Over 100 years ago, two ministers came from Japan to San Francisco in response to a request from Japanese immigrants living in the United States. They came to help fill a void in the hearts of Buddhists living in America – a void created by the need to hear the Dharma and to touch the heart of the Buddha. This event was the start of what is now the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA). The mission of the Buddhist Churches of America then and now continues on into the 21st Century.
The BCA, with headquarters in San Francisco, California, is a non-profit religious corporation. BCA currently has over 60 independent temples and a number of Fellowships and Sanghas with approximately 16,000 members throughout the United States. Organizationally, these temples and Sanghas are part of one of eight District Councils -Bay, Central California, Coast, Eastern, Mountain States, Northern California, Northwest, and Southern and together, these constitute the service population of BCA. The main temple of our sect is Ryukoku-zan Hongwanji (Nishi Hongwanji) located in Kyoto, Japan. The BCA is part of its international propagation effort that includes Hawaii, Canada, South America, Mexico, Australia, Taiwan, Nepal, and Europe. His Eminence, Koshin Ohtani, who is a direct descendent of Shinran Shonin, is the head priest of Hongwanji, spiritual leader, and presides with the Japanese title of “Monshu”. The Bishop (Socho in Japanese) is the religious leader of the Buddhist Churches of America. He directs the BCA’s efforts and the efforts of all of us in a variety of programs to achieve our objectives
– the propagation of the Buddha Dharma and the teachings of Shinran, and the religious welfare of the Sangha.