Pastor Ikeda was born in Tokyo and attended a church service for the first time when he was in high school. A few months later he was in great distress when he failed his university entrance exam. It was then that he heard in his heart Matthew 16:24, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” He didn’t know where that Bible verse was, so he went to see the pastor and ask about his experience. He was saved and baptized in November
1958. He was working at a university research office when he received the call from the Lord and decided to dedicate his
life for His service in 1963. After studying at Tokyo Bible Seminary from 1964 to 1967, he married in 1969, and with his wife started pioneering a church in Hongodai Yokohama. The Hongodai Christ Church is now one of the leading churches in Japan.