Pastor Tomo Yamanaka
Born in 1971 in Kobe city, Hyogo. Grew up in a strict Bushido believing Samurai descendant family. In struggle of questioning about the inherited life values and world view, Tomo encountered Christianity. It was by an aged American missionary, late Miss. Mary Ellen Gudeman. (TEAM) It was not an instant conversion but a beginning of his journey for meaning and purpose of life.
In 1992, during a church discipleship training called Evangelism Explosion, Tomo experienced a supernatural encountering of the Holy Spirit which resulted him the full assurance of his own salvation in Jesus Christ.
Tomo studied photojournalism, political science and finished his bachelor of science degree in Mission/Bible at Lancaster Bible College in Pennsylvania, USA in 1996. Later he finished his master degree at Alliance Theological Seminary in New York in 2001. Tomo's initial vision after his conversion was to go serve as a missionary in the Communist countries in eastern Europe and China but he acknowledged finally God's calling for him was to return Japan and share the gospel with his own people.
Since his return to Japan, Tomo served as a church planter and a pastor in four different prefectures (Nagano, Yokohama, Osaka and Kyoto). Out of his passion for the role and purpose of the local church, he has authored a book called "The Ship/Allegorical Ecclesiology" (Bungeisha & Duranno Publisher).
He is also a board member of the drug rehab ministry, Teen Challenge Japan and the national director of Evangelism Explosion Japan.
Kyoto International Church is the newest church started out in his ministry. KIC is gathering already every Sunday but it will be officially opened in the April 2nd of 2017.