IMB partners with Korean Baptists
By Catherine Finch
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) — Leadership from the International Mission Board emphasized the importance of partnering with Korean brothers and sisters in Christ during a recent conference near Richmond, Va. While Korean Baptists and IMB have a strong history of cooperation, this conference is the next step in further cementing this partnership in new ways.
Throughout the three-day conference, IMB and Korean Baptist leaders heard from IMB president Paul Chitwood, Southern Baptist Convention president J.D. Greear, WMU executive director-treasurer Sandy Wisdom-Martin and Gateway Seminary president Jeff Iorg. Korean leaders included the following: Korea Baptist Convention president Jae Chul Yoon; Korea Baptist Theological University/Seminary president Seon Bae Kim; summit coordinator Kwanjae Yoo and Korea Baptist Convention entity leaders Jae Kyeong Lee of the Korea Foreign Mission Board, Ji Young Ryoo of the Korea Home Mission Board and Yo Sup Lee of the Church Development Board.
Korea Baptist Convention president Jae Chul Yoon stressed the significance of the conference not only for the present but also for the future. “The Summit is a historic turning point towards a future of collaboration between IMB and the Korea Baptist Convention,” Yoon said.
During round-table discussions, participants listened to leaders share their vision for answering the question, “How can we help each other?” All speakers acknowledged how much can be learned from each other and that continued partnership will lead to greater success in reaching the nations for Christ. Chitwood highlighted the importance of the continued partnership as he spoke on the heavenly vision John relayed to the church in Revelation 7:9-10.
“We have the privilege of a unique partnership. We know that it has been in partnership that we have been able to take the Gospel further and see more saved,” Chitwood said. “We stand before God humble and grateful and look forward with much anticipation to what He is about to do in our partnership for the advancement of the Gospel.”
IMB leadership and Korean Baptists reflected on what has been working in their partnership and the areas in which they need to grow. Korean leadership expressed their gratitude that IMB had created avenues for Koreans to participate in IMB programs like the Journeyman, Hands On and others.
Council of Korean Southern Baptist Churches in America president Kwon Lee Sung conveyed his excitement in regards to the conference. “We have been encouraged as we look forward to how the Cooperative Program will serve as the key for a revival among Korean and Korean-American churches and for overseas missions,” Sung said.
As Greear focused on the value of cooperative missions, he reiterated Chitwood’s appreciation of the Korean Baptist and IMB partnership. “We can send people better if we link arms together instead of doing it on our own. The role we play in coming together is the cause of mission,” he said.
Daniel Park, pastor of New Song Church in Carrollton, Texas, pointed to Koreans’ zeal for evangelism when asked what IMB could learn from Korean brothers and sisters.
“I would say one thing [the IMB and Southern Baptist leaders] need to learn from the Koreans is our passion for the Gospel,” Park said.
During a prayer time at the event, participants prayed in Korean and in English. Their passion was evident as they voiced their commitments to send and go wherever the Lord leads.
Seung Ryong Jung, pastor of Everlove Baptist Church in Daejeon, South Korea, described his church’s vision to adopt unengaged, unreached people groups, or UUPGs.
“Twenty or so years ago, God gave us a vision to fulfill the Great Commission. Specifically, God told our congregation to adopt five UUPGs,” Seung said. “We named the vision ‘Vision 2020’ because we wanted to complete it in the year 2020. Throughout the years, we have adopted Uzbek, Burmese, Chinese Muslim, Jewish and Palestinian peoples, and just this year, we adopted Tunisian Arabs. We have fulfilled the vision God has placed in our hearts. Additionally, this year three families dedicated their lives to missions, and we are currently preparing to send out these families. We are excited to partner these families with the IMB through the Korean Baptist Convention.”
As IMB and Korean Baptists propel this essential partnership forward, Korean Baptists in the U.S. are eager to “bridge the gap” with believers in Korea. Park acknowledged the language and cultural barriers, but also recognized what God can do beyond these limitations.
“As Korean pastors in America, we want to use our cultural foundations in both Korea and America as steppingstones between the IMB and pastors in Korea to help this partnership continue to grow and flourish,” Park said.
Victor Hou, associate vice president of Global Advance at IMB, summed up the importance of the partnership. “We can do so much more together than we could do on our own,” Hou said.
Pray for wisdom and discernment for the IMB and Southern Baptist leaders and the Korean Baptists leaders as they continue their long-standing partnership. Pray that God continues to work in and through not only the IMB but also Korean Baptists around the world.
New book ‘recalls lives spent in faithful service’ to SWBTS
FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) — “Profiles of Faithfulness,” a new book from Seminary Hill Press, provides biographies of key men and women who established and stewarded a vision for a school of the prophets in the Southwest — Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“Southwestern Seminary has a rich legacy of Christian leaders who have shaped this institution and, in so doing, have shaped the lives of countless individuals around the world,” said SWBTS president Adam W. Greenway. “I’m delighted by the release of this new title from our Seminary Hill Press, knowing that more than merely introducing readers to Southwestern Seminary’s history, this volume will be an encouragement to all believers to consider what legacies they will leave to enrich Christ’s Kingdom.”
Profiling 16 individuals from the seminary’s history, including early figures B.H. Carroll and L.R. Scarborough as well as later men like Roy J. Fish and William B. Tolar, the book “reveals a rich heritage of Gospel faithfulness” that points to “a great and faithful God who formed and sustained the seminary” since its founding in 1908, Alex Sibley, the book’s editor, said.
“As Dr. Greenway has said since his presidency began, today’s students and faculty are living in a house they did not build, drinking from a well they did not dig,” said Sibley, managing editor of Seminary Hill Press and associate director of news and information at Southwestern Seminary. “This volume highlights some of the men and women who built the house and dug the well.”
The profiles were originally published as news releases on the Southwestern Seminary website. They have been compiled into this single volume in order to “behoove readers interested in Southwestern Seminary’s history, as well as those considering entering into this ‘storyline of Gospel faithfulness,'” Sibley said.
“The individuals chosen are representative of countless more who could have been covered,” Sibley said. “We make no claim to have provided exhaustive coverage of all the men and women who made Southwestern Seminary into the crown jewel seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“But these here are included because of their significant contributions to the development of the institution, and we pray you will be encouraged by how God used each of these individuals to make an impact not just on Southwestern Seminary, but for the Kingdom.”
The chapters were written by Southwestern Seminary’s news writing staff, including Sibley, Katie Coleman and Julie Owens, with one chapter contributed by O.S. Hawkins, president of GuideStone Financial Resources. Gregory A. Wills, research professor of church history and Baptist heritage, wrote the book’s foreword.
Wills called the volume a “book of remembrance” that “recalls lives spent in faithful service to establish and sustain The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.”
“Those remembered in this volume are memorials to God’s faithfulness to us and to former generations,” said Wills, who also serves as director of the B.H. Carroll Center for Baptist Heritage and Mission. “They remind us that we are indebted to them. We benefit from their labors and sacrifices. We receive instruction and wisdom from them. We are encouraged and strengthened by their example.”
“Let us render our thanksgiving to God for them and for this seminary,” Wills continued. “Encouraged by their example, let us deepen our resolve to advance the purposes for which this seminary exists — to serve our Savior with faithful labor and unflagging zeal for the advance of the Gospel and the strengthening of His church.”
Profiles of Faithfulness: Legacy Servants of The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is available at SeminaryHillPress.com here.