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Koreans, GGBTS celebrate partnership

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)–This year’s 50th anniversary of Korean Southern Baptist work in the United States holds special significance to Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary: Every Korean Southern Baptist church in the San Francisco Bay Area has or has had a Golden Gate graduate as a pastor.

The seminary’s Founders Day 2007 chapel thus was a recognition and celebration of the partnership between Korean Southern Baptists and the seminary.

“Golden Gate is my school and I am so grateful for it,” said David Gill, pastor of Concord Korean Baptist Church in Concord, Calif., and former second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

“It is amazing how God has been blessing this seminary and Korean work in America,” Gill told the April 26 gathering.

In the 50 years since Don and Esther Kim planted a Korean Southern Baptist church in Los Angeles, the number of such churches in the country has grown exponentially -– from 10 in 1974 to 750 in 2004.

Korean Southern Baptists also are joining the ranks of the Southern Baptist missionary force.

Joe Kim, professor of intercultural studies at the Southern California campus of GGBTS, noted that the International Mission Board had sent out 170 Korean-Americans 18 months ago. “Now they are sending out 270 -– with a goal of 1,000 Korean-American missionaries by 2010,” Kim said.

Gill noted that his church in Concord has sent five couples overseas through the IMB and two more are in the application process.

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  • Amanda Phifer