"It will take many buses," said Chongoh Aum, executive director of the Korean fellowship. "Korean pastors will attend and vote for agenda related to SBC," such as the initial ballots for SBC officers.
About 800 people from 600 Korean Southern Baptist churches in 40 states gathered in Linthicum, Md., last June for the Korean fellowship's annual meeting, according to a report by the BaptistLIFE newsjournal of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware.
A similar number of Korean pastors and church leaders are anticipated this year.
The Council of Korean Southern Baptist Churches in America was organized in 1981, 30 years after the first Korean Southern Baptist church in America was started in Washington, D.C. (However, it is Berendo Street Baptist Church in Los Angeles, started in 1957, which is considered to be the "mother church" for the 850 or more Korean Southern Baptist churches now dotted across the nation.)
This year's June 10-12 Korean council meeting will be hosted by Seoul Baptist Church in Houston, where Sookwan Lee is pastor and about 1,400 people participate in Sunday worship.
Elections are expected to be the main business during the Korean council's sessions. Peter Hwang, the current vice president, is the only announced candidate for president to date. Aum, meanwhile, is the only announced candidate for what would be his second four-year term as the council's executive director.
Among council-related entities to present reports during the council's meeting are the Education Board, which led a "Training for Trainers" workshop in March for some 100 pastors who serve in America; the Home Mission Board, which supports 30 church planters across America; and the Foreign Mission Board, which supports 21 units in East Asia, the Middle East and nearby nations.
Three pastors will be honored with 20-year service awards: Heewoo Lee of Korean American Baptist Church in Fort Myers, Fla.; Ilkyun Kim of Korean Baptist Church of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; and Sungtae Kim of Korean Grace Baptist Church in Junction City, Kan.
The Korean Council's first session will open at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 10. Sessions will reconvene with prayer at 6 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Jay Kim, pastor of First Virginia Korean Baptist Church in Springfield, will again lead the council's program for teens. Joy Lee, a teacher at First Korean Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., will lead the program for children.
"Korean Baptist pastors are brothers with Southern Baptist pastors," Aum said. "We are the same. We believe the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. ... It is so difficult to support missionaries alone, so Korean pastors make association to educate and fellowship."
With translation provided by Younok Lee. Karen L. Willoughby is managing editor of the Louisiana Baptist Message, newsjournal for the 1,600 churches in the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
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