Bill Watanabe shares about his experience with Agape Fellowship, a Christian group that started as a commune and soon became a cult. Bill discusses the encouraging beginnings of the fellowship, and then the first warning signs that the group’s charismatic leader was starting to lose his way. (Intro: Mamma Mia)
Bill Watanabe is the former Executive Director of the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC), a multipurpose social welfare agency in the Little Tokyo district in downtown Los Angeles. Starting as a one-person office, Bill, together with the Board of Directors, developed a comprehensive program of social services, housing and community development activities, with a combined staff of over 150 employees and hundreds of volunteers. In addition to his work with LTSC, Bill was President of the Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON), the largest social service network in the Asian community, and was the founder of the Asian Pacific Community Fund which has awarded over $1.5 million in grants. He has also been President of the Asian Pacific Health Care Venture, and has served on the Board of the California Association of Nonprofits and chaired the statewide Nonprofit Policy Council of California. Nationally, Bill also served on the national Board of Amnesty International USA, a worldwide human rights advocacy organization. Locally, he served for many years as the Board Chairman of the Evergreen Baptist Church of San Gabriel Valley. Bill received his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cal State Northridge, and his Masters in Social Work from UCLA. Bill and his wife have a daughter, and they live in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles.