Ikki Soma's Background and Experience

"I am passionate about preaching and teaching God's Word for the sake of changed lives both in time and in eternity..."


  • Born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1971
  • Grew up in Los Angeles, California
  • Married to Tara; father to Kimi and Grace
  • Runner and Certified Personal Trainer
  • Registered State of Texas prison chaplain since 1999
  • Bachelor of Science, California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, 1994
  • Master of Theology in Pastoral Ministries, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1999
  • PhD student in Leadership Studies, Our Lady of the lake University (12 hours)



  • Pastor of College & Singles, Wayside Chapel, San Antonio, Texas, 2010-present
  • Founding Pastor, Connection Community Church, San Antonio, Texas 2004-2009
  • Founding Pastor, All Peoples Bible Fellowship, San Antonio, Texas 2000-2004
  • Pastoral Assistant, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, Dallas, Texas 1998-2000


In his own words:

"I believe I was born and born-again for the role of Senior Pastor of City of Refuge Evangelical Presbyterian Church. I was born in Tokyo, Japan, and moved to an ethnically diverse neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, when I was 7 months old. I wake up every morning to cross-cultural ministry. My wife Tara is African-American and our two daughters are bi-racial. As the pastor of my home, I serve in a cross-cultural ministry. I trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and later served on youth staff at a large, predominantly white church in Northern California. I was licensed to preach and ordained at a predominantly African-American church in Dallas, Texas - Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. I currently serve as pastor of college and single adults at Wayside Chapel in San Antonio - one of the largest Evangelical Free Churches in America.

My ministry vision is that the local church would be a visible manifestation of the invisible, multi-ethnic Kingdom of God. I believe this visible manifestation of the Kingdom of God can make an eternal impact on the community and city.

My ministry preference is being a team member of an elder-led church where members are encouraged to be a part of the three "S's" of ministry: Sunday morning worship service, small groups, and serving regularly in the community.

It is during the Sunday morning worship service that the family of God can collectively worship and hear. It is in small groups that disciples can carry out the one another's of the New Testament. And it is in serving that we use the gifts and resources that God has entrusted to us." - Ikki Soma