A church for Korean American students in the University of Georgia (UGA), located in Athens, GA, will be launched this fall, called Campus Compass Mission Church (C2M). The first worship service will be August 14, and will take place in the Presbyterian Student Center. Pastor couple Rev. Danny S. Park and Rev. Catherine Lee-Park, who have been serving younger and older adults both in Korean and multi-ethnic churches for more than 25 years, will be serving as the lead pastors of the church.
"There are about 1,000 Korean American students at UGA (excluding international students), but they don't have a place to worship," the couple said in an interview, explaining that that became the reason they decided to begin the C2M ministry.
"Two people in their fifties trying to serve and raise up young twenty-somethings on campus is not an easy task, with the age and culture differences," said Catherine Lee-Park. "We have been aware of the situation in the UGA campus and praying about it, waiting, and thinking, 'Some day, someone would come here.' But God placed conviction in our hearts and made our circumstances so that we had no choice but to come here."
Calling C2M an 'alternative church' for those whose church involvement may be hindered by distance or proximity, Catherine Lee-Park explained that they aim to minister to those students on campus who may have gone to church with their parents, but stopped attending once they were on their own in college; those who may want to go to church but may not have a car or transportation means to go to church; or those who do not have any faith at all.
For the first year, the two pastors plan to focus on worship and settling down, and then slowly begin what they call 'life to life' discipleship. They also plan to do leadership training with the students, so that by the time they graduate, the students would be dependable leaders to serve the church, whether C2M or any other local church. Hence, the two lead pastors decided to make the church non-denominational, to allow the students to go on to any other church of their choice.
"Many Korean churches might understand the importance of campus ministry, but may find it difficult to directly participate in it because of distance or financial reasons. We may be the start, but we don't think of this as our church. We are simply the ones who are starting things -- and once the ministry sets its foundation in about five years, we believe it's also our role to help the younger and even more capable ministers who will come after us to be prepared to serve," the two pastors said. "If the churches in Atlanta could work together with us for this one purpose, for this ministry for the next generation, then four years later, these students will return to their home churches having matured much more spiritually. Please pray for us, send your children to us, and support us financially as well."
For more information, visit ugac2m.wordpress.com.
This article has been translated and edited. For the original in Korean, visit kr.christianitydaily.com.