The Rev. Peter Song becomes pastor of the historic Korean Christian Church in Liliha on Tuesday. Song is a graduate of UCLA.

Korean church
welcomes new pastor

Peter Song takes over after
a 10-year tenure at one of the
largest churches in Korea

The Korean Christian Church will install a new pastor Tuesday in a celebration that will honor its history and focus on the pastor's mission vision for the future.

The Rev. Peter Song comes to the 200-member Liliha church after 10 years as English language minister at the 15,000-member Sooyoungro Presbyterian Church in Pusan, South Korea, one of the largest Christian churches in that country.

The independent church at 1832 Liliha St. was founded in 1918 by Syngman Rhee, who became the first president of the Republic of Korea in 1945.

"This is a very historical church. Its legacy continues with us," said Song, who is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles and Fuller Theological Seminary.

"I am committed to a world mission," Song said. "I want to mobilize this congregation and other Christians to the ends of the world. I do not want to limit our church to its Korean heritage; I hope to attract a multiethnic, multicultural membership.

"Education is important. Most of the younger generation are losing their cultural heritage. I want to help them understand both the Korean and the Western culture."

The 6:30 p.m. Tuesday installation service will feature the Rev. Pil Do Joung, pastor of the Pusan church, as keynote speaker.

The Rev. Pae Jong Lee of Alaska, president of the World Evangelical Mission Alliance, in which Song was ordained, will also attend.

The service and reception will be in the social hall because a new church building is under construction at the site. The new stucco and wooden sanctuary will be dedicated later this year. Its tower is modeled on the 500-year-old Kyung Bok Palace in Seoul.

The Kalihi Christian Church's 11 a.m. Sunday service has been bilingual for the last 10 years because descendants of the first generation of Korean immigrants speak English.

Earlier this year, an English language service was added. Called the Living Water Fellowship, it meets at 9 a.m. Sundays.

Song has started a Korean language class at 10 a.m. Wednesdays and plans to launch a midweek Korean language evening service in September.

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