Union Church called Rev. Timothy Yee as pastor/head of staff effective April 1, 2011 and Rev. Ryohei Kawano as associate pastor for Japanese-speaking members effective Feb. 1, 2012.

Yee is overseeing the traditional English worship service at 9 a.m. and the contemporary worship service at 11 a.m., an outreach ministry of Union Church and Bel Air Presbyterian Church that focuses on people who work and/or live in the Downtown area.

Yee is a Chinese American whose father resided near Angels Flight in his early years. He graduated from UCLA in mathematics, received his Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary, and is pursuing his doctorate at Fuller. He and his wife Kati have a 2-year-old daughter, Avery.

Yee served at Bel Air Presbyterian as director of contemporary worship and young adults and at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian as minister of contemporary worship, college, young adults, and couples and pastor of missions and outreach. He is a preacher and interested in community outreach.

Kawano comes from the Free Methodist denomination. He graduated from Japan Christian Church and California Graduate School of Theology, and received his Doctor of Divinity from Pacific International Theological Seminary. He was pastor at South Bay Free Methodist for 22 years, a radio pastor for 10, and pastor at Mission Valley Free Methodist for 11.

During the past five years, he was a pastor to a church in Japan for three years and worked with the homeless for two years. He and his wife Ryoko have two daughters, Yunike Honda and Naomi Suzuki, and nine grandchildren. The Japanese-speaking worship service is at 9 a.m.

Union Church welcomes both pastors and their families to a new ministry in Downtown L.A. and beyond. Everyone is welcome to be part of this vision.

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