NOTE: Contains updated service information
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is with deep sadness that we inform you that our brother, Rev. Jonah Chang, died on Saturday, November 2, 2019.
Jonah joined our conference through recognition of orders in 1967. He served among us at the Christ Fresno, Buena Vista Alameda churches, then as director of development for Asian American Ministries, as executive director for National Federation of Asian American United Methodists, as superintendent of the Bayview District, and as the administrator for Council on Cooperative Mission, UCC in Japan, before retiring in 1999.
Jonah was passionate about his faith and church, and he delighted in connecting with people through his many travels. He was fluent in Japanese, Taiwanese, Mandarin, and English. Jonah was a fierce advocate for Taiwan’s self-determination and democracy and a champion for human rights everywhere. He established the first Formosan United Methodist Church in the United States.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Chang of Taiwan; by his children, Helen Chang and Chuck Goodwin of Fremont, CA, Sue and Richard Louie of Castro Valley, CA, Paul Chang and Holly Ardito of Acton, MA; by his daughter-in-law, Anne Wenstadt; and by eight grandchildren. His son John pre-deceased him in 2014. Condolences may be sent to Mary Chang via Helen Chang, 43268 Banda Terrace, Fremont, CA 94539.
A memorial service was held on November 10, 2019, at the Northgate Presbyterian Church, Taipei, Taiwan. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Formosan UMC, 788 Lewelling Blvd., San Leandro, CA 94579 (the first of several Taiwanese-American congregations Rev. Chang founded).
Gifts in memory of Jonah may be sent to the Shoki Coe Memorial Library at Tainan Theological Seminary (Jonah’s alma mater). To do so, send a check payable to Formosan UMC, with Shoki Coe Library in the memo line, to 788 Lewelling Blvd., San Leandro, CA 94579.
Let us continue to give God thanks for Jonah’s life and witness and hold his family close in prayer. In our living and in our dying, we belong to God! (Romans 14:8)
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
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