We have a special guest this week: Dong-Jin Baik, Children’s Pastor at Global Village (Ji-Gu-Chon) Church in Washington D.C.
As you know, our current Children’s Pastor, Mrs. Seo, wants to take an early retirement and become a foreign missionary. She wanted to go last year, but her planned successor abruptly decided to leave our church. So she postponed her retirement and we have been praying for a replacement. God seems to have answered our prayer.
A while ago, Pastor Baik came to our church as a guest speaker for our children’s department volunteers. People were impressed by his expertise and personality. Mrs. Seo arranged for him and his wife to have breakfast with me the morning before they left. During our conversation, he said that his church expects their assistant pastors to leave after 6-7 years of service and utilize their experience elsewhere. He also said that even though he enjoys children’s ministry, he wouldn’t make it his career. He was more interested in ministry for English speaking adults or college students.
I suggested that he consider coming to our church as Mrs. Seo’s successor. I told him that pastors should make decisions on the basis of God’s needs rather than their own, and that God’s greatest need is in children’s ministry because very few pastors want to serve in this area for their entire lives.
My arguments must have affected him. A few days later, he wrote to me saying that he would be interested in the position.
For our church, it’s a bonanza. You know how hard it is to find a children’s pastor. It’s even harder to find a children’s pastor who speaks both English and Korean fluently. It is next to impossible to find such a pastor who is male. But Pastor Baik satisfies all three conditions. It’s an honor for our church that a person like Pastor Baik is considering serving here.
Pastor Baik was born in a Christian family. His father has been an Assistant Pastor at Suwon Central Baptist Church, pastored by Billy Kim, who interpreted for Billy Graham when he had a crusade in Korea. His brother is a Shepherd at our church.
He came to the U.S. when he was 16 years old, attended high school in New York and graduated from Moody Bible Institute. He earned two degrees – a Master of Divinity and Master of Theology – from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His wife Gina (Ji-in) majored in Interior Design, and they have a daughter Chloe.
He will meet with various groups and preach to the Korean-speaking congregation on Sunday. Later, our congregation will vote on whether to invite him as Mrs. Seo’s successor.
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