April 07, 2022 | by Rev. Motoe Yamada Foor
Bishop Wilbur Choy will be honored in a second memorial on April 23rd at 2pm in the Sacramento area. The official memorial service was held on March 12, 2022 at the First UMC in Seattle (https://youtu.be/SkQCbYYh4e8), but we also wanted to offer a service locally for his family and friends. Please pray for his family during this time.
The details for the service follow:
Date: Saturday, April 23, 2022 at 2:00 pm
Location: Sacramento, California
Officiating Pastor: Rev. Motoe Yamada Foor, Senior Pastor, Sacramento Japanese United Methodist Church
The service will be livestreamed and recorded for later viewing https://vimeo.com/event/43006
If you are interested in attending in person, please complete the online registration form https://forms.gle/DryffNtk71FqEKsL9 or call the church office at 916-421-1017 by April 12th, 2022. We will inform you after April 17th if you will be able to attend in person. Due to the space limitations, we can only have 50 people from our annual conference.
Memorial gifts can be sent to: 1. First United Methodist Church of Seattle PO Box 19596, Seattle, WA 98109 2. Bayview Manor Foundation 11 W. Aloha Street, Seattle, WA 98119 3. University of the Pacific, School of Religion 3601 Pacific Ave., Stockton, CA 95211
Bishop Wilbur Wong Yan Choy was born May 28, 1918, to immigrant parents in Stockton, CA. He grew up in the city’s Chinese Methodist Church, and eventually became the congregation’s pastor in 1943 while he attended college and seminary. He initially served as an elder in the California-Oriental Provisional Conference, comprising Chinese, Korean and Filipino churches in the state. He became the pastor of a multiracial congregation after he brought together Stockton’s Chinese Methodist Church and Clay Street Methodist Church, which had white and Black members. He gave the new congregation the name of St. Mark's in part because the Book of Mark was the most action-oriented of the Gospels. He became The United Methodist Church’s first Chinese American district superintendent of a predominantly white district in 1969. Fellow United Methodists say the bishop did not just a blaze a trail for himself but also opened pathways for more ethnically and racially diverse leaders across the church. The Western Jurisdictional Conference elected Choy to the episcopacy in 1972. He went on to lead the Pacific Northwest Conference for eight years and the California-Nevada Conference for four before retiring in 1984. His legacy includes a denomination that, thanks in part to his ministry, has grown more ethnically and racially diverse over the years. The Rev. Edsel Goldson was among the leaders who took inspiration from Choy, remembering him as, “He had a great Christ-like, gentle spirit and a very compassionate heart.”
For more information and to read his full bio: