Matsubara Kazuhito (松原和人?, 1905-1966) is the founder of a Japanese independent church known as the Living Christ One Ear of Wheat Church (活けるキリスト一麦教会). Matsubara Kazuhito first came into contact with Christianity through the Mino Mission while a junior high student. While a student at Kyoto University he began to study Christianity more seriously after hearing lectures on science and religion by Satō Teikichi, a Christian professor. Following graduation from university he moved to Kōbe and became an elementary school teacher. He converted to Christianity as a result of attending services led by an evangelistic group related to Barclay Baxton (1860–1946), a low-church Anglican who served as a missionary in Kōbe and Matsue from 1890 to 1891.
Matsubara subsequently felt a call to be an evangelist and attended Bible school (Shioya Seisho Gakusha) for one year to prepare for the ministry. He began independent evangelistic work in 1939. During the postwar period, the Living Christ One Ear of Wheat Church has grown to include eighteen churches (primarily in the Nagoya and Kansai areas) and a membership of over one thousand. Matsubara died in 1966, and his wife, Saki, has led the church since that time.
Notes and references
- 一麦: 松原和人の信仰と生涯 (One Ear of Wheat: The Faith and life of Matsumura Kazuhito: Ikeru Kirisuto Ichibaku Kyokai, 1972)
- 活けるキリスト一麦 (Living Christ One Ear of Wheat), a monthly newsletter