RICHMOND KOREAN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
In 1967, approximately fifteen Korean individuals met in homes every week and then twice each week to start a Presbyterian congregation. With the passage of an amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act by the U.S. Congress in 1973 that liberalized immigration quotas, more Korean immigrants began arriving in the U.S. Some of these new citizens settled in Richmond. The congregation then needed a larger space for worship and moved to Union Theological Seminary (UTS) on Brook Road. Visiting pastors at Union Theological Seminary who spoke Korean and/or English led the worship services. The church finally found a full-time pastor, Choon-Duk Suh, in 1974, and he continues to serve as he senior pastor. Richmond Korean Presbyterian continued bi-monthly services at Union Theological Seminary until 1975 when the congregation was allowed to use the Ginter Park Presbyterian Church on Chamberlayne Avenue. Weekly worship services were then possible. Finally, in 1980, the old Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church on Broad Rock Boulevard was purchased. The first phase expansion took place in 1990 when the sanctuary was enlarged and a new wing was developed for more office and education space. In 2005, there was a second phase of expansion that included an education center.
One English and two Korean worship services are held each Sunday morning. The children and youth group meet on Sunday mornings while the Korean young adult or English Ministry (EM) meet in the early afternoon after the entire congregation meets for lunch in the education center. On special occasions the church pays for meals, but on most Sundays a group of two to three families volunteer to cook food and serve the congregation.
Service on Sunday consists of prayer, scripture readings, sermon from the pastors, offerings, choir for adult service, and praise team for the English Ministry and youth group. An early morning service is held Monday through Saturday and a Friday evening prayer service conducted in Korean once a month for all adults. Discipleship programs are long-term commitments consisting of organized Bible study courses that take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the entire year. The Lord’s Supper and Communion is observed on the first Sunday of every month.
The congregants of the Richmond Korean Presbyterian Church celebrate traditional holidays of Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The Christmas celebration usually includes a play put on by children and youth, the adult choir performs traditional hymns, the young adult praise team performs, and a special dinner is prepared after the service. In addition to the traditional Christian festivities, the church celebrates Korean Independence Day on August 15 th by singing the Korean National Anthem and making rice cakes for the elderly. Korean Parent’s Day is celebrated On May 8, with floral decorations prepared by children, as well as special songs.
Membership in the church consists of about three hundred and eighty individuals. The average attendance each Sunday is around three hundred and thirty; with the congregation being majority Korean and a handful of non-Korean persons. The church supports a Korean language and culture school on Saturday mornings that has been running since 1975.
The congregation is involved in many outreach programs and ministries. Richmond Korean Presbyterian Church participates in Angel Tree, a non-profit organization that helps children who have an incarcerated parent. Congregants also volunteer for CARITAS (Congregations Around Richmond Involved To Assure Shelter) each year by donating food and supplies for the turkey drive. The church works with Daily Planet, a medical/shelter center for the homeless and lower income families. The congregation is involved in the Habitat for Humanity. Medical mission trips are taken every year. Missionaries have visited Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru. The youth group is associated with Binneri Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas. The two groups raise money for medical mission trips and vacation Bible school. The youth also engages in sporting events with other local Korean youth groups.
Richmond Korean Presbyterian Church
2990 Broad Rock Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23224
Profile prepared by Joo Yi