FULLERTON – “My goal is to start six churches every year. Sometimes we do more than six, but my goal is six,” Song Sik Kim said. “I am helping a pastor in Southern California right now, so that will be eight churches started so far this year.”
Song Sik Kim is a church planting catalyst for the California Southern Baptist Convention (CSBC) Church Starting Group. His primary focus is church planting among California’s 1 million Korean-Americans.
“The Korean culture is really open to the society. That’s why we’re growing fast. That’s why many churches can be started compared to some other ethnic groups,” Kim explained.
As the first-born in his family in Korea, Kim’s Christian parents dedicated him to God. He became involved in all kinds of church ministries, even teaching Sunday school as a high school freshman. As a junior in high school, Kim accepted Jesus as his Savior. However, when he felt God calling him to the pastorate he denied His call. He did not want to be a pastor. He came to the United States at the age of 19 to further his education.
“Finally, I got the call from God, and I surrendered ... probably it was June 1980. Then I went to seminary and I committed my life to being a pastor,” Kim recalled.
His California ministry began as a layperson attending Long Beach Korean Baptist Church where he met his wife, Fanny. Kim led Bible studies through campus ministries at California State University, Long Beach and the University of California, Irvine. At the same time, he volunteered with Long Beach Harbor Association’s Seaman Ministry, where he ministered to visiting Korean seamen. Eventually he became associate pastor of Long Beach Korean Baptist Church.
“In 1986, I started a new church in Fullerton, the Fullerton Korean Baptist Church, where I was the pastor for nine years,” Kim said. “God had a different idea from what I was thinking. I really loved being a pastor and enjoyed the ministry. When Dr. Anthony Ahaev from CSBC asked me if I wanted to work for the Convention, my first answer was ‘No.’ I loved being a pastor, but I said that I would pray about it.”
Kim took his wife on a two-week vacation to Europe. When they returned, he was still not 100 percent sure he wanted to give up the job he loved.
“I filled out the application during the three-month process, and I saw God’s plan more clearly. Finally, I just made up my mind to give up the pastor’s role and become a CSBC missionary,” Kim said. He joined CSBC 17 years ago in November 1996.
Kim’s position takes him on the road as much as 1,500 miles each month. Fanny is involved with Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) in the state, so she goes with him on many occasions. While Kim ministers and encourages the pastors they visit, Fanny meets with the pastors’ wives and laywomen.
“When I am asked to visit a church a year after it was planted ... to see the church still growing ... that is when I am the happiest, because they are reaching out to a lot of unbelievers around that community,” Kim reflected.
He attended Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, earning a diploma in theology and a master of divinity degree. In 2005, he completed his doctor of ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. Kim is teaching in the Golden Gate diploma program at both the Anaheim campus and in Garden Grove.
"There are a lot of dedicated laypeople coming. So I just challenge them and encourage them,” he said.
The Kims have two daughters, Julie and Janet.
Song Sik’s message to California Southern Baptists:
“Seventy-five percent of Korean-Americans in California are lost. That is 750,000 people who need Christ. Church planting is the most effective way to reach out to all kinds of people. Church planting is not my job—it is our job. We have to work together to fulfill the Great Commission.”
Song Sik’s prayer requests:
•Pray for traveling mercies as Kim and his wife, Fanny, travel throughout California.
•Pray God’s continued blessing on the Kim family.
•Pray for recent Korean immigrants who need housing and jobs and whose children must find their place in California’s schools.
•Pray for second-generation Koreans as they balance their traditional culture with their new culture in the United States.
•Pray that the Lord of the Harvest (Luke 10:2) will answer the prayers of those who are intentionally missional and praying for harvest hands every morning at 10:02. Set your alarms and join them.
•Pray for generous giving to the California Mission Offering and the Cooperative Program.
Song Sik’s praises:
•Praise God for blessing me by letting me start eight churches exceeding my goal of starting six.
•Praise God for my wife, Fanny, and for the fact that we can work together
Did you know?
“One person dies in North America every 11 seconds; three out of four die without Christ.” – National Evangelism Initiative 2020.
Kim’s contact information:
1324 Carleton Way
Fullerton CA 92833-2011
E-mail Song Sik