Jesus Door Korean Baptist Church celebrated its 20th anniversary recently with guest speaker Young Park, the first pastor of the Korean Mission, and a luncheon following the service. The Korean Mission is affiliated with Statesboro First Baptist Church on North Main Street and meets in the church’s chapel every Sunday at 11a.m.
Rev. Taekgoo Kang, pastor of Jesus Door Korean Baptist Church, said the congregation marked the day with special gratitude for 20 years of service in Statesboro.
“We are sure that all this glory came from the great God,” said Kang.
Kang said that most Koreans choose larger cities to make their home, rather than Statesboro, seeking a high Korean population that speaks the same language and offers many Korean businesses.
“Nevertheless, God established the Korean Mission at FBC because he wanted us to save even one Korean soul in Statesboro,” Kang said. “For the last 20 years, more than 100 of those who had or have attended the Korean church have met Jesus and were baptized.
“Although some of them had to move to another city, it is such an overwhelming joy to see them settle down without difficulties, live zestfully in faith, and devote into intercessory prayers.”
Lee Carroll, deacon and Sunday School teacher for the Korean Mission, was instrumental in the formation of the church. Carroll met her future husband when he was serving in Korea. Carroll moved to the United States and married in 1977.
Carroll said that even though she spoke very little English at the time, she enjoyed going to church faithfully.
“The Holy Spirit kept me going,” she said. “I looked forward to going every Sunday with my husband, and I especially loved the hymns.”
It was her first exposure to Christianity, and, accepting Jesus into her life a year later, she and her husband were baptized at the same time.
The couple moved to Statesboro in 1993 for her husband‘s job with the Statesboro High School ROTC program.
Carroll quickly met a small group of Koreans who met every Friday night for Bible Study. In a short time, Carroll was leading the group.
“When God puts something on your heart, you have to obey,” said Carroll. Explaining, Carroll said that she felt led to help start a Korean church.
“It took two years for me to get the courage to approach the pastor,” she said. “But God gives you wisdom and strength to accomplish these goals, and every time I prayed about it, God kept saying ‘yes.’”
Carroll spoke with Rev. Bill Perry, the pastor of First Baptist Church at that time, and the Jesus Door Korean Baptist Church was opened shortly after.
Twenty years later, the Korean Mission continues to meet the needs of members in the community.
“None of this would have been possible if there was not First Baptist Church who has always interceded, encouraged and devoted to providing everything that is needed for evangelism and growth of faith,” Kang said. “We express our greatest gratitude to First Baptist for the joy and love that they gave us, and we confess that all this is the grace of God.”
Besides meeting and worshipping locally, the Korean Mission supports financially four missionaries around the world.
With encouragement for the continued success of the church, Rev. Kang said, “Until the day that Jesus comes, the Korean Mission of FBC will be here to pray and become a church that is recognized by God, through worship, Bible study, missions, sharing, fellowship of joy among the saints and spreading the gospel from Statesboro.”