. Mori.

Two of the more significant events in my life also occurred at the Westside Church of Christ. One was as a teenager being baptized at the church and the other was my wife Cheryl, at the time my girlfriend also being baptized at the Church. We also had Rev. Mori conduct our wedding ceremony at another Church of Christ.

Towards the end of my attendance at the Church I can recall the membership starting to dwindle. As more and more families started to move out of the area the worship services grew smaller and smaller. Although it is sad that Westside is coming to a close, I think one should also realize that its time has come. I think that it has played a tremendous role in many peoples lives and that those who have experienced any part of its history will always have memories of this Church. The Westside Church of Christ may soon cease to exist but the impact it had its members will live on forever.

Sincerely and God Bless,
Paul Nogaki

Director of Business Development
Tuttle Click Automotive Group
(714) 730-4664
(714) 730-4662 (Fax)
pnogaki@tuttleclick.net
(E-mail)

P.S. Please feel free to contact me regarding this letter. Thank you.