First Korean Presbyterian Church


 Development of First Korean Presbyterian Church of Anchorage, Alaska:

 Original trustees:

• Jim M. Kim, 4700 Canterbury Way;

•Sang Ik Chang, 4112 Chess Drive; and

• Won Pal Chung, 3325 Madison Way.

October 16, 1976 -- Report of Commission to Organize First Korean Presbyterian Church, Anchorage. The names of 71 persons were received for approval as members, coming by letter of transfer from others churches, by reaffirmation of faith, and by confession of faith. (Names not currently in file.) 

October 17, 1976 -- Commissioning of Mr. Joon Hee Park as lay preacher and the organization of First Korean Presbyterian Church, Anchorage, AK. Eight-six persons attended the service (52 seated on the right side, 20 seated on the left, seven participants, one organist, three standing in the narthex, and three who came in late!) 

January 30, 1977 -- Ordination of Deacons (must get document translated.)

May 22, 1977 -- Ordination and installation of Joon Hee Park as pastor and the commissioning of Mrs. Yu Sil Kang as lay preacher.

Upon completion of high school, Mr. Park entered the Seoul Theological Seminary in 1967. In February 1971, he received the Bachelor of Theology degree which is the required degree for ordination in the Oriental Mission Society. The OMS is an ecumenical body, including Presbyterians, in Korea. Following seminary, Mr. Park served for three years as a chaplain intern in the Korean Army. This is a second requirement for ordination in the OMS. Following this internship, Mr. Park could have been ordained in Korea, except that he had not reached the age of 30 as required by his church. 

Since the fall of 1976, Mr. Park has given excellent leadership to a small but growing group of Korean Christians in Anchorage. The congregation was formally organized in October 1976. In January (1977), in order to function properly in our denomination's system of church government, Mr. Park took a course in Presbyterian Polity at San Francisco Theological Seminary under Dr. Warren Lee. (from Letter of Support for Ordination, the Rev. Gene Straatmeyer.) 

July 10, 1977 -- Jim Kim, clerk of session, sends letter requesting use of Hillcrest Church property.

July 14, 1981 -- Special meeting of the Yukon Presbytery to transfer title to the Trinity United Presbyterian Church property located at 3300 Wyoming Drive to enable previously authorized sale of Trinity to the First Korean Presbyterian Church. The manse located at 3217 Wyoming was also transferred. (Trinity congregation moved to Huffman Road.) 

March 22, 1982 -- The Rev. Kyung Chun Lee transfers from Kang Nam Presbytery of Presbyterian Church of Korea to Yukon Presbytery, to serve First Korean Presbyterian Church of Anchorage.

Special Committee on Korean American Ministries

Office of the General Assembly, Sept. 1977

The 181st General Assembly (1975) established a Special Committee on Korean Ministries in the U.S.A. to deal with two basic concerns: 1) the existence of Korean language presbyteries in this country unrelated to any denomination; 2) the concerns of Korean ministers and Korean language churches already in our denomination.

During its two years of existence, the Special Committee has concerned itself primarily with three Korean Presbyteries in the hope that they might be received into our denomination.

These three Korean Presbyteries have now determined to form a General Assembly known as the Korean Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Unfortunately, our General Assembly Committee was not given the mandate to discuss union between two denominations, so this phase of the Committee's work can no longer be of primary concern.

Basic emphasis will now be placed on the second part of the Special Committee's work. The Committee hopes that fraternal relationships and sharing of church buildings will be a part of the relations between the new denomination and our own. 

In regard to Korean congregations of Presbyterian background in this country, the Special Committee encourages presbyteries to be open to accepting Korean ministers into membership, to receiving Korean congregations as members of presbytery and to assisting such congregations through sharing church buildings. The Committee believes these relationships offer a unique opportunity for mission.

Since there is some confusion about Korean churches in this country, the following brief description of such denominations may be useful in relating to Korean congregations in your area. The United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America is in full correspondence with two Korean denominations. One is the Presbyterian Church of Korea to which most Korean ministers in this country belong.

The second denomination is the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea. Much of the confusion lies in the fact that two other denominations are also called Presbyterian Church of Korea. Our denomination is not in official correspondence with these churches although several Korean United Presbyterian ministers are of this background.

The Special Committee would like to emphasize two points. First, the Office of the General Assembly through the Associate Stated Clerk, Robert F. Stevenson, is the contact who will facilitate transfer of credentials from Korean churches to our denomination. Second, information on resources for church development including consultative assistance can be pursued through the Program Agency, Office of Congregational Development or through the Korean Presbyterian Council, 3 which is made up of Koreans who are part of the United Presbyterian Church.

1 The Presbyterian Church of Korea is also known by the names Tonghop, Jesus Presbyterian and Yaejung. The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea is also known as Ki Jang, Christ Presbyterian of ROK Church.

2 These churches are also called Hopdong or N.A.E. and Koryo.

3 The current Korean Presbyterian Council chairperson is the Rev. Joseph H. Ryu, 3010 Williamsburg Drive, Schenectady, NY 12303.

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