Members gathered for their meetings at 825 “F” Street. The average age of the members then was only twenty-four years old. In January 1901, the first resident minister, the Rev. Fukyo Asaeda, was assigned from the mother temple Hompa Hongwanji of Kyoto, Japan, and the first service was held on January 27, 1901. Not long afterwards, a three-story temple building was completed on April 8, 1902 and was dedicated. Fifteen years later in January 1917 the name was changed, and the Fresno Buddhist Church was born. Unfortunately, in May 1919, a fire destroyed the wooden building, leaving nothing but the adjacent dormitory standing. The members were disheartened but not defeated, soon gathered enough funds to replace the wooden structure with a concrete building. This building was dedicated in November 1920 and is the same structure that currently stands at the 1340 Kern Street site.
On November 4, 1936, the Fresno Buddhist Church was elevated to the status of “Betsuin” by the mother temple Hompa Hongwanji of Kyoto Japan. A “Betsuin” temple indicates direct branch status with the mother temple and is a great honor. This new status confers the title of “Rimban” to the head minister, who is said to serve as the representative of the “Abbot”, or Monshu, the religious head of the denomination. The Rev. Enryo Shigefuji was the first minister to be granted the title of Rimban of Fresno Buddhist Temple. Currently, Rev. Kakei Nakagawa is the Rimban. The Jodo Shinshu membership consists of over 1,400 people stretching across the San Joaquin Valley..