Abraham Park – Associate Pastor – Missions and Outreach
Abraham was born in Muan, Jeonnam, in the southern region of South Korea. Born and raised into a family of prestigious farmers, he was the 6th child of a family of 10, with one younger brother and sister, and 3 older brothers and sisters. His mother was a diligent woman and it was through his mother’s faithfulness that Abraham attended church. He held hand as a child all throughout the 5 mile journey to the worship service.
Growing up, he recounted that “going to church was almost an adventure, filled with excitement and joy.” During the summer after graduating middle school, he attended a revival service that changed his life drastically. Led by a young and passionate pastor, the service inspired and moved Abraham. It was at this precise moment in life that he decided to become a preacher for God and spread the gospel to glorify Him, just as that pastor had done. Ever since then, he spent much of his time dwelling in God’s Word and attended Early Morning Prayer at a nearby church almost every day. Going to church and getting to know God more and more had become a delight and a top priority in his life.
Although much of his boyhood was centered around the farm and even though his dream of becoming a pastor was vivid in his mind, his father and grandfather, both professors that taught Chinese literature, encouraged him to read many Korean and Chinese classics and to postpone his dream for a few years. As a result, he became a hard working student during high school and university, reading and enjoying various books including studies in humanities, psychology, and history. Above all, he loved reading books on teaching and counseling students.
After graduating Chosun University High School, he entered Choson University and majored in Korean Language Literature, receiving a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) for all grades, kindergarten through high school. Then he proceeded to SeokSan High School in Gwangju, where he became a Korean Language Teacher and a counselor, teaching grammar, composition, literature, Chinese characters, and advising students about their future while building their character. At the same time, Abraham participated in the church, serving as a Sunday School Teacher for children and as a small group leader for adults for almost 9 years. Then he pursed his dream of becoming a pastor, and retired from his high school teaching career, attending theological seminary in Gwangju and Seoul.
Soon after, he received a M.Div. (Master of Divinity) marking the beginning of his journey as a pastor. He enrolled at the San Francisco Christian University and received his M. C. Ed. (Master of Christian Education) and D. C. Ed. (Doctor of Christian Education). In fact, as soon as he entered the theological seminary, he had already established a new church in Gwangju, called the Power Community Church, and became the Head Pastor, serving there for 17 years (until 2010).
In 1996, he was selected as a teaching assistant in systematic theology at the theological seminary in Seoul. While Abraham was serving in the church as the Head Pastor, he was given the opportunity to travel all around the world to study Christian history and religious history in many places including France, England, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Germany. In a matter of time, he received training to become a missionary at YWAM (Youth With A Mission), and served as a leader of the missionary team in Gwangju.
Abraham is married to his wife, Esther, whom he met during evangelism training. He has two sons, Samuel and Elijah, and one daughter, Esther. Samuel is currently studying at Baptist Theological University in Korea, Elijah is enrolled in Sahuaro High School as a junior, and Esther is enrolled in Family Life Academy as a 5th grader.
His hobbies included reading many books, traveling, and hiking. In Korea, he has climbed the Hanla, Seolak, Odae, Jiri, Mudeung mountains, a few of the most famous mountains in South Korea. However, currently he is busy reading the bible, listening to hymns and gospel songs, worshiping God, evangelizing, and expanding the Kingdom of God.
“Life is very short; to me, a year passes by as if it were only an hour. I’m not a young adolescent anymore. Many of my close friends have all passed, and although at first it shocked me, I have come to realize how important it is to have solid, concrete faith, because you never know when God will take you away.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are [just] a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. (James 4:14)
“Now, I have realized the importance of the life that Christ gave me, and I strive to make the most out of my time glorifying God. The fire of the Holy Spirit lives in me, and enervates me every single day. Even if I can grant one person the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ, I am satisfied. I am willing to meet and go anywhere, to any person, no matter their background, and do whatever it takes to show people the grace of Jesus Christ, and his loving embrace. And this is exactly why I am here, in Christ Community Church. In a couple of years, I will travel to the Philippines, because I know that God has commanded me to do so, and I will obey. Always.”
“But the Holy Spirit will come upon you and give you power. Then you will tell everyone about me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world." ( Acts 1:8) CEV
Abraham firmly believes in building and maintaining a healthy family. Duranno Father School, which is renowned worldwide, is located in 45 countries, 230 cities, and in Korea, has 75 branches with 219,224 graduated members by January of 2012. There, he served as a teacher at the Father School in Gwangju. Years ago, he began to take interest studying the English Bible, slowly started to understand the deep meaning that God’s Word brought to him in another language. While reading the English Bible, he was encouraged to go and preach in the United States for the first time, and he went to Washington D.C. right away. From Washington, he was invited to Tucson by his Korean friends who were former members of his Power Community Church in Korea. After meeting some pastors at Christ Community Church and asking to serve here in order to improve his English skills and to be equipped as a missionary, and after a long interview process, the elders agreed.