Oldest Asian American Churches in USA

Some people love to remember the history and honor the traditions of the past generations. One of the lasting legacies of faith that is passed on from one generation to the next is a church community.

While the typical church has a life span of around 60-80 years, these are churches that continue to provide a spiritual home for multiple generations of Asian Americans.

Some of the oldest Chinese churches

1849 Old First Chinese Presbyterian Church (San Francisco)

1853 Presbyterian Church in Chinatown (San Francisco) 三藩市中華基督教長老會

1868 The First Chinese Presbyterian Church (New York City) 紐約中華基督教長老會

1868 Chinese United Methodist Church of San Francisco

1878 Chinese Presbyterian Church of Oakland 中華基督教屋崙長老會

1880 First Chinese Baptist Church San Francisco 三藩市第一華人浸信會

1884 First Chinese Baptist Church Fresno

1885 Chinese Community Church of San Diego

1896 Chinese Baptist Church (Seattle) 西雅圖華人浸信會

1902 Chinese Southern Baptist Church (Seattle)

1908 Cornerstone Chinese Church (was Chinese Bible Church of Oak Park, Chicagoland)

1914 Berkeley Chinese Community Church

1915 Chinese Christian Union Church (Chicago)

1935 Chinese Community Church of Washington DC

1952 First Chinese Baptist Church, Los Angeles

Japanese churches

1885 Christ United Presbyterian Church (San Francisco)

1888 Harris United Methodist Church, founded as First Japanese Methodist Episcopal Church

1892 Japanese Baptist Church (Seattle, WA)

1907 Simpson United Methodist Church (Arvada, CO) [article]

1914 Gardena Valley Baptist Church

1918 Union Church of Los Angeles

1925 Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles

A list from Japanese American National Museum’s Emily Anderson in May 2024—

Los Angeles Japanese Immigrant Churches (Protestant)

A list from “Sho-Chiku-Bai: Japanese-American Congregationalists“—

San Francisco Congregational Church—1885
Salt Lake City Mission—1901
Ogden Mission—1903
Oakland Independent Congregational Church—1904
Los Angeles Congregational Church—1905
Los Angeles Bethlehem—1905
Seattle Congregational Church—1907
San Diego Congregational Church—1907
Fresno Independent Congregational Church—1908
Pasadena Mission—1909
Santa Barbara Congregational Church—1913
Montebello Congregational Church—1913
Riverside Mission—1913
Hollywood Independent Congregational Church—1922
Santa Maria Congregational Church—1926

Korean churches

1903 Christ United Methodist Church (Honolulu) 그리스도연합감리교회

1903 San Francisco Korean United Methodist Church

1904 Los Angeles Korean United Methodist Church 연합감리교회에 오신것을 환영합니다

1905 Korean United Presbyterian Church of Los Angeles 나성한인연합장로교회

1921 Korean Methodist Church (New York City) 뉴욕한인교회

Woong-Min Kim cites 9 Korean ethnic churches on the mainland before 1950:

The Korean Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles [1918]
The Korean Methodist Episcopal Church in San Francisco
The Korean Christian Church in Los Angeles [Syngman Rhee]
The Korean Methodist Episcopal Church in Delano
The Korean Presbyterian Church in Reedley
The Korean Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles
The Korean Methodist Episcopal Church in Chicago
The Korean Methodist Episcopal Church in Oakland
The Korean Church and Institute in New York

Other References

10 Chinese Christians the Western Church Should Know: Meet the men and women who have rooted the gospel message within the Chinese soul.” (Christianity Today, October 2017)

10 facts about Asian American religion that you might not know as found in a new Oxford University Press publication (NYC Religions)

1933 Filipino Christian Church (Los Angeles)

SurveyLA’s Asian American Historic Context Statements

NYC ReligionsThe Korean American Christians of Flushing, Queens; The Chinese American Protestant Christians of Flushing, Queens

Note: these lists are a work in progress. Please add more to this list by adding a comment or contact me.