God continues to move in the Indiana Conference in amazing ways. One such way is the addition of a new Korean United Methodist Church in West Lafayette named Korean Disciple that is already averaging around 100 in worship and has baptized nine people, including six adults. Praise God!
Its founding pastor, Jong Hyun Jung (a.k.a. Tim) has this to say…
“Korean Disciples Church started as a non-denominational church on July 7, 2013. Two families along with me (pastor Tim) began to gather together to pray for a new Korean church that is dedicated to serving the Korean community in the Greater Lafayette area in the summer of 2013. At the top of our goals was to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the area. I was the first leader of the church, and we first met in the lounge at the Purdue Village Community Center. We had 20 people attend the first worship on July 7, 2013.
“And, then, God sent us an amazing wave of revival and it grew to almost 100 in a year. As the number of people who come to our worship increased, we were in a desperate need for a place that is large enough to hold all of us. At that moment, Craig LaSuer, a lead pastor of First United Methodist Church in West Lafayette, graciously let us use the building at a very low rate, which helped us keep the momentum. We now develop many ministries and actively serve Korean undergraduate students who study at Purdue University.
“Because of my plan to graduate from Purdue University (I am a Ph.D. student in sociology at Purdue University), Korean Disciples Church formed a pastoral search committee and looked for a new pastor to fill in my shoes. With almost over 90% of yes from all-congregation vote, Korean Disciples Church decided to welcome Pastor Kookjin Yun (an UMC elder pastor) as our next senior pastor and become affiliated with UMC. The whole congregation is very excited about this transition. Our prayer request is that God helps us go through this transition period smoothly and make a great stride in making disciples of Jesus Christ in the Greater Lafayette area.”
Northwest District Superintendent, Rev. Chris Newman-Jacobs, points out “There are approximately 5,000 Koreans in the West Lafayette/Lafayette area and as one of their [Korean Disciples Church] leaders remarked, ‘About 200 of them attend other Korean congregations. That means there are 4,800 more that we need to connect with and invite into the saving grace of Jesus Christ.’ Their spirit of mission outreach and evangelism is inspiring and exciting. I believe this is an outstanding opportunity for the Indiana Conference a new population of disciples in the Lafayette area.”
The Conference Church Development Committee recently approved a $50,000 grant to help the congregation as it continues to develop and reach more people with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Indiana Conference has two other Korean congregations, in Indianapolis and Bloomington, and we warmly welcome our newest sister congregation into our UM family!
— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development