Toft-spoken and with a hint of a Midwestern accent flattened out by world travel, Henry Adams has, since April, been the minister at the Buddhist Church of Santa Barbara and Oxnard Buddhist Temple. That makes him the first non-Japanese-born minister to hold services at both churches.
At 33, the Rev. Adams modestly downplays the newsworthy nature of such a position. For him, it was simply a month between finishing his training and stepping into a vacancy left by the former minister. He was suggested to the Oxnard church by the Bishop of the Buddhist Churches of America and contracted to the Santa Barbara temple as well. And he wasn’t aware, he says, of the special import of his choice. Ten percent of current active ministers, he says, are of non-Japanese descent.