Getting people togetherlouis_lee 4
Heart for Justice and Racism
Asian American Christian Trends





As significant numbers of Asian Americans increasingly came of age in the 1990s and early 2000s, Louis Lee and his organization Ministries for English Speaking Asians (MESA) was one of the main players that helped forge the beginnings of an “Asian American Christian” identity.

Sensing a need first among American Born Chinese (ABCs) and later other “English Speaking Asians” for connection and encouragement, Louis organized MESA in 1988. As its only paid staff member, Louis hosted countless lunches and regional conferences for men, women, married couples and families, in California, Chicago, Boston, New York and Washington DC. In 2004 and in 2008, MESA gathered all these leaders nationwide, hosting the Asian American Leadership Conferences (AALC). (The 2013 AALC conference was hosted by another organization, the Asian American Leadership Center.*)

These meetings allowed Asian American Christian leaders to meet others outside the usual ethnic church, denomination or parachurch circles, some for the first time. As MESA encouraged partnerships, and friendships were formed, new gatherings and organizations were inspired like the Southeast Asian Catalyst (SEAC), and its biennial conference, Southeast Asian Leadership Summit (SEALS).

MESA and its legacy is due to Louis heart for Asian American Christian leaders. To worship leader Peter Lum, Louis is a unique leader with a “tremendous ability to connect with people one-on-one, heart-to-heart.” With no agenda other than to encourage and connect, he was able to lead leaders to meet and work alongside one another in hosting these gatherings and conferences, modeling and priming many for partnerships that continue to form to this day.

Louis Lee currently is the Pastor of Chinese Community Church in Sacramento.


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