Temple Leadership

The Spokane Buddhist Temple is an all-volunteer Temple. The Board of Directors are elected by the dues paying members.

The 2020 Board of Directors (left to right):
Vice President Chad Donoho, KNona Liddell, Secretary Shawn Boltz, Treasurer Lisa Geiss, Celeste Sterrett, President Becca Opel, Patricia Ohashi, Tina Rodeen, Curtis Cooley

Our Services are conducted by Minister Assistants (MA) under the supervision of Reverend Katsuya Kusunoki, Rinban of the Seattle Betsuin (Temple). Reverend Melissa Opel, in 2019, became a Tokudo certified Reverend. The Minister Assistants, a Board Member, and lay members constitute the Religious Education Committee (REC) who arrange all services and workshops, and invite visiting ministers.

Left to right: MA Eric Kerkove, MA Chad Donoho, Reverend Katsu Kusunoki, Reverend Melissa Opel

Rinban Katsu Kusunoki of the Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple, is our Supervising Minister. Reverend Kusunoki’s advanced training includes the Hongwanji-ha Rituals course for leaders (Gonshiki). He is a Hongwanji-ha certified Special Rituals Minister

Left to right: MA Eric Kerkove; Reverend Melissa Opel; Reverend Kodo Umezu, Bishop, Retired; MA Chad Donoho; Sensei Paul Vielle (Retired)

The Spokane Buddhist Temple is a member of the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA), under the leadership of Reverend Marvin Harada, Bishop of the Buddhist Churches of America.  The Bishop (Socho in Japanese) is the religious leader of the Buddhist Churches of America. He directs the BCA’s efforts and the efforts of all of us in a variety of programs to achieve our objectives. See the May 2020 newsletter for a message from Reverend Harada, Bishop.

The Buddhist Churches of America is the oldest and largest Buddhist Organization of temples and churches in the United States. They started in America 120 years ago, and have about 60 temples and churches located throughout the United States. The BCA Mission Statement is TO PROMOTE THE BUDDHA, DHARMA, AND SANGHA as well as TO PROPAGATE THE JODO SHINSHU TEACHINGS.

The main temple of our sect is Ryukoku-zan Hongwanji (Nishi Hongwanji), located in Kyoto, Japan. The BCA is part the temples in Hawaii, Canada, South America, Mexico, Australia, Taiwan, Nepal, and Europe. His Eminence, Koshin Ohtani, who is a direct descendent of Shinran Shonin, is the head priest of Hongwanji, spiritual leader, and presides with the Japanese title of “Monshu”.