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Billy Kim honored as statesman

INDIANAPOLIS (BP)–Korean Baptist leader Billy Kim, former president of the Baptist World Alliance, received the Distinguished Baptist Statesman Award June 10 from the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee for his lifelong service in global evangelism and leadership among Baptists.

The award was presented by Morris H. Chapman, the Executive Committee’s president and CEO, during the SBC annual meeting at the Indiana Convention Center. It was accompanied by a resolution of appreciation listing Kim’s preaching and broadcasting accomplishments.

“Billy, you’re a dear friend to Southern Baptists, and we love you,” Chapman said. “On behalf of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, today I present to you the Distinguished Baptist Statesman Award for your powerful evangelistic preaching around the world, your global leadership among Baptists and your witness to corporate executives, presidents of nations and the common man on the street, whose names all shall appear in the Lamb’s Book of Life because you, Billy Kim, introduced them to Jesus.”

Kim thanked Southern Baptists for their global witness and their willingness to assist persecuted Baptists across the world.

“On behalf of all the Baptists in Korea, I want to say thank you for your help,” he said. “I want to say thank you for all the Baptists around the world who are struggling to survive in some of the most difficult countries in the world. Because of the Southern Baptist Convention, because of your love and because of your concern, many of them survived and are growing in their numbers.

“I believe I speak for the entire Baptist people around the world who are suffering and persecuted,” Kim continued. “Because of your faithfulness to support and your prayers and your financial support through missionary programs, many of the churches around the world struggling will look forward to meeting in heaven.”

Kim, who served as BWA president from 2000 to 2005, was leading the organization when the Southern Baptist Convention withdrew from it in 2004. Kim tried to persuade SBC leaders to remain in the Baptist World Alliance but always listened to their concerns and understood the obstacles they faced, Chapman said.

A tribute video to Kim acclaimed his 50-year ministry, which included service as pastor of the 12,000-plus-member Central Baptist Church in Suwon, South Korea, president of the Far East Broadcasting Company and speaker at evangelistic meetings worldwide. A highlight of Kim’s ministry was interpreting for Billy Graham during a 1973 evangelistic campaign in Korea, according to the video.

A native of Korea, Kim came to the United States through a relationship he formed with an American soldier during the Korean Conflict. While pursuing university studies in America, Kim trusted Christ as his Savior and sensed God calling him to ministry. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C., and numerous honorary doctorates from schools worldwide.

Kim’s radio ministry has brought the Gospel to closed countries such as China and North Korea, as well as Russia and Japan.

Kim is “an outstanding ambassador for Christ whose testimony stands aglow. He is a world renowned pastor, evangelist, and broadcaster,” Chapman said, adding, “He is always a gracious Christian gentleman.”

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  • David Roach