Rev. Dr. Mason Okubo Mason Keiji Okubo is the senior pastor of Immanuel First Lutheran Church. He also sings tenor in the IFL Choir and teaches our church information class to prospective members. 2013 marks his tenth year as our senior pastor.
Pastor Okubo was born June 17, 1958 in Urbana, Illinois, the son of George and Kazuko (Kay) Okubo. He has one brother, Stacey, and one sister, Lynnette. He and his wife Debbie have two sons: Andrew, a student at Mt. San Antonio College; and David, who is studying Zoology at Oregon State University.
The family is very active in the Boy Scout program. Debbie is chairman of West Covina's Cub Scout Pack 51, based at Immanuel First, and previously chaired the Boy Scout program at St. John's Lutheran Church in Orange, CA. Pastor Okubo is a pastoral advisor for the Lutheran Association of Scouters of Southern California.
Pastor Okubo received his Doctorate in Physics in 1986 and for ten years worked in the laser and optics industry. Simultaneously, he served as a volunteer at St. John's Lutheran Church of Orange in a variety of ministries.
In 1995 Pastor Okubo felt God's call to full-time ministry and entered the Ethnic Pastor Certification Program (EPCP) at Concordia University, Irvine. In 1999 he graduated with a Masters in Theology and Culture and was ordained later that year. He received a Divine Call to serve at Concordia Irvine as an assistant professor. In 2001 he received a Call to serve at St. John's as Minister to Youth and Children, and later as Associate Pastor of Christian Care.
In September of 2003, Pastor Okubo answered the Call to Immanuel First Lutheran in West Covina. His ministry began with them on October 1.
Rev.Daniel Xuan-Vu Nguyen Pastor Daniel X. Nguyen was installed as associate pastor at Immanuel First Lutheran Church, West Covina, on Sunday, 25 June 2017. Pastor Nguyen has been called to oversee the Vietnamese Immanuel Lutheran Church (H?i Thánh Tin-Lành Immanuel Lutheran) and to minister to the Asian community of the San Gabriel Valley. Pastor Nguyen and his wife, Duyen, have a three year old son Samuel.
Pastor Nguyen was considered a "second-wave" of Vietnamese immigrant who left the Communist regime after the Fall of Saigon (30 April 1975) in September 1978. He and his parents and two siblings stayed on Bulau Bidong Island in Malaysia for thirteen months before immigrating to Columbus, Ohio, in November 1979. He and his family were sponsored by the Red Cross; and a congregation of the Lutheran Church of the Missouri Synod, Atonement Lutheran Church (Columbus, OH), continued to help his family settling down with finding jobs for his parents, and schools for him and his two siblings.
In Columbus, Ohio, Pastor Nguyen completed his junior and senior high school, and then enrolled at the Ohio State University majoring in Chemical Engineering. He graduated with a bachelor of science in Chemical Engineering (1991) and worked for ten years as a process engineer and consultant engineer before going into full-time mission and ministry.
While he was working as an engineer, Pastor Nguyen had many opportunities to travel to different countries, and worked with people of different nationalities, backgrounds, and cultures. After over six years of sensing God's call to mission and ministry, nudging and encouraging by pastors and elders, he finally took a "blind-faith" to switch his career. He completed a Master in Theology at Trinity Lutheran Seminary (Columbus, OH), and a Master of Sacred Theology (Columbus, OH) concentrating in Pauline studies, majored in hermeneutics and minored in homiletics. In addition, Pastor Nguyen completed his Master of Divinity at Concordia Seminary (St. Louis, MO).
People have asked him what is his "signature" and his hobbies. He says his "signature" is "teaching." He is considering enrolling in a Ph.D. program in either the New Testament or missiology. With regard to his hobbies… He would never say "No" to eating and drinking in fellowship with people. His favorites are: German sausage, German beer, Indian curry, Japanese ramen or Korean udon, or Vietnamese Bún Bò Hu?.
We thank God that He has called Pastor Nguyen to Immanuel First and pray that He use him strongly to minister to the Asian community, sharing the wonder news of Jesus Christ.