The New York Buddhist Church was founded by Rev. Hozen Seki in 1938. He was detained during WWII, but the church continued their activities, such as services for people who relocated to New York, visiting Nisei soldiers, and especially for members of a Buddhist Youth group from Honolulu. They organized dance parties for Nisei soldiers. The church provided accommodations for the relocated persons who were Buddhist. Charity performances held twice a year provided the necessary funds for these services, and at the same time they provided enjoyment for the Issei, who suffered severe hardships during the war. In 1948, to commemorate its tenth anniversary, NYBC announced the establishment of the American Buddhist Academy, a university with dormitories. The unveiling ceremony of the statue of Shinran Shonin from Hiroshima was held on September 11, 1955. The church celebrated its 50th anniversary on June 4 and 5, 1988.