Lord Jesus Korean Church
Lord Jesus Korean Church (LJKC) was established in December, 1999 by a group of about two hundred Korean immigrants, along with fifty children, who wanted to start a Presbyterian congregation in the Richmond community. Initially they worshiped at an elementary school. They raised enough money within two weeks to purchase a building that was previously a small Mennonite church. Under the leadership of Senior Pastor Hyun Chan-Bae, the church was remodeled in 2001, and a sanctuary that once seated one hundred is now able to accommodate two hundred and fifty. A new wing was added in 2004 that includes a kitchen and is used as an educational center, gym, and place of fellowship. There are approximately two hundred and seventy-five members at Lord Jesus Korean Church and about seventy-five members who are in grade school and high school. The average Sunday attendance is close to three hundred.
The church describes its collective vision in the following way: “The Lord Jesus Korean Presbyterian Church was founded under the historical background of overcoming the struggles of church ownership and politics, and exists to build a truthful faith community as a body of Christ. The Members of the Lord Jesus Korean Presbyterian Church live by the words, ‘But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well’ (Matthew 6:33). The community of the Lord Jesus Korean Presbyterian Church seeks to be a healthy church by being strengthened through the word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. By glorifying the living God, the church will accomplish this vision.”
Adult and college service, also known as English Ministry (EM), is held each Sunday morning in English at 9:30 am and Korean at 11:00 am. There is also a grade school service and a youth group service on Sunday morning. Both grade school and youth group worship are conducted in English with contemporary hymns. The adult and college services usually consist of traditional and contemporary hymns. The services include prayer, scripture readings, sermons from pastors, the adult choir, praise bands, offering, and fellowship. Following the service, there is Bible study followed by a gathering at noon for lunch. The weekly meals are prepared and paid for by members of the congregation who volunteer to provide the food, except for special occasions when the church pays. There is an early morning service Monday through Saturday and a Wednesday evening worship service. Morning and evening services that are not held on Sundays are conducted in Korean. Lord Jesus Korean Church focuses strongly on their English Ministry (EM) because a majority of their youth is Americanized; this also allows those Koreans who are not fluent in English to communicate with those who do. The English Ministry is unique in that it not only has Korean-American members but also a small number of American, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Cambodian members. Thursday Night Praise (TNP) is held at the church every Thursday evening. The youth group has a weekly praise night as well, “ALIVE,” on Saturday evenings. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the college pastor, Joon-Ho Chang, meets with members who attend Virginia Commonwealth University for Bible study sessions at the Student Commons.
The Lord’s Supper and Communion is observed on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, World Communion days, and up three other occasions throughout the year. The congregants of Lord Jesus Korean Church celebrate the traditional Christian holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. A special Easter musical is performed by the English Ministry, and a children’s Christmas play is performed annually. All special holidays have a joint service to unite the entire congregation. In addition to the typical Christian festivities, the church celebrates Parents Day on the Sunday closest to May 8. The children and youth members arrange flowers for parents. Korean Independence Day, also known as Korean Thanksgiving, is observed on August 15. A special service is performed, followed by eating rice cakes, which symbolizes good wishes, fortune, respect, and politeness. The church also has an annual picnic at the beginning of September for two days. The entire congregation goes to a retreat camp center for a weekend to worship and bond with one another.
The English Ministry is involved in a Saturday Morning Mission. Members volunteer to feed the homeless at Monroe Park each Saturday; this has been taking place since May, 2006. The Korean speaking members volunteer with CARITAS (Congregations Around Richmond Involved To Assure Shelter). They provide overnight shelter, food, and basic essentials during the months of May and June. They also attend mission trips in the summer to various locations around the world accompanied by physicians and nurses from the church. The objective is to help those who do not have the resources to get medical attention or treatment. They conducted mission trips to Moscow, Mexico, Dominican Republic, New Orleans, and Washington DC.
The members of the church are highly interested in preserving Korean culture and language. They have a Korean language school for pre-K to elementary-aged students. Korean culture school for students in pre-K to middle school also is held in the last week of June for four weeks.
Lord Jesus Korean Church
10201 Robious Road
Richmond, VA 23235
Profile prepared by Joo Yi