The story of Sean Ho Kim’s conversion and ministry

I was born in Ahnsung, Kyunggi-Do, Korea in 1962 as the third child of four children. My parents were rich farmers. So I learned the laws of nature and the importance of diligence and manual labor by working on the farm.

I received good grades in the middle school. Therefore, my parents allowed me to study at a high school in Incheon, which is one of the major cities in Korea. By the providence of God, I met Christ during high school. One of my high school classmates was a sincere Adventist. He gave me a book titled Today’s Religion published by the Voice of Prophecy. Through the study of the book, I came to understand how wonderfully the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation were accomplished. Moreover, the conviction led me to believe in Christ. From that time on, I attended the church and became an active member of the Adventist Student Association of the church.

In Korea all the schools are open on Sabbath. As a consequence, my parents and teachers persecuted me for refusing to attend school on Saturdays. As I decided to live in faith, I participated in the door-to-door evangelism, street evangelism, and Pathfinder activities. With the dedication of the students, the church grew in love and numbers. The Adventist Student Association had the full support of the church.

When I attended the Youth Camp Meeting in 1979, I was touched by the speakers and was baptized there. At that time, I decided to follow the Lamb wherever He leads me. Also, I decided to devote my life to God as a minister.

Although I found a job after graduating from high school, I had quit because of problems with keeping the Sabbath problems. So I began colporteur ministry. However, many Adventists elders encouraged me to study theology to be a pastor. When I prayed about my future, God gave me the conviction to become a pastor. In 1982, I entered Sahmyuk Korean Union College to study theology.

After two years of study, I had to join the military (mandatory for all Korean males) as a national guard for three years. It was very difficult to keep the Sabbath during those years. However, God performed miracles for me to keep the Sabbath holy and through the strenuous training I felt I was being refined to become pure gold.

After the completion of my military service, I continued to study theology. I prayed hard to be a faithful and able servant for Him. During that time, I served as a student missionary for youth and student associations for churches of various sizes and a director of temperance at the university. I also organized the Olympic Evangelism Team in 1988 during the Seoul Olympic Competition. These experiences laid a good foundation for future ministry.

My first call to ministry came from the West Central Korean Conference (WCKC) just after I graduated in 1989. I was assigned to the Indukwon Church with a membership of 100—about mid-sized in that conference. It was considered rare for an intern pastor to be assigned to such a large church. I started my ministry with daily 5 am prayer meetings. God poured out the Holy Spirit and answered our prayers. New members were added to the church. They were divided into two groups and my wife and I each taught Bible studies. (My wife also studied theology in college and education in graduate school.) We harvested 40 people as the result of our work. Since the church also owned a Kindergarten school, we started a ministry for the children’s parents. Several began attending the church as a result.

After I finished my two-year internship, I was called to serve the Sin-Jung Church. The church was ready to work for the LORD. The former pastor had worked very hard. The church members sacrificed their own homes to purchase the church building.

Again, I started my ministry with daily early morning prayer meetings and overnight prayer meetings. It started spiritual fire for the church. We reaped many souls through the Prophecy Seminar. At the seminar, two sisters who were members of Seong Rak Bapist Church attended. With their conversion, their parents and other six brothers and sisters and their children joined our church.

We organized the church as a small group system, and many members participated in the weekday evangelism program. At that time, Dr. Sang Lee was very poplar with his Health Seminar through television. So we began a Health Education Center at the church. Many people were taught at the center for six years and I baptized about 70 people.

In 1997, Korean Union and the WCKC assigned me to study at the Sahmyook Theological Seminary, giving me a full scholarship and living expenses for a year. During graduate school I also participated in the 1997 Creation Explosion Tour administered by GRI (Geo-science Research Institute) and supported by the General Conference. This opened my eyes to a new calling for my future. I later wrote my thesis on the topic  “Work on the Pastoral Use of the Creation Theory.”

At that time, Korean Seventh-day Adventist scholars and pastors organized the Korean Adventist Creation Explosion Society (KACES). I served as the planning department’s director. We held 30 Creation Explosion tours. We also constructed the No Mok Nature Explosion Center. Currently, it has 20 employees and volunteers. Many elementary, intermediate and high school level students from both Adventist and non-Adventist schools are visiting the center. Inspired by these successful activities, the North Pacific and Asian Division opened the Creation Science Institute at Sahmyook University.

In 1998, I was assigned to Bang Bae Central Church, where I administered several Creation Explosion tours. It was a very effective way to win the unbelieving spouses of my members.

Encouraged by this successful work, I came to the United States to study more about geology. I tried to study at Loma Linda University, but the school cancelled its plan to open a Creation-Science Department at the graduate level. So I studied at Riverside Community College in Riverside, California and worked as an assistant pastor for the Rosemead Korean Church.

I was called by the Lord to go to Tampa Korean SDA Church in January 2005 to unify and awaken the church members to be a church loved by the local communities. Especially, we worked for Bible studies full of grace and truth where our church members gathered together. For the local communities, we held health seminars and provided medical, social and youth education to raise awareness of the church’s existence and help many people get in touch with the Word of God.

During my 20-plus years of serving God, I have formed several pastoral philosophies. First, a close personal relationship with God is most important. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is needed everyday. Second, the church needs various kinds of soul winning activities and spiritual nurture. I always encourage members to participate in the soul winning activities, prayer meetings and small Bible study groups. I also encourage them to read the Bible entirely at least once a year and tithe faithfully.

Currently, I am studying Natural Church Development and the Purpose Driven Church. I like to apply these principles in my ministry. I believe the motivating power for church growth is the Holy Spirit, Bible study and prayer. If church members are standing firm on the Word, the church cannot help but grow.

 Pastor Sean Ho Kim and his wife, Young Soon, have been ministering at the Denver Korean Church since 2009.

Photo by Mic Thurber