Korean-American Ministry

Wichita, Kan., Korean United Methodist Church

In 1988, the Kansas West Conference established it's first Korean-American congregation. The Korean United Methodist Church is located in Wichita, the largest city in the conference and a community with a significant Korean population.

The conference provided financial and spiritual support to the fledgling congregation. The church has grown from 12 members to more than 150 members.

While services are conducted in Korean, the service is translated into English for the spouses of its Korean-speaking members and visitors. The words of the hymns are projected in Korean and English on screens. Each song is sung first in Korean and then in English.

Central Korean, Overland Park, Kan.

Central Korean United Methodist located in Overland Park, Kan., was founded more than 10 years ago by Dr. Young Ho Chun, professor of Theology at St. Paul’s School of Theology. For the first few years of Central's existence, they met at Asbury United Methodist Church. They bought their own building a few years later.

Each week their worship is led in Korean. They are growing and appealing to many Korean-speaking seekers. In 2006, their average worship attendance grew from 25 to around 75 a Sunday. Their pastor, Rev. In-Ki Lee, was pastor at a Korean church in Russia before coming to Central. They recently hired a seminary graduate to work with their youth and young adults who are second-generation Koreans.

Love Korean, Pittsburg, Kan.

A new Korean congregation started in 2012 at First United Methodist Church in Pittsburg, Kan. The congregation meets at First UMC in Pittsburg.


Junction City, Kan., Korean UMC

In the 1980's the Korean Methodist Church was celebrating their 100th anniversary.  To celebrate and commemorate that anniversary the Korean Church sent three missionary couples to the United States. One of the missionaries, Rev. and Mrs. Jeo Jeong Shim and their three children came to Junction City, Kan., and established the Korean United Methodist Church there.

The congregation met in Church of Our Savior for the first years of its ministry.  On March 31, 1985, D.S. Don Hines, assisted by D.S. Jean Marie Grabher, former missionary to Korea, and Rev. Don Anderson, pastor of Church of Our Savior, constituted the Korean Church of Junction City as a member of the Kansas East Conference.


National Plan for Korean-American Ministry

The United Methodist Church's General Board of Global Ministries has worked with the Korean United Methodist Council to establish the Korean-American National Plan for ministry. The council agreed on three vision areas for the Korean American National Plan for 2005-08:

  • Servant-leadership formation for clergy, laity and youth.
  • Next-generation ministries to develop English ministries and campus ministries for English-speaking 1.5 and 2nd generations.
  • Congregational development, nurture and redevelopment focusing on new Korean-language ministries, existing Korean United Methodist churches and Korean mission congregations.

The council also set six goals:

  1. Implement an effective servant-leadership formation strategy and program for clergy, professional staff and lay leaders for first and next generations. Emphasis will be on spiritual servant-leadership formation, the United Methodist connection, community outreach and justice ministry, mission interpretation, intergenerational partnership and cross-cultural communication.
  2. Emphasize a leadership formation program and integration plan for Korean-American clergywomen, focusing on ministry in Korean congregations as well as the overall United Methodist Church.
  3. Strengthen existing next-generation congregations and campus ministries, and establish 15 new ones.
  4. Implement a strategy to recruit next-generation men and women for training and ordination through United Methodist-related seminaries.
  5. Help existing Korean-American mission congregations become self-sufficient, strengthen chartered Korean United Methodist churches and establish 15 new Korean congregations.
  6. Expand culturally relevant resource materials and national data on Korean-American United Methodist churches and mission.