Rev. Myung Jae Lee was a pioneer pastor who also devoted his life to studying, teaching and expanding God’s kingdom. He died March 12 at the age of 99.
As a lifelong learner, in 1942 he graduated from business school in Japan and began veterinary school in Tokyo. Due to WWII he returned to Korea. In 1951 he graduated from Koryu Seminary and in 1957 from Busan Calvin College, Korea. In 1962 he came to America, and in 1982 he received his Ph.D. in Christian Ministry and in 1984 in Christian Education at Faith Seminary graduate school.
Over 43 years, he served many churches. In 1967 he started Yebon Christian Reformed Church (formerly named Reformed Korean CRC) and served as an emeritus pastor in Chicago. He dedicated his time to tirelessly advocating for new immigrants and helping them find jobs and apartments, get a driver’s license, and apply for a green card. And when the church could not afford to pay him, he worked the night shift at a factory. His favorite Scripture verse he lived by every day was 1 Thess. 5:16-18: "Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."
In 1997, after retiring in 1992, he served as an interim pastor in Greensboro, N.C., and in Arizona, and he also published many books of his sermons.
Beginning in 2008 he tenderly cared for his wife who lived in a nursing home for six years. He preached at that care home, up to three times a week, for 12 years, up until two weeks prior to his death. He will be remembered as a loving father, husband, and most of all a faithful servant. "Many lives (will) be touched through my father's life as he has touched all of us, sincerely," said his youngest daughter.
Lee was predeceased by his wife, two daughters, two sons-in-law, and many other saints. He is survived by five children, 19 grandchildren, and 26 great-grandchildren.