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Hiromasa Amano

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Rev. Dr. Hiromasa Amano (Japanese: 天野 弘昌;) is a philosopher (Th.D) and an apostolic pastor. He is the founder and the senior pastor of the International Riverside group (Assemblies of God), which he started in 1991 as Riverside Chapel Soka in Saitama. The church eventually grew to an international congregation, with a membership around 4,000 members in the approximate 50 branches that has been planted. (as of 2024). He is also the board member of the Japan Assemblies of God as general secretary (vice superintendent)[1], and an official adviser of CBMC Japan.

Early life[edit]

Pastor Amano was born in the Kita-ward of Tokyo metropolis to a Buddhist family of a father, a mother and an elder brother. He graduated from Hosei University after spending several years in Cambridge University in London.

Raised initially as a Buddhist, his parents insisted to make him learn various subjects including music and sports in additional cram schools. He lost his older brother, who was a student about to graduate from national medical university, to a suicide when Amano was 24. This caused a great setback to his family, resulting in his father falling to stomach illness and his mother severely depressed, highly dependent on medications for a substantial duration.

After his family's encounter with the Gospel, both of his parents regained their strength, while Amano was granted to employment in a bank, which was the predecessor of the JP Morgan Chase Bank.

Working as a foreign exchange officer, he had numerous encounter with Christ and was given the urge to let go of his career for evangelism. This eventually resulted in his devotion to Christian ministries.[2]

Wider ministry[edit]

Starting from church planting in 1991, Amano focused on international relations between the international AG congregation, inviting various missionaries from abroad and hosting English classes for the local residents within church vicinity.

The church's openness to the community lead to an increase in the number of attendance, especially in the child ministry sector.

In the year 2000, the church was hosting Sunday services in Japanese, English, Korean, Portuguese and Tagalog. Church plantation both domestic and overseas began in the following year.

In 2011, Amano has received Doctorate in Theology from the Washington International College and Seminary.

Given this background, Amano was able to offer residential and immigration aid to the foreigners(Koreans, Chinese, Philippines, Nigerians, Ghanians, Brazilians, Peruvians etc.) who were related to church ministries.

Below are the ministries that International Riverside Group has lead.

  • Counselling for global members in the context of immigration and international marriage.
  • Educational ministries (international school, seminaries covering missionary works and biblical subjects).
  • Aid ministries for disaster, war and poverty victims through affiliation with agencies such as Hunger Zero.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, the church launched several aid programs to the local community, such as "soup kitchen" (Japanese: 子ども食堂 (Kodomo shokudō):) through the NPO "Joyful Family" and after-school daycare service for elementary school students, run by the NPO "Joy Kids Academy".


  1. "AG Japan Board Members". May 7, 2024.
  2. "Christian Today (Japanese Christian Newspaper)". July 22, 2014.

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