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작성일 : 02-06-22 22:24
A Short History of the Churches of Christ in Korea(by John J. Hill)
 글쓴이 : 조동호
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A Short History of the Churches of Christ in Korea
By John J. Hill, Taejon Korea, April 18,1972

Having felt for some years a need of a history of the Church of Christ in Korea, and having lived in Korea longer than any other missionary of the American Churches of Christ, I will now undertake to write a short history on this neglected subject, though I do not have at hand the source material which could be hoped for I will have to rely on my memory. Perhaps later a more accurate history can be assembled. The reader should also remember that I write from a view point of the American missionary, rather than from that of the native evangelist. But I will be as honest as I know how to be in giving the facts of this history.

While in America recently-perhaps about 1939 - I read all the parts of "The Flaming Torch" - a life story of Mr. and Mrs. W. D. Cunningham of Tokyo, Japan - which deal with the Korean part of Mr. Cunningham's missionary outreach. I believe that book was written by Mrs. Cunningham and Mrs. Owen W. Still. "The Flaming Torch" tells us how Mr. Cunningham, one of the earliest, if not the very earliest, of the "independent" Christian Church missionaries to Japan, took a trip to China to some sort of a missionary convention in the year 1907, and that on his way back he stopped over in Korea, and perhaps spoke to several groups. Not long after that, a young Korean man of the Christian Church in Japan was working in the YMCA in Seoul, Korea.

The first full time evangelist of the Churches of Christ in Korea was a Korean man who had been working with the Cunningham mission (also called the Yotsuya Christian mission) in Tokyo. He came to Korea from Japan about 1924, and soon about 7 churches had been established in Korea. When I first came to Korea in 1939, I became a little acquainted with three of those churches, two located in Inchon and one in Seoul.

Mr. In Pom Lee was a Korean evangelist who seemed to be the representative of the Cunningham work in Korea. I am not sure if he was the early evangelist who founded those early churches in Korea. I met In Pom Lee when I came to Korea in 1939.

The first American missionary to live and work in Korea for the Churches of Christ seems to have been Brother J. Michael Shelley. I understand that he came to Korea with his wife and daughter about 1934, and stayed for nine months in Korea. I was told that the ill health of his daughter was the cause of their leaving Korea so soon. Brother Shelley has been living and preaching in Medford, Oregon, and may still be there.

Another missionary family which came to work in Korea sometime before 1939 was the Thomas G. Hitch family, from Melbourne, Australia. They were sent to Korea to live and work with the Cunningham churches in Korea. When Mrs. Hill and I first came to Korea, about June of 1939, we met Mr. and Mrs. Hitch and their daughter Alice, but they were almost ready to leave Korea at that time. I believe that they left Korea in the summer or fall of 1939. The reason they left was, that they felt Mr. In Pom Lee was very dishonest, but the mission in Tokyo would not believe it. During or after the World War Ⅱ, Mr. Lee left the Church of Christ, and went back to the Presbyterian denomination.

A missionary that made a big impact on Korea for about 4 years(1936 to 1940) was John T. Chase. Chase had been a missionary in Tokyo, Japan, for about 7 years with the Cunningham Mission, but had a quarrel and parted from that mission after being "fired" by Mr. Cunningham. It was Mr. Chase who recruited John Hill in 1939, to come to Korea. Mr. and Mrs. Chase and their three children came to Korea in 1936, and stayed still May of 1940. They had one more baby, born in Korea. Mr. Chase started the "Korean Children Mission," at 32-6 Shogetsucho, Keijo(Seoul), where he bought the old and large house and lot from the British and Foreign Bible Society. He started Bible classes in the basement of his mission home, and had about ten men coming to his classes in 1939.

Early Korean leaders who worked with Mr. Chase and helped him to establish churches in the Seoul area were: Sang Hyun Choi; Yo Han Kim; Rak So Sung; Pan Jo Pak; Moon Wha Kim. When Mr. and Mrs. Hill came to Korea in 1939, there were just 5 churches in the Korean Christian Mission, all in the Seoul area. Within a year another was established. These early churches were at To Nam Dong; Shung Dang Chung, Nai Soo Chung, Chung Yung Ri, and San To Nam Dong; and later one at Wang Sim Ri, with Nak Jung Pack as minister. In the summer of 1940, a new church was established in north Korea, on the eastern seacoast at Chaw Do Ri, with 33 newly immersed members, by J. J. Hill and Yo Han Kim, later assisted by Sang Hyun Choi.

In 1939 and 1940 Mr. Hill first got acquainted with three Korean boys who were later to play an important role in Korean church and orphanage life. They were Soo Gyung Sung, Yoon Gwun Choi, and Pong Ook Roh.

In the fall of 1940, after the Chase had returned to America. Mr. Hill re-opened the Bible classes for the training for Korean preachers, but suddenly one afternoon, the Japanese police came into the mission yard and told us that we must shut down the Bible classes, as we had no permit. We had no choice but to shut it up. From then on until November, the Japanese got worse and worse toward the American missionaries, cutting off their privileges and being more suspicious of them. So, in November of 1940, the American Embassy in Seoul advised all Americans to pack up and return to the States. Most of the Americans, including the Hills, returned to the States about November 8th. They did not realize that war would start in a little over a year, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Mr. Chase came over to Korea for a few weeks only in the spring of 1941, and rented out the mission property to Mr. Hang Sup Chun, who turned it into a stove factory. During the World War Ⅱ, the Japanese forced Mr. Chun to buy the property then, after the war was over and the Japanese had all been driven out of Korea, Mr. Chun was unwilling to give back the property to the Korean Christian Mission. Mr. Chase, returning to Korea on several short trips, was unable to get the property back. Only two of the early mission churches survived after the war - To Nam and Nai Soo, which later became Pil Oon Dong.

Mr. and Mrs. Hill returned to Korea on Feb. 18, 1949, and lived at Yun Chi Dong, in Seoul, but now they had three children Bruce, Virginia, and Susan. The Seoul Bible Seminary was started by Mr. Hill, on March 15, 1949, with several Korean preachers to help him as teachers: Sang Hyun Choi, Rak So Sung, Nak Jung Pack. Classes were held in the house at Yun Chi Dong, but soon grew too big, so were moved into the Pil Oon dong Church in front of Sa Jik Dong. The number of students grew to 70. Many new Churches of Christ ahd sprung up or had turned from man-made denominations to the New Testament Church of Christ. Now the churches had spread out toward the south, east, and west - into such places as We Dong, Kimpo, Me Ari, Shin Tan Jin, Pukang, and even Kwangju and Mokpo and Pusan. Evangelist Eun Suk Kim had helped to plant many of these later churches. And much teaching and enlightenment and also come from American Air Force Chaplin, Hal Martin. The number of churches by this time numbered about 60-70. It looked like the Churches of Christ were having a great growth, when suddenly, on June 25th, 1950.

The Korean Civil War started, with the Communists of North Korea suddenly invading South Korea. Foreign missionaries, including the Hill family, suddenly had to abandon nearly all their possessions in Seoul and other parts of South Korea, and flee to Japan or to America. The Hills went first to Fukuoka, Japan, and soon on up to Tokyo and later to Karuizawa, then to Sendai, and later back to Setagaya in Tokyo, where they had purchased an old Japanese house on Tsurumaki Cho. While in Japan, they studied the Korean language for about one year, at Karuizawa, where were a number of other missionaries from Korea.

Mr. Hill returned to Korea in November of 1950 for five weeks, during which Bible classes were again started, in a rented building at Chang Choong Dong in Seoul. But as the war got worse, he had to return to Japan in December. The Chinese joined the North Korean Communists, and a hard war took place, with thousands, yes, millions of people being killed.

But by July 3rd of 1951, missionary men were beginning to return to Korea, and that is the day on which I returned to Seoul. I was going to try to start an orphanage in Pusan, but when I went to see Mrs. Syngman Rhee, she advised me to start it in Seoul. Going to Seoul, I found my old friend, still a young man, Mr. Soo Gung Sung, and together we went to re-possess the old mission property at 32 Song Wul Dong, near Westgate. Mr. Hang Sub Chun, with a loaded revolver, came after us, but when he saw we were the rightful owners of the property, he backed away. We took half the building, and he kept the other half. After about a year, by the help of the American Embassy and the British and Foreign Bible Society, we finally got Mr. Chun off our property, and he took a cash settlement which the government gave him, paid from Japanese assets, I believe. I felt very happy about getting our property back at last, and we lived in the old building partly broken by exploding shells of war, but finally we spent a lot of money on it and got it repaired.

On August 4th, 1951, we started our first orphanage, which we called the "Christian Mission Orphanage." We took in 19 homeless boys and girls, into our broken down mission house at 32 Song Wul Dong, Seoul. Soon, more and more children were added. I got Mr. Soo Gyung Sung (son of preacher Rak So Sung) to come and help me, and also a sister of Yoon Gwun Choi; and later Mr. Choong Heun Pak, who finally became the director of our Taejon Orphanage at Pan Am Dong; and several other men and women, including Nance Hong, Anna, Mrs. Ahn, Dong Soo Kim, Kil Ja Han, Mrs. Shin the cook, and others.

Not long after our Seoul orphanage was started, Brother Chong Man Ee asked me to help him start an orphanage in Inchon, I could not promise any certain amount of help, but said I would help as much as possible. He took in over 500 orphan children, and the old two-story school building was really bulging with children - it still continues today, with about 90 children, some 21-years after it was founded.

Not long after that, our mission was asked to help to start two more orphanages - one at Taejon(at Pan Am Dong, under a Mr. Song), and one at Taegu. We helped both of those orphanages for several years. So during the war we were actually helping to maintain four orphanages. We and they got some help from several American Armed Forces units. Once, while I was on a trip to see my wife and children in Japan, an Air Force boy named Donald Campos, I believe, visited our Seoul orphanage. He wrote a letter to his home town newspaper, the Minneapolis Star, which printed his letter. Following his letter, we received such a deluge of packages of used and new clothing for our orphan children that we hardly knew what to do with it all. We received over a thousand packages, from all over the United States, from all kinds of churches, organizations, and people. Some of it was brand new clothing. Not wishing to waste any of it, we stored it in our huge attic on the 3rd floor of our mission building, until we could get time to sort it all out and distribute it to the many children wherever needed most. With the adult clothing, we helped many needy preachers and other needy Christians. We still had some of that clothing left in 1955, when we left Korea, not to return until 1959.

During the years of the World War Ⅱ, I served as minister to churches in Michigan, West Virginia, and Indiana, and also served in the United States Army as a chaplain (1st Lt. and later Capt.) in the U.S., the Philippines, and in Japan. I also attended the school of Religion at Bulter University, and earned the Master of Arts degree.

A number of short-time missionaries came to Korea to aid us during the Korean War, or right after the war - Robert West, Alex Bills, and Jane Kinnett, from Japan; Paul Ingram (and later the whole Ingram family) from Japan; and two single young ladies from the States, Miss Lila Thompson, and Mrs. Mary Louise Barnhill. Lila Thompson worked mostly with our Seoul orphanage, and later moved it to Pupyung, where she lived and worked right in the orphanage. She later married an American Army widower, Hiram Hiller, who had two daughters. Later she bore him a son, but she died of leukemia in the States - truly a wonderful Christian woman. Mary Louise Barnhill went to Taejon, and lived worked in the Pan Am dong Orphanage, where Mr. Song, and later Mr. Choong Heun Pak, were the director. She contacted infectious hepatitis there and was brought up to Seoul to recover in our mission house. Lila Thompson came to take care of her, and Lila also got the disease. Due to that sickness, Mrs. Barnhill left Korea in the fall of 1955. Jane Kinnett returned to the States with Mrs. Barnhill.

The Paul Ingram family came over to Korea in 1953, and stayed until the end of 1954, when they left Korea for good. The John Hill family went to the States on furlough in 1953, returning to Korea in the summer of 1954. A new seminary building was built on the Song Wul Dong property, beside the mission house, a nice three-story building, and the American Army helped largely with the materials and the construction of it.

Due to the tragic "loss" of the first Mrs. Hill, in the spring of 1955, John Hill and their three children returned to the States in July of 1955. In 1956 he married Miss Jane Kinnett, of Los Angeles, Cal., a veteran missionary from China, Burma, and Japan. Jane had informally adopted a Chinese orphan, Molly Chan, who came to the States and lived with the Hill family, and is now married and living in Indiana, with her East-German husband and their sons.

Mr. and Mrs. Harold Taylor and their two sons, who were working in Japan after leaving China, came over to Korea about the end of 1955, to take the place of the Hill family in Seoul. Mr. Taylor sold the property at Song Wul Dong, including the new seminary building , and the seminary was mostly "out of commission" for several years while Harold was buying a new property north of Seoul, at Yuk Chun Dong, and building.

After the Hills had left Korea, in 1957 the Richard Lash family came to Korea to work with the Taylors in Seoul. Some months later, they decided to leave Seoul and go to Kang Neung. They lived and worked there for several years, doing evangelistic work and helping the Korean brethren to start several new churches in that area. They moved to Pusan about 1963, to work with Pastor Sung Man Chang in starting a two-year college for giving vocational training and Bible teaching to young men and women. They left Korea in the summer of 1971, having decided they were no longer needed in Korea, and turned all their work over to Pastor Chang.

Alex Bills family came to Korea in 1956, and settled in Pusan. They attempted to build a radio station to broadcast the gospel in music and sermons, and put up several buildings. They brought over several families from the States to help them in their radio work, including the Bert Ellis family 1959, the Joe Seggelke family 1959, and Miss Flora Mae Guernsey. However, due to severe dissension within their "Christian Radio Mission" and opposition of Bert Ellis and Joe Seggelke, the Billses were never able to get a permit from the Korean Government. Very much disappointed, they returned home to the States 1961. Miss Guernsey, and later the Seggelkes, had already returned to the States. Only the Bert Ellis family remained in Pusan, where they still live today, though quite aloof from the work of the Lashes and of Pastor Chang.

In the summer of 1959, the new Hill family returned to Korea, consisting now of Jane Hill, and baby Danny barely two years old. They stayed with the Billses for two months in Pusan, and then moved up to Taejon, where they decided to settle down and live. On Dec. 1st, 1959, the Taejon Bible Seminary was born, founded by John and Jane Hill, but in about a year the name was changed to Korea Bible Seminary, which name it will probably keep for the forseeable future. At that time it was the only Church of Christ Bible Seminary in operation in Korea, as the Seoul Seminary had closed down for relocating. This time the Hill family stayed in Korea for a five-year term, the longest in their life-history.

Teacher in the Korea Bible Seminary have included Yo Yal Choi, Eun Soo Lee, Virginia Hill, Dick Lash, Shinn Ee (later called Mansoo Lee); Ee Yung Kim (later called Chan Yung Kim); Kyo Min So; Tah Soo Kim; Yung Jin Sim; Eun Suk Kim; Che Yun Kim; He Yung Kim; Choon Bong Im; Teh Kyu Pak; Yong Ho Choi; Sung Chul Kim; Myung Wha Chun; Fred Hoffman; Mrs, Jane Hill; and John Hill (Pres. 1959-1971).

More than 90 young people have graduated from the Korea Bible Seminary since its beginning  in 1959. Many of them are serving as ministers of the Churches of christ in Korea.

On a spring day in 1969, the new seminary building was started at Taejon, but due to slowness of funds arriving from the States (mostly), and a few coming from Korean friends, the new building was not destined to be completed until late spring or early summer of 1972. Started by J. J. Hill on his 30th anniversary of coming to Korea, and aided much by Joe Garman, it was finally finished by the powerful help of Chan Yung Kim and his generous American supporters in 1972.

Another missionary who served with great success in Korea was Joe Garman, who first came to Korea in the fall of 1967, and held many evangelistic meetings in Korea, with He Yung Kim as his interpreter, until early in 1968. Thousands were converted and immersed by Brother Garman. He left Korea to continue on to the Philippines, India, Japan, etc. to hold more meetings. Then later he returned to Korea in 1969, with his new bride, Linda, and with a friend, Paul Comeaux, to work in Korea in the place of the Hills while they were home on furlough, from 1969 to 1970. Again thousands were won to Christ and were immersed, as a result of Joe Garman's powerful sermons. Their evangelistic team consisted of Joe Garman, He Yung Kim, Yung Jin Sim, and Paul Comeaux. He raised about $27,000 from America and sent a badly burned girl to an American hospital in the States, where she underwent operations on her face and many skin grafts, to restore her good appearance. Joe also raised $5,000 for the new seminary building. He is finally going to Israel, with his wife Linda and their little daughter, as missionaries.

We must now return to the Hill family and their orphanage work. In 1960, the two older Hill daughters from America came to Korea - Virginia and Susan to live with Mr. and Mrs. Hill. After graduating from the Korea Christian Academy at Oh Jung Ri, both Virginia and Susan returned to the States. Both Virginia and her brother, Bruce, graduated from Ozark Bible College, at Joplin, Missouri. Then Virginia returned to Korea in 1966, where she started a new orphanage work, and it became known as "Virginia's Orphanage." She took care of about 22 children in this Taejon orphanage, and a nice one-story building was built for the orphans, and for their four teachers or governesses, plus Virginia, who lived in the orphanage for some time. She returned to the States with Mr. and Mrs. Hill in 1969, when they went home on furlough, and decided to remain in the States. She was married on Oct. 7, 1971 to Harvey Bendure, and they make their home at Rt. 1, Asbury, Missouri, but she continues to work for the Korean orphans as their forwarding agent for funds. On Nov. 29, 1965, Mr. and Mrs. John Hill took in three Korean triplet boys, whose mother had died. One boy later died, and the Hills adopted Lincoln and Doug.

On February 20, 1963, a daughter, Tina May, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Hill at their mission home in Taejon. In the same year Mr. Hill was awarded the Doctor of Divinity degree by a seminary in the States.

The Hills returned to the States on furlough in the summer of 1964, via Europe. This was to be their first, and probably only, visit to Europe. They bought a little Simca automobile in Paris, toured much of northern Europe in it, and shipped it to the States in August, where they used it during the year of furlough. Mr. Hill toured all over America, speaking to American churches about Korea, while Mrs. Hill and the four Hill children lived in Joplin, Missouri. While they were in America  on that furlough, Dick Lash, from Pusan, came up to Taejon to teach in the Korea Bible Seminary, pay the teachers and workers their salaries, and in general look after the work. He did a very good job both at Pusan and a Taejon, as well as in Kang Neung.

The orphanage work of Hill family included not only the founding and maintenance of "Virginia's Orphanage" at Taejon, but also extensive aid to three other orphanages in and since 1959: Mrs. Hong's "Sung Kwang Won" at Pusan (with about 88 children); the Eden Orphanage, near Non San, with from 90 to 145 children (now a babies' home); and the Inchon Church of Christ Orphanage at Inchon (since about 1951). Thus, they helped start and operate four orphanages in the Seoul-Inchon-Taejon-Taegu quadrangle from 1951 to 1955; and four other orphanages (mostly different with the exception of Inchon) from 1959 to 1972. Many American sponsors were secured, who sent support for the many orphan children. Many of the orphans from the Taejon and Non San orphanages have been sent to the States to live with their new American "adoptive" parents, and seem to be getting along very well there.

The Gorden Pattern family came to Korea in 1962 to work at Seoul with the Harold Taylors. They help operate the Seoul Bible Seminary. In the last several years Gorden has engaged in a new venture of faith - the translation of many good religious books, such as Bible commentaries, from English into Korean, and the printing and distribution of them, as well as of many Christian tracts. This may be his greatest work in Korea.

The Fred Hoffman family (Fred and Ellie) came to Korea in 1971, to work with the Hills, the Paul Kims, and the Korean churches, affiliated with the Christian Mission to Korea. Mrs. Hoffman teaches in the American kindergarten at Oh Jung Dong. Fred teaches English Bible in the Korea Bible Seminary, plus helping to supervise student labor, and helps a lot with the orphanage work, building maintenance, et cetera. He and Ellie study Korean very diligently, and are becoming very proficient in ti.

But now we must give ample space and due credit to the many Korean young men who have been going to the States, graduating from Bible colleges and universities in the States, and then returning to Korea to serve both as American missionaries back to their own people, and as native church leaders. These include Yoon Gwun Choi and Soon Gook Choi and Jai Gwan Ahn, of Seoul who founded the Teh Han Church of Christ Bible Seminary at Seoul (now our biggest Bible Seminary in Korea); plus Chan Yung Kim of Taejon, now the new president of the Korea Bible Seminary since January 1st, 1972, who came back to Korea with his American wife (Pat) and their two little boys (Peter and Philip) in 1970; Mansoo Lee (or Ee Shinn), who returned to Korea in 1971, and teaches in Tel Han Seminary, Ewha Women's University, and Yonsei University; and other Korean students now studying in the States, such as Yung Ki Shin and Geun He You, and He Yung Kim; also Pastor Chang of Pusan, who studied at Cincinnati Bible Seminary, and has a junior college in Pusan, with 340 students.

We should also mention our Christian day schools in Korea; at Non San, Poong San, Changhowun, and Choong Ju, where hundreds of poor boys and girls were trained, though two of these schools have been forced to close, due to lack of funds.

The John Hill family, after a history in Korea going back to 1939, have decided to retire from the Korean work in June, 1972, turning it over Korean natives, and to younger missionaries if such can be found and recruited and sent to Korea. . . Peace unto you! (한성신학교, {쎄메론} 7호에서 옮겨옴