Seung Jai Kang, 80, was a dedicated and energetic pastor who lived his life in service to local ministries, church planting, and teaching—all while being a caring father for his family in Korea and the United States.
In 1967 he completed an M.Div. at Chong Shin Seminary, Seoul, Korea. With his passion for ministry, he served a couple of churches and taught at various seminaries in Seoul. When he came to the U.S. in 1986 as a Korean Christian Reformed pastor, he served several congregations, including Korean Church of Orange County in Westminster, Calif.; Kalamazoo (Mich.) Korean CRC; and Yung Kwang CRC in Las Vegas, Nev. After achieving a doctorate degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ken., Kang continued to share meaningful insights as a passionate preacher. He was a mentor to local pastors and a leader in his classis (regional group of churches). He also served as interim editor for Voice of the Reformed, a monthly periodical published by the CRC Korean Council, and held various denominational leadership roles, including as synodical deputy and in the ministry of Race Relations.
Kang will be well remembered as a warm person devoted to Christ’s mission. A close, long-time friend from seminary, Rev. Sungwon Yoon, said at his memorial service, “My friend Rev. Kang was a very kind person who enjoyed fellowship and also a very humorous person [who served] as peacemaker in any environment and in church matters too. I miss my friend very much.” Kang’s eldest daughter, Seehye, said “My beloved father was a passionate preacher; I still have good memories of him weeping while preaching on some occasions.” Kang’s eldest son, Scott Seonghan, said his father loved being in fellowship with people and sharing food with others—so many church members appreciated him as a father-figure.
After 45 years serving in God’s kingdom, Kang passed away on Jan. 11 from pulmonary fibrosis. He is survived by his wife, Byung Sun; by five children and their spouses; and by six grandchildren.
About the Author
Jonathan Kim is a CRC pastor of Ye-Eun Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles, California. He writes news for The Banner and lives in North Hills, California.