Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Life Well Lived

A Tribute to Samuel Kim
Entered Life
 January 3, 1941
Entered Eternal Life
November 8, 2012

Dr. Samuel Kim
Christ Follower, Husband, Father, Grandfather,
Leader, Visionary, Pastor, Professor, Evangelist
One day in the early part of the 1990’s I was at my church office when a distinguished Korean gentleman came to my office. He introduced himself as Dr. Samuel Kim President of California State Christian University. He was bringing a group of leaders to California from around the world for a symposium and wanted to know if our church would host the event for the 4 days and a graduation service for some of these leaders on the Sunday following the week.
After some further discussion we had not only agreed to host the event but I had been recruited to teach 2 full days on Church Growth and Missiology. That week gave me an introduction to a man who was to become one of my closest friends over the past 20 plus years.
I got to know a man who had a deep passion for our Lord and a deep love to see lost people found. To his last days of this earth I never saw that love or passion wane.
During that first week I saw a man who had a global impact. I met senators from Africa, a Mayor from India, United Nation ambassadors and pastors from numerous countries. All were there because in some way this humble man from Korea had touched their lives.
Our paths continued to intersect over the years most notably in the early years by my continuing to teach at this annual and sometimes bi-annual symposium.
I moved to Arizona for a time to pastor there and for a 2-year period we did not have any contact other than an occasional phone call.
While in Arizona I was called to serve on a committee to look at the future of Theological Education within our church body.
The genesis of that meeting has led to an amazing last few years. We were able in the meeting to articulate what really needed to happen to make Theological Education effective in the 21st Century. The only problem was we did not have the authority or ability to change the existing seminaries that were training our pastors; and neither did we have the financial resources to start our own seminary. We were at a stuck point until I had another meeting with my friend Dr. Kim. I shared with him the minutes of these meetings. He found himself in agreement with the findings and the need to explore new ideas in Theological Education.
He offered to allow us to use without cost the charter of his University to start a new Seminary that would address the traditional and contemporary issues in education and to train leaders who really could and would change their worlds for Christ.
Alongside Dr. Kim and myself came such Christian leaders and statesmen such as Dr. Larry Richards, Dr. Dale Salico, Dr. John Nix McReynolds, Dr. Kirk Mackie, Pastor Tom Mercer and others who helped to launch a new kind of Seminary.
All of us are extremely grateful for this wonderful man who in granting this privilege to us has in reality put in motion a legacy that will touch people and impact our world for generations to come.
Dr. Kim went home to be with the Lord on November 8th, 2012 and his final word before slipping into God’s presence was “Jesus” To the end his love for and passion for his Lord was on his lips and in his heart
I will in this post/article try and give you an insight into the man I knew and loved.
A Letter From Dr. Yonggi Cho sent
on the passing of his friend Dr. Samuel Kim
On my blog I wrote an article about Dr. Kim’s father arguably the most influential Christian Leader of the last century. He dramatically changed the spiritual direction of his country, Korea. His legacy was passed on through 3 primary Christian Leaders Dr. Cho from Yiodo Full Gospel Church the largest local church in Christendom, Dr. Billy Kim whose ministry still touches millions of people each year and his son Samuel Kim the only one of the 3 to make their home in the United States.
In setting up his base of ministry in the United States his reach and influence continued to grow. He saw the need to reach and equip the vast number of Koreans immigrating to the United States and planted Soul Christian Assembly Church that is still ministering in Northridge and founded California State Christian University, which today has classes in Korean, Spanish, and English. These two seminal ministries have impacted hundreds and most probably thousands of persons.
Dr. Kim and some Korean Students at the CSCU
display at the Transformation Ministries conference
His reputation as an anointed speaker, evangelist and teacher had him travelling the world taking the message of the Savior he loved to as many places as he could. Seeing need he started and orphanage in India and set up Korean Gospel Mission to support it. Looking to the future he secured a Broadcast license because he believed at some point God would open up the door to proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
He was one of a very few people in history ever to have the opportunity to preach to more than one million people at one time and I can personally testify that he was a powerful preacher and God used him mightily to see souls saved, believers strengthened, people healed and delivered from the forces of evil.
One of the most remarkable things to me is that he never saw himself as retiring. In his 69th year of life he planted a new church, World Harvest Church, and made this church the first Korean Church to join Transformation Ministries a group   of Christians he came to love and loved working with.
Unknown to most even during his long fight with cancer he continued to preach and teach at the church and in the seminary until less than 10 days before his home going. Four days before his home going, too weak to go to the church he put on his suit and had church in his apartment for his family where he dedicated his grandson to the Lord.
I had become over the years not simply someone who taught with him but a partner with whom I worked day in and day out. He was always a man who was pro-vision that is, if it would further the cause of Christ he was for it.
His influence was not only spiritual but also apostolic in nature. Pastors, Churches and Denominations looked to him for clarity about the direction they should take and found his solid advise over the long term tended to be the best for the cause of Christ. Such Apostolic leaders have the unique ability to  understand the current milieu and to have their spirits attuned to His Spirit as they apply God’s will in a very unique way to the most difficult of circumstances.
With Dr. Kim and having
Lunch at one of his favorite
I have become over these years a close friend of Dr. Kim’s family particularly his wife Janey and sons Paul and James. I have met but cannot claim to know them well his three daughters. While at the hospital during his last days I saw first hand the closeness they had as a family and the deep love and respect they had for their father.
It has been a joy to me to see the love they have for him and the clear intent they have to do whatever it takes so that the legacy of his life will outlive us all.
I could recount to you the multiple doctorates and awards he has received, the world leaders he has met but the world is full of people who have education and position without making a difference. Dr. Kim’s life is the story of a man who loved his Lord loved his family, loved, the lost, loved God’s people, and did whatever he could to make a difference.
I am one man who is grateful that God brought into my life a man who has touched me, changed me and given me a vision which is my mantra to “keep on, keeping on!”
In honor of Dr. Kim California State Christian University will continue to share his passion with future generations of students as much of his teaching has been preserved on DVD’s

Those of you who have known Dr. Kim feel free to add your own memories and recollections on the blog. The wonderful thing about the web is we not only can honor the man but preserve his legacy.

Keep on, keeping on!
Dr. Bob Orr

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