Rev. Shi Hua Dhammaruchi (Rev. William Edwards) first took Buddhist refuge (the rough equivalent of Christian Baptism) in 1985 with the Nichiren Sho Shu Buddhist sect in Etiwanda, California. Then in 1994 he again took refuge, this time with Ven. Master Shing Yun, at the Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, California, where he was given the Dharma name of “Ho Bang” (pronounced: Heř Bong).
In January of 1997 He was ordained as a Buddhist Minister by Ven. Chao Chu and Ven. Havanpola Ratnasara Nayaka Thero of the Buddhist Sangha Council of Southern California. Rev. Dhammaruchi’s master, Ven. Chao Chu, gave him the Dhamma name of “Dhammaruchi.”
Rev. Dhammaruchi worked for his primary teacher, Ven. Chao Chu, abbot of Rosemead Buddhist Monastery, as Ven. Chao Chu’s personal secretary, and editor of the Buddhist magazine “Common Sense: The Buddhist Educational Journal.” Rev. Dhammaruchi directed planning and organization of symposiums and lecture for Rosemead Buddhist Monastery from 1998 to 2000. Between 1997 and 2001 Rev. Edwards performed ministerial duties at the Rosemead Buddhist Monastery such as: conducting the Sunday morning English religious services; assisting Ven. Chao Chu in wedding ceremonies, refuge ceremonies, and funeral services; planning, preparing and executing of annual Vesak observances.
He also worked from 1999 to 2001 for Ven. Chan Kuang, abbess of Fa Kwang Buddhist Temple in Downey, California, as an English teacher and Sunday school teacher.
Rev. Dhammaruchi has authored articles published in the Buddhist periodicals: Common Sense, Turning Wheel (magazine of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship), and The Buddhist Times.
In September of 2001, Rev. Dhammaruchi moved to Jefferson City, Missouri, with his family and founded the Vipassana Buddhist Church/Center for Buddhist Development.
In 2005, he was invited to participate in, and be one of the featured speakers at, the Global Buddhist Conference: Buddhism in a Post-Tsunami Context in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
He was a former commissioner on the City of Jefferson Human Relations Commission, and president of the Capitol Area Interfaith Alliance (CAIA) in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Venerable Dr K. Sri Dhammananda blesses
Rev. Dhammaruchi, saying: "You are my Disciple now."
May all beings be peaceful, may all beings be happy, may all beings be free from harm