The office of the Wesley Foundation is located in the Wesley Center, which was built on the site where the missionary house for female missionaries teaching at Aoyama Gakuin once stood. Since its inception in April 2011, the Wesley Foundation has been active in fields of public benefit and support for human rights. Despite its short existence the Wesley Foundation was founded on a century of history.
The parent organization of the Foundation is the "Interboard Mission Shadan In Japan" which was established in 1902 by North American missionaries sent by various denominations. For more than a century, earnest prayers and contributions of churches in North America have been dedicated to the work of missionaries in Japan. The site where Wesley Center is situated was purchased with contributions from Methodists women in the United States.
With the revision of Public Benefit Foundation Law in Japan, the Wesley Foundation was reconstituted in 2011 for the better use of gifts offered by Christians from abroad and support for renewed mission efforts in this new era in Japan. Its main focus is public benefit activities such as education and charities established to the glory of Christ.
- Our Three Missions
- Women's Empowerment
- Youth Leadership
- Humanitarian Aid
To serve these three missions Wesley Foundation has centered its activities around three pillars i.e.:
1) In-house programs for advocacy
2) Providing opportunities to participate in seminars/training for several days in and outside Japan.
3) Partnerships and support including grants to those organizations who share our missions.
Recently listed number 50 on the BBC list of the "100 Greatest Britons," John Wesley is known for his role in the founding of the Methodist movement and for his social, educational, and spiritual work during the Eighteenth Century among the poor and marginalized people of the British Isles, which some historians claim saved the nation from a civil uprising like that of the French Revolution.
A man far ahead of his time in his thinking, Wesley founded aid charities, dispensaries for the sick, homes for orphaned children, and schools for children without access to education in addition to visiting prisoners, teaching good health habits, and providing food and clothing for those in need. Under Wesley's direction, the people called Methodists became leaders in many social issues of the day, including prison reform and the movement to abolish slavery.
Wesley not only taught others about social responsibility but also practiced what he taught by living frugally and giving all he could to help people who were poor and oppressed - so much so that little of the income from his numerous publications remained when he died. Wesley was among the first of those in Great Britain who advocated the rights of slaves and the abolition of slavery, which caused him much opposition and persecution. However, until his death, he was greatly respected, to the point of being referred to as "the best loved man in England."
John Wesley was born in June 1703, the fifteenth of nineteen children and one of two surviving sons among the seven children who lived to become adults. His father, Samuel Wesley, was an Anglican rector in Lincolnshire, but his mother, Susanna Annesley Wesley, is credited with having had the greatest influence on his early emotional and educational development. An early experience that also influenced his sense of purpose for his life was his rescue from a house fire at the age of five, which led to the conviction that he had been saved by divine intervention.
One of Wesley's early bases for works of charity and social welfare was the Foundry in London, which he either rented or purchased in 1738. He organized the Methodist Society there and conducted other ministries on the premises, such as a school for children and the dispensing of money from a loan fund to help protect the underprivileged from paying exorbitant interest.
When Wesley died on March 2, 1791 at the age of 87, he was still traveling, teaching, and active in training others to take their responsibility for addressing the social issues of the day -and despite his role in the founding of Methodism, still a Church of England clergyman.
Shigeaki Hinohara （Chairman of the Board, Trustees, St.Luke's International Hospital）
Hiroshi Omiya（President, Japan Bible Society）
Michiko Narimatsu (Former Chairperson of the National Federation of Kyodan Women's Societies)
Thomas Kemper (General Secretary, General Board of Global Ministries)
Harriett Jane Olson (CEO, United Methodist Women)
Mayako Ishii (President of YWCA of Japan)
Hikari Kokai Chang (Pastor and Missionary)
Nobuyuki Nakama (Former Professor, Teikyo University, Former Managing Director, Finance and Accounting, Mitsubishi Oil Co., Ltd.)
Roland Fernandes (General Treasurer of the General Board of Global Ministries)
Taku Noda (Director of the Student Christian Fellowship)
Tomoko Arakawa (Director, Asian Rural Institute)
Atsuko Hiki （Director, Education Division, National Christian Council in Japan)
Katsuhiko Nakajima (Former Professor, Teikyo Heisei University and Mito City Friendship Ambassador)