Scope and Content
Terms of Access
Emery E. Andrews was an esteemed pastor at Seattle's Japanese Baptist Church who devoted the bulk of his adult life to ministering to Japanese communities in Washington State, the U.S., and Japan. Born July 29, 1894, in Albion, Nebraska, "Andy" moved with his family at age two to a farm outside Modesto, California. At age ten he became a member of his local First Baptist Church and was licensed to preach at age 19, one year before he graduated from high school. For the next three years he pursued theological training at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles and in 1916 was married to Mary Brooks in Orting, Washington, a small town in the foothills of Mt. Rainier. In 1917, he was ordained to the ministry by his home church in Modesto, California. There, he worked among the local Italian and Mexican communities while attending Los Angeles Junior College.
In 1919, he and his wife and infant daughter moved to Seattle, where Reverend Andrews worked at the Cosmopolitan Mission while attending the University of Washington. After receiving a B.A. in Sociology in 1922 and a Five-year Teaching Diploma in 1929, Rev. Andrews became pastor to the Nisei community at the Japanese Baptist Church. He received his second B.A., in Education, from the University of Washington in 1931.
The start of the War in the Pacific in late 1941 -- and the subsequent, rapid forced removal of tens of thousands of persons of Japanese descent to incarceration centers throughout the West in 1942 -- was a major turning point in Rev. Andrews's ministry and life. The entire congregation that he served for thirteen years suddenly absent, Rev. Andrews made almost daily visits to the Camp Harmony Assembly Center in Puyallup, Washington. When inmates were transferred to the Minidoka relocation center in Hunt, Idaho, in September 1942, Rev. Andrews and his family moved to the nearby town of Twin Falls so that he could continue to minister to the Japanese. There, he leased a home much larger than his family needed in order to provide a stopping-off place for Japanese going to and from the center (an average of 167 Japanese visited the house every month). In addition, from 1942-1945, he made fifty-six trips from Twin Falls -- covering 1,500 miles each time -- to retrieve cars and other goods stored for Japanese Americans at the Japanese Baptist Church in Seattle. He also traveled extensively to other incarceration centers.
Rev. Andrews' commitment to Japanese Americans during World War II involved extraordinary personal sacrifices and risks. Because of his association with the inmates at Minidoka, he was refused service in a Twin Falls cafe. Several months later the cafe owner purchased the house Rev. Andrews had leased and ordered him to move. He was also, for a brief time, the subject of an F.B.I. investigation.
In January 1945, he and his family returned to their farm near Seattle and reopened the Japanese Baptist Church the following year. Rev. Andrews spent the summers of 1949 and 1951 as a volunteer for "Houses of Hiroshima," a private relief organization formed by pacifist/writer Floyd Schmoe to rebuild homes for victims of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Rev. Andrews resigned as pastor of the church in December 1955 and was asked at that time to continue as the Minister of Visitation. He retired in 1959 and was named Pastor Emeritus. In 1970, the Emperor of Japan awarded Rev. Andrews the Fifth Order of the Sacred Treasure. He died of a heart attack in 1976 at the age of 81.
Scope and Content
The collection is divided into two accessions; each has a separate inventory. The first, No. 1908-1, primarily concerns Rev. Andrews' work with Japanese American inmates, principally those in Camp Minidoka. More generally, it reveals the church-related work that Rev. Andrews performed prior to World War II and his great efforts to support and minister to Japanese Americans during and after their dispersal. The bulk of the papers consists of letters from inmates and returnees and from those Rev. Andrews met and with whom he worked while in Japan on the postwar "Houses for Hiroshima" project. Of particular note are receipts for household and personal items stored in the gym of the Japanese Baptist Church. The "Miscellany- re. Relocation" series contains a questionnaire and affidavit of a Seattle-born Japanese American who traveled to Japan on business in 1940 and was forced, when the war commenced, to relinquish his U.S. citizenship and to participate in the labor draft.
Much of the material in Accession No. 1908-3 has been photocopied from Rev. Andrews' scrapbook and arranged in series. One unique item, found in the "General Correspondence" section, is a notebook of letters to and from inmates. Rev. Andrews carried this notebook with him on his travels during WWII, and it served as a critical tool of communication for Japanese Americans. In it they were able to write brief letters and messages to their family and friends in other cities and relocation centers. A significant portion of the accession is activity reports from the Japanese Christian Center, a community outreach effort of the Japanese Baptist Church. Items in the "Reports - American Baptist Home Mission Society" are addressed to John W. Thomas, Head of the Department of Cities for the Society, and they detail Rev. Andrews' service to the inmates, primarily those at Minidoka. Reports are written on stationery bearing the name of the Federated Christian Church, an organization of which Rev. Andrews was a minister. The Japanese Baptist Church exists as a subgroup in the accession, since Rev. Andrews was minister there both before and after the Japanese American incarceration experience.
Terms of Access
Papers in Accession No. 1908-3 are open to all users, but those in Accession No. 1908-1 are available for serious research use only.
No personal names of inmates may be mentioned. Researchers must use anonymous identification unless they have received written permission from the author. Users who wish to quote Rev. Andrews' writings must contact the Andrews family for permission.
Both accessions were received prior to Rev. Andrews' death. The larger of the accessions, No. 1908-1, measuring 2.1 cubic feet, was received on May 4, 1972. No. 1908-3, which measures .83 cubic feet, was originally received in two parts, on May 31, 1967 and September 18, 1969.
Accession No. 1908-3 was reprocessed in July 1996 to include copies of four letters from the Japanese American Citizens League (of which Rev. Andrews was a member).
|Last modified: April 15, 2016|