Presbytery of St. Augustine

Grace and Korean Worshiping Community

Grace Presbyterian Church and Korean Worshiping Community
Submitted by Charles Freeman, Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church

For about a year, the sanctuary of Grace Presbyterian Church in Gainesville has also been the worshiping home of a growing congregation of Korean residents of that area.

In late 2017, Rev. John and Sara Kim first visited GPC and soon became welcome members of the community. The next year, Rev. Kim shared his desire to begin a worshiping community to reach out to the Korean community, and the GPC session was quick to endorse and support the new venture.

As with many new worshiping communities, things started slowly. By early 2019, however, the group was up to as many as 20-25 worshipers on Sundays, many of them graduate students in various programs at the University of Florida. In many cases, these students will be returning to South Korea after their studies.  The Korean Presbyterian Church worshiping community here becomes a church home-away-from-home while they are in the U.S., while also providing the opportunity to worship and fellowship in their native language. The community also has Bible study and fellowship on Friday evenings.

On November 17, the two congregations joined together for a united service of worship. The Korean congregation (yes, the whole congregation) provided the music, with Rev. Freeman of GPC providing the sermon. After worship, the two congregations joined for a time of fellowship over lunch, with both traditional Thanksgiving fare and traditional Korean food.

Thank you for your hospitality to the Korean students in the Gainesville community!