Current and Past Ministers

Current Resident Minister

Rev. Ron Miyamura is the current resident minister at the Midwest Buddhist Temple. He also serves as supervising minister of the Cleveland Buddhist Temple and the Twin Cities Buddhist Association (Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN).

Rev. Miyamura graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and attended the pre-ministerial candidate version of the Institute of Buddhist Studies, before going to Ryukoku University in Kyoto, Japan where he earned his master’s degree in Shin Buddhist Studies. He received his ministerial ordination in 1973.

From 1973 to 1975, Rev. Miyamura served as associate minister at the Midwest Buddhist Temple with the late Rev. Gyodo Kono, the temple’s founding minister. After Rev. Kono’s sudden passing in 1975, Rev. Miyamura served as MBT’s resident minister until 1981, when he resigned from the active ministry. During his official absence from active ministry, Rev. Miyamura continued ministering the Twin Cities Sangha and continued to assist Midwest Buddhist Temple ministers.

In 2009, Rev. Miyamura became the part-time minister of the Cleveland Buddhist Temple. In 2010, he became the supervising minister of Midwest Buddhist Temple and then, in 2011, MBT’s full-time resident minister.

Rev. Miyamura and his wife, Elaine, live on the North Side of Chicago.

Our Founding Minister

Our founder, Rev. Gyodo Kono, served our temple from 1944 until his death in 1975. Born on April 5, 1911, in Sakamachi, Hiroshima, he was the first of eight children of the Rev. and Mrs. Gyojo Kono. Young Rev. Kono received his degree in Shin Buddhism from the Ryukoku University in Japan, making him the 24th generation of ministers in his family.

Rev. Kono arrived in the United States on April 9, 1937. His first temple assignment was in Hanford, Calif. During WWII, he was sent to the Fresno Assembly Center in 1942 and then to Jerome and Rohwer, Arkansas Relocation Centers.

Upon his release from Rohwer in 1943, Rev. Kono moved to Chicago and founded the Midwest Buddhist Church (the original name for the Midwest Buddhist Temple) on July 10, 1944. Following the death of his father, he was asked to return to Japan to take over the Sairinji Temple, but chose instead to remain in Chicago and lead the Midwest Buddhist Temple. His longevity at one location is a testimonial in the ministerial field.

On Sept. 30, 1945, Rev. Kono married Grace Fumiko Nishi of Hanford, Calif., and their son, Ronald Tets Kono was born in Chicago in January 1953.

In 1964, Rev. Kono spearheaded the campaign to build our new temple. Seven years later, on Nov. 7, 1971, he proudly officiated the dedication ceremony of our Temple of Enlightenment. Rev. Kono personally selected the beautiful naijin (altar) that was subsequently enshrined on Nov. 26, 1972.

We lost our compassionate teacher, leader and friend on Dec. 30, 1975.

Past and Present Ministers

Rev. Gyodo Kono 1944–1975
Rev. Bunyu Fujimura 1945–1946
Rev. Masami Fujitani 1952–1957
Rev. Kenji Itahara 1957–1959
Rev. Kakuyei Tada 1959–1963
Rev. Tetsunen Hirota 1963–1966
Rev. Shinei Shigefuji 1967–1972
Rev. Ron Miyamura 1973–1981
Rev. Masaaki Yamamoto 1976–1981
Rev. Eijun Kujo 1981–1988
Rev. Shinshi Ohseki 1986–1991
Rev. Koshin Ogui 1992–2004
Rev. Bryan Siebuhr 2004–2010
Rev. Ron Miyamura 2010–present