Belmont Church of Hija in Yomitan

A Bilingual Non-Denominational Christian Church

By Michael Flemming    - 2 min read

My wife and I really wanted to worship at a truly bilingual church where each of us could celebrate the Gospel in our own separate native languages together. We found that there are many good Churches in Okinawa with friendly congregations and fulfilling ministries, but we kept searching until our journey took us to Belmont Church.

Belmont Church of Hija in Yomitan is a small non-denominational Christian church that offers all of its services and ministries in both English and Japanese. The Sunday church service is actually entirely bilingual. The announcements are given in English and then again in Japanese. The hymns are sung in either Japanese or English, but very often the verses alternate between each language. The sermon is in English, but a translator repeats the message in Japanese each time the pastor pauses. Prayers are also repeated by a translator. Even baptisms held at nearby Toguchi Beach are bilingual.

I might have thought that a non-denominational church is one that wasn't able to get accepted into a specific religious affiliation -- such as Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, etc. What it actually means for Belmont is that it strictly ties its beliefs, faith and principles exclusively to the Bible as a complete work of God's word.

Belmont Church was founded by Pastor Chester Carney, originally from Tennessee nearly two decades ago. He first came to Okinawa as a young sailor in the U.S. Navy before deciding to dedicate his life to evangelizing and creating Christian churches in Okinawa. Originally a home church, the present day church building was built completely by congregation members except for the concrete work.

Belmont Church holds it's Sunday Service from 10:45 ~ 12:00. Specific information about the church to include directions can be found on the Belmont Church website. My wife and I were drawn to this church for its truly bilingual approach to worshiping God. We have stayed because the church helps us to fulfill our needs. We have also made many friends there and both attend separate men's and women's Bible studies at Belmont during the week.

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Michael Flemming

Michael Flemming @michael.flemming

I'm a wandererer in Okinawa turning over every stone I can find. I write, photograph, and blog about my favorite finds here in Japan's southernmost prefecture. Find more of my rants and finding on my travel blog.

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