Rev. Dr. Dottie Escobedo-Frank, resident bishop of the Los Angeles area for the United Methodist Church, made the following announcement on Feb. 23.
Greetings on this beginning of the season of Lent. I pray your soul is moved by God’s grace and mercy.
It is with great honor and respect that I announce to you the intention of Rev. Mark M. Nakagawa to enter into retirement beginning on July 1, 2023, pursuant to BOD ¶ 357.2.
For nearly 30 years, Mark has served the California-Pacific Conference as a senior pastor and later as a district superintendent. He served as pastor for six years at West Los Angeles UMC and 16 years at Centenary UMC. He has served as the West District superintendent with dedication and wisdom since 2016.
Mark led through times of growth and change, through a pandemic, and in times of transition under two new bishops. In all the ways of his leadership, I have witnessed his kindness, strength, and mercy for God’s people. He has developed a deep web of connections with community leaders of the greater L.A. area, and they have turned to him as one who can lead with wisdom and grace.
Most recently, Mark’s leadership was recognized by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California, which presented him with their annual Nikkei Spirit Award. This well-deserved award was given for his work in bridging Black UMC clergy and laity with the Japanese and Japanese American communities through the “Japan & Black L.A. Initiative,” which was launched in October 2020 by the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles.
This is just one recognition, but his life has been filled with people who have benefited from his presence.
I am so very grateful for Mark. His joyous and generous spirit has been a blessing in the Cabinet. Please pray for Mark and Pam as they begin the next phase of ministry.