Dr. Kenneth A Carlson

Minister, First Methodist Church, Glendale, CA

During a period in World War II when racial tensions were running high, a young Methodist minister from Glendale, CA took a trip north up the back side of the state to visit the remote Manzanar Japanese internment camp in the high desert near Bishop.

Upon his return, when the title of his upcoming sermon was released, “SO I WENT TO MANZANAR“, Rev. Carlson received intimidating threats reflecting the racism of the period and warning him not to preach on the subject. As he stepped in front of the pulpit that Sunday morning his wife and others feared for his life. Nonetheless, he delivered the sermon. Here you can read what he had to say that special day.

It was more than just a sermon. It provided an overview of Japanese history and that of Japanese Americans. Now, it’s our history and as you look through the original manuscript with the colored underlines and yellowed paper you can allow yourself to imagine what it must have been like for a young minister¬† and other brave folks who were able to rise above the hatred of the times and to speak to the need for understanding and compassion in difficult times. We can certainly relate.

Read “So I Went to Manzanar”¬†

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