By Hyung Seok LEE
CV Weekly Intern
With four churches worldwide, Holy Gate Evangelical Church focuses on international aid and strengthening the body of Christ at the same time. It was established in Montrose in 1998 and continues to serve the community as a place of worship.
There are close to 150 people who attend Holy Gate, including a strong youth presence. Given that the original number of congregants was only eight, the growth may be attributed to the church’s head pastor, Reverend Kwang Kim.
Reverend Kwang is also the current president of the Korean Evangelical Denomination, which includes all the Korean evangelical churches throughout the world. He travels, speaking at conferences worldwide.
It was through his travels that the reverend developed a heart for the people of India. He saw the level of poverty there and yet felt the heart of God for the people living there. In response to his experiences, Reverend Kwang planted two churches in India, financially aiding the pastors. He desires to build additional churches with the Montrose congregation’s support.
“Holy Gate is the mother-church. It is currently working to expand into Mexico and somewhere else in the United States,” said World Evangelist and fellow Holy Gate pastor Seo Taek Oh.
Not only does Reverend Kwang travel the globe, pastor over a church, and stand as the president over the denomination, he also takes time to personally engage with every member of the congregation. Every year, he and a group of deacons and elders go to each household where they pray and worship together.
The church also sponsors a child-care program Monday through Friday for elementary aged students providing transportation to the church and where students can study or play.
Holy Gate’s English ministry is combined with the youth and the college group. Pastor Joseph Kim oversees this group and is currently working on his master’s degree in Cross Cultural Studies and Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena.
“The vision for youth ministry at our church is simple: that youth come to know who Jesus is, learn to walk with Him, and learn to walk with Him together,” Pastor Kim said.
Youth service is held in the church’s fellowship room, which is also used as a cafeteria. The students are broken up by gender and grade level with a college teacher as their shepherd. On Fridays, after worship and a brief teaching by Pastor Kim, the teacher leads his or her small group in a bible study. On Sundays, the praise team leads worship followed by a message by Pastor Kim.
The church is a hub of activity that includes hosting events. For example, recently, Holy Gate sponsored the annual Pastoral Conference for all Korean churches of the Evangelical denomination with over 250 pastors attending.
Future events include the annual Vacation Bible School where children under the age of 12 can attend and engage in Bible- related activities and learn about Jesus. Last year over 200 children all over the Crescenta Valley attended.
Holy Gate is traditionally a Korean ethnic church; however, the doors are open to anyone who wants to attend. There is a Korean early morning service every day from 5:30 a.m.-6:30 a.m. Friday service for the English and Korean ministry starts at 7:30 p.m. and ends at 9:00 p.m. There are four Korean ministry services on Sunday: a 5:30 a.m. service, a 9 a.m. service, the main 11 a.m. service, and an afternoon 2 p.m. service. The English ministry has its Sunday service at 10:45 a.m.