Protestant Churches in Kansai (Nara and Kyoto), Japan
International Chapel Ministries
Chris Momose – Senior Pastor & ICM Press Director
Chris is from Pennsylvania, USA. His father was a second-generation Japanese-American. Chris became a Christian in his senior year of high school, and a few years later began to sense God’s call in his life to be a missionary to Japan. In 1983, he got a job teaching English full-time at the Osaka YMCA, and came to Japan as a self-supporting (“tent-making”) missionary, trusting that God would lead him to where he should serve as a missionary. Chris devoted himself to learning Japanese in his free time and waited for the Lord’s guidance.
One day, he received a call from Jim Blocksom, who had tracked him down through an introduction from a friend of Chris’ father. Through this series of events, Chris began to work with ICM, and he now serves as a pastor, preacher, Bible study leader, and counselor, while heading up ICM’s literature ministry (ICM Press).
Chris enjoys fishing (especially bass fishing), tennis, volleyball, ping-pong, and other sports. He and his wife, Nancy, have four children and live in the Kyotanabe area. Chris has written the bilingual Bible study book Protestants and Catholics … Together? and has translated two books into English: The Miracle Visas (a biographical novel about Chiune “Sempo” Sugihara) and Eternal Blessings (a book on the Biblical stand on idolatry and ancestor worship, written by Akira Takimoto).
Gregg Hutton – Resident Pastor of Kyoto Chapel
Gregg is from Colorado, USA. In 1984, Gregg came to Japan to serve at ICM and to marry Becky, Jim Blocksom’ eldest daughter. Gregg serves as a pastor, preacher, Bible study leader, and counselor at ICM.
To support his family while working with ICM, Gregg teaches TESOL at Nara University and Kyoto International University (KIU). Gregg currently resides at Kyoto Chapel with his wife, Becky, and they have four children.
James (Jim) Blocksom – ICM Founder & Pastor Emeritus
Jim is originally from Ohio, USA. In 1954, while serving as an optometry officer in the Far East Air Force Headquarters in Tokyo, Jim became a Christian (in the real sense). After returning to America, Jim gave up his career as an optometrist to begin preparation to be a church-planting missionary in Japan. He felt a calling from God to do this work, and received confirmation that this was God’s perfect will when the Lord led him to marry Barbara, who was also called to be a missionary.
Jim graduated from Trinity Seminary College (now Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) and returned to Japan in 1962 with Barbara and their eldest daughter. Since then, Jim has served the Lord as a church-planting missionary and pastor. In 1981, Jim received clear guidance to found a lay mission to train laymen to do evangelism, plant churches and produce the literature needed for such work, and so, with his 4 youngest children in tow and on a tight budget, he left the mission to which he had belonged for the previous 20 years with firm assurance that it was God’s will to establish ICM. Today, Jim and Barbara, with five of their seven children, serve with ICM. Jim has a deep love for the Japanese people and a vitality that has enabled him, with God’s help, to turn his vision into reality.
Jim has written two bilingual Bible studies: Abundant Life Studies (for those who are not Christians), and New Life Studies (a follow-up course for new Christians), in addition to numerous evangelistic tracts geared especially for the Japanese.