Dennis Manpoong Kim leads largest SBC church in Maryland
By Shannon Baker
BALTIMORE—William Dwight McKissic Sr., senior pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, announced he will nominate Dennis Manpoong Kim, senior pastor of Global Mission Church of Greater Washington, for the office of president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
With its predominantly Korean membership, Global Mission in Silver Spring, Md., is the largest church in the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware.
“According to Jesus, unless the world sees His family as ‘one’ they may not believe in His incarnation. That’s why it’s so important that the SBC becomes a unified family, that reflect in her leadership and followship, people from ‘every kindred, tongue, tribe, and nation’ (Rev. 5:8-9),” said McKissic, in a written speech posted on SBCVoices.com.
McKissic, an African American, recalled when Kim, at the 2010 Orlando SBC meeting, stood on the floor and made an appeal for ethnic minorities to be included and play a greater role in SBC life.
“I resonated with his plea. I resonated with his pain. I resonated with the potential and promise that his plea represented. It is now time for the SBC to move to the next level and continue to fulfill the prayer of Jesus, that we might be one, so that the world would know that He is Immanuel, God with us (Matt. 1:23),” McKissic said.
McKissic noted at the current time, all SBC entity heads are comprised of the majority, historic SBC ethnic group—Anglos.
“Thank God for the Anglos. The SBC would not be poised to be the only evangelical denomination in my judgment with the potential to become thoroughly inter-racial if it were not for the inclusiveness and Kingdom-minded hearts of Anglo SBC persons,” he said, noting current president, Fred Luter, “certainly did not become president of the SBC with only ethnic minority votes.”
The new SBC president will succeed Luter of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, who became the first-ever African American to lead the SBC when he was elected in 2012.
If elected, “Dr. Kim will lead us to continue our growing ministry to a rapidly diversifying America with a strong and faithful gospel witness…He will be an ambassador for the Kingdom and Southern Baptists that’s well qualified,” McKissic said, adding, “The SBC will not have to compromise integrity, leadership, sound doctrine, CP support, missions/evangelism/discipleship commitment, or any expectation of an SBC President by electing Dr. Kim.”
Under Kim’s leadership, McKissic said, the Global Mission Church has been faithfully partnering and collaborating with the Southern Baptist Convention in all areas of Christian ministry including Cooperative Program, world missions, local outreach, relief efforts, community service, and pastors’ fellowship.
“His leadership among Maryland Baptists is significant in how he has grown a strong, vibrant ministry outside of the South, and he is equipped and uniquely positioned to lead the Southern Baptist Convention in growing in areas and among cultures where we have not traditionally had a strong impact. We need the kind of leadership, expertise, and experience that Dr. Kim has gained from ministering outside of the South in a rapidly changing cultural situation,” he said.
McKissic detailed how Global Mission gave 4.5 percent of their church budget to the Cooperative Program last year, while engaged in local, state, national, and global missions as a church family. The church trains and sends more than ten short-term mission teams every year and has produced more than 50 career International Mission Board missionaries. The church also has planted five churches in various locations, including Baltimore, Md., Fairfax, Va., Seattle, Wash., Cary, N.C., and Bundang, South Korea.
“Fulfilling the Great Commission is the all-consuming passion of his ministry. He has devoted his life in training believers as true disciples of Christ,” said McKissic, noting Kim, who is fully bilingual in Korean and English and has a keen understanding of multi-cultural worldviews, has traveled to more than 40 different countries to witness the gospel, serve in various evangelistic ministries, and give lectures for local pastors and seminary students.
Kim, who also has served as past president of the Korean Council of Southern Baptist Churches in America, was called as pastor of Global Mission Church in 1992.
Most recently, Kim has served on the Pastors’ Task Force on Evangelistic Impact and Declining Baptisms, a national task force aimed at addressing the continued decrease in baptisms among Southern Baptist churches, which was convened last year by the North American Mission Board.
At Global Mission, Kim has devised an effective tool of evangelism and discipleship called “Anothen Training,” which empowers believers to witness Christ and to reproduce disciple-making disciples.
As a result of this training, the church has witnessed amazing results in evangelism and discipleship. From May 2013 to March of this year, church members have presented the gospel to 3,125 people through personal evangelism. Among the people who heard the gospel, 1,078 people accepted Christ and 802 others received the assurance of salvation.
Kim holds several degrees, including a master of divinity from Chong-Shin Theological Seminary, Seoul, Korea; a master of divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.; a master of arts in theological studies, with a concentration on pastoral counseling, from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Boston, Mass.; and a doctor of theology in pastoral psychology from Boston University’s School of Theology.
He is the author of several books, “Pulpit Counseling,” “Self-Image Make-Over,” “Answer with the Bible!” and “Anothen Pictorial Presentation of the Gospel.” He also translated over 60 books from English to Korean, including “Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (Part 1)” by William Hendricksen, “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23” by Phillip Keller, and “The Lion Bible Handbook.”
He is a representative of the Evangelism Explosion International Korean Headquarters in South Korea and the director of the Korean American Center for Evangelism Explosion International in Silver Spring.
“Dr. Kim has exhibited humility and faithfulness on every level of Southern Baptist life—from the local church and association to the state and national conventions and even internationally—with a globally-minded passion for evangelism,” said Will McRaney, executive missional strategist at the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. “He represents the diversity of our nation and our world, and has demonstrated a heart for the nations as he has led his church to be fruitful in reaching out to various people groups locally and abroad.”
Global Mission Church’s website, written mostly in Korean, is at http://gmcusa.org.
Shannon Baker is director of communications at the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware in Columbia, Md.