Posted on February 7, 2024 Cloud of Witnesses – Feature David Hojin Yu

Cloud of Witnesses – Celebrating 210th Anniversary of International Ministries


Rev. Dr. David Hojin Yu

Special Assistant for Korea Relations, International Ministries

Associate Regional Pastor for Asian Ministries, American Baptist Churches of New Jersey

Pastor of First Asian Baptist Church of Haddonfield, NJ

I am blessed by serving as the Special Assistant for Korea Relations of International Ministries (IM, aka ABFMS) since October 2017. As this opportunity arose, I was able to engage in mission with my home country, South Korea. A relationship was formed through several cross-cultural engagements with South Korea. During these interactions with the Korean Baptist Churches of the Republic of Korea (KBCROK), we had a deeper understanding of this new denomination’s vision, mission, and its ministry context. In addition, by visiting churches in South Korea, I had a chance to spread an understanding of the country’s history and the churches through theological education. In addition, our brothers and sisters from American Baptist Churches USA visited important historical and cultural sites. It has been a blessing to work with youth and young adults from South Korea and have them come to the US and find their vision and goals through visiting American Baptist churches and interacting with youth and young adults in the US.

As a result of the mission and ministry, on September 27, 2018, a partnership agreement was formed with the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey, IM, and KBCROK. Korean churches have used my doctoral dissertation, “Creating A New Model of Pastoral Leadership in the Korean Baptist Churches of the Republic of Korea,” to develop better pastoral leadership further. What a blessing it is to have seen and become a witness to the development and transformation of pastoral leadership within the churches and congregations of KBCROK. I also appreciate working with Rev. Dr. Benjamin S.L. Chan, Area Director of East and South Asia, he is truly a blessing. I thank him for his mentorship, support, prayers, and encouragement. My oldest daughter Sharon is also blessed to serve as Ben’s Student Assistant, and under his mentorship.

God has blessed my ministry to impact my church and help them understand the true meaning of mission and why we do mission. I was glad to see how the church engaged in a mission for the youth and young adults when they came from South Korea. With just a few words asking for help, my church worked together and tried to give the youth and young adults the best experience they could have. It is a blessing to see my church working together to seek a joint mission and engage in ministry to help these young people find their visions and dreams, along with assistance in keeping their faith and communicating with God. Also, I thank God for blessing my family and impacting their faith and values. My wife, Grace, also has a heart for  mission and enjoys adding her music and service to local mission work. Especially with my children, I can see them spiritually growing. Sharon, now in college, walks with the Lord today and has found her passion for becoming a servant leader. She has found her connection with God and her identity as an American Baptist by examining how her father works for God. Using my ministry, my younger children, Lily and Paul, are starting to shape their values through the people they encounter and their experiences. For example, last summer, my children had a chance to visit International Ministries and other ABC organizations and learned what each organization does and how they are serving the Lord. They are learning what it means to be an American Baptist, finding their identity through these experiences, and strengthening their relationship with God. Glory to God’s name!

*Ben Chan: Special thanks to Cathy Holmes for proof-reading the article.