Stanley Yokota (BTh, 1964)

Distinguished Alumni National Impact Award, 2021

Stanlley Yokota smiling infront of campus trees

Stanley Yokota (BTh 1964) experienced God’s providence from an early age. When he and his family were forced out of their home when Canada declared war on Japan in 1941 and scorned as “enemy aliens,” one day, along the road, a stranger approached Stanley’s father and offered him a job at his orchard ranch.

Stanley’s new neighbours were Christians, and their kindness and witness for Jesus touched his family’s heart. “I became a Christian who was devoted to reaching the Japanese community.”

As a teen, Stanley served children and youth and drove a converted school bus to pick up children in the surrounding community for worship services. After high school, he enrolled at Summit University.

In 1958, he served with the Canadian Japanese Mission in Toronto and organized Sunday school, Pioneer Girls, Boys Club, youth retreats, summer camp and worship services held at seven rented churches and the Japanese Cultural Centre. He and his team would often drive children to worship services so they would not miss out. Two Tyndale alumni, Mary Shintani (TBC 1958) and Jonathan Yokoyama (TBC 1961), were part of the team, ministering in both English and Japanese church services.

In 1960, Stanley enrolled at Tyndale to study Greek and Hebrew. He was chosen as valedictorian for his graduating class. “Staff and students helped provide confidence and growth in my Christian life,” he says.

Upon graduating, Stanley married Aileen, and they served with the Canadian Japanese Mission for three years in Vancouver. In 1968, they returned to Toronto, and Stanley became the pastor of the Japanese Gospel Church of Toronto (JGCT), where he served until retiring in 1992 for health reasons. He then worked at a Japanese senior home for five years until Aileen’s retirement from her job as an elementary school teacher.

“Serving in Christian ministry takes patience and perseverance, but

...when we strive to be faithful to the Lord’s calling, He is faithful and will accomplish His work.”

Aileen went to be with the Lord in May 2021. Stanley’s future plans include continuing to fellowship with the JGCT family, chauffeuring anyone in need, and pursuing hobbies such as lawn bowling, gardening and playing the accordion.

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