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    Blessings We Received     
Background: The mass migration of Burmese people to the United States can be traced back to the mid sixties when the country was run under the governing system of the "Burmese Way to Socialism." Among those who migrated to the United States were many Burmese Christians. At first, these Christians attended different churches in the San Francisco Bay Area. But as they came into contact with one another, they felt a strong need for a separate Burmese speaking church.  

The Seventies: Coming Together - The meetings were held in different homes for worship and fellowship. Saw George Kacher and Daw Thein May were each leading the Karen Christians and other Christian races respectively. When they came to know each other, they joined the two groups in November 1975 and launched the house worship and fellowship in Burmese language for the benefit of all concerned. Then, the group named itself the Burmese Community Baptist Church of San Francisco as the majority of the group were of Baptist background. The house worships and fellowships were led by Mrs. Shirley Chow. Mrs. April Shan Lone, Saw Nelson Dwa, U San Mya, Daw Mya Thin, and the late Saw George Kacher. The first week of October 1977 was the time that the group received permission to hold worship services at 1:00 PM at the Park Presidio Bible Church in San Francisco. On October 18, 1977, Saw George Kacher who served as the worship leader at Park Presidio Bible Church passed away and the remaining worship leaders accepted the responsibility of holding weekly worship services. Then, in October 1980, with the arrival of Pastor Emeritus Shwe Hlaing Dwa from Burma, the group had a permanent worship leader.  

The Eighties: Formation and Developing - During U Shwe Hlaing Dwa's tenure of leadership, the seed to become full-fledge Baptist church was sowed as he and the Rev. Mervyn Betts, one of the chaplains affiliated with American Baptist Churches of the West, met at the San Francisco General Hospital chapel. Also, in 1985, San Francisco Bay Area Burmese Christians with various demonination backgrounds got together and formed a non-profit religious organization and named it United Burmese Christian Fellowship. The organization served the Burmese Christians community along with the Burmese Sunday Worship led by U Shwe Hlaing Dwa. In October 1986 Annual Meeting of American Baptist Churches of the West in Pacific Grove, California, the two representatives led by U Shwe Hlaing Dwa were introduced by the Rev. Mervyn Betts as the church planters of Burmese church in San Francisco. In April 1987, the meeting of the worship service attendees was convened and adopted the resolution to form the Burmese church affiliated with American Baptist Churches of the West and named the church First Burmese Baptist Church. In the same meeting, the constitution of the First Burmese Baptist Church was approved, and the attendees made a unanimous decision to request American Baptist Churches of the West to grant U Shwe Hlaing Dwa the license to minister the Burmese Christian Community. In September 1987, the request to license U Shwe Hlaing Dwa was granted as a bona fide minister, and an official service of recognition was held at the Temple Baptist Church of San Francisco. Another auspicious occasion was in October 1987 when the Burmese Christians affiliated with the ABCW was officially recognized as the First Burmese Baptist Church of San Francisco. Rev. Harold Ho accepted the formal request by the congregation to serve as the Associate Pastor of FBBC.

The Nineties: Growth and Maturity - In response to increased numbers in Burmese Christian community, the church continuously plans and implements many ministries to meet the Great Commission. Below are the significant timelines and the events of the church.On February 10, 1991, Children Sunday School committee was formed.   In May 1991 Rev. Lahpai Zau Lat was installed as Interim Associate Pastor of FBBC until July 1996. In December 1991, the FBBC was given permission to jointly use the sanctuary and the premises of the 21stAvenue Baptist Church with the Cantonese Speaking congregation. On April 5, 1992, the FBBC Young Adult Fellowship was formed with eight young adults, and its first President was James Lin.   In February 1993, Saya Stephen Chu served as the Young Adult Minister until July 1994.   In February 1996, after meeting over one year as house fellowship, the Burmese Christian Community Church of South Bay (currently known as Silicon Valley) was launched in San Jose to meet the worship needs of those members that reside in the San Francisco South Bay area. FBBC Associate Pastor Rev. Harold Ho accepted the senior pastor position to minister the members. On July 28, 1996, Rev. Yi Shey Latt was installed as Associate Pastor of FBBC.   In June 1997, Saya Lone Wah Lazum began serving as the internship minister. In October 1997, after serving for seventeen years, Senior Pastor Dwa officially retired from the pastoral ministry. He continues serving the Lord as the traveling missionary to Burma and North America. In January 1998, the Rev. Yi Shey Latt was installed as the full time Senior Pastor to lead the church into the 21st century.   In August 1998, another house fellowship was launched in the Concord Bay Point area for the Burmese Christians living in the surrounding area. Beginning in April 1999, the FBBC Evangelism and Mission Committee has organized and sent Gospel team to evangelize, encourage and fellowship with the fellow Burmese Christians and Burmese Community in North America.   In summer of 1999, Junior Fellowship was formed with six members.


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