Roughly 5,000 Korean and U.S. soldiers and American Christian broadcasting personnel gathered together at the Yeonmudae Military Church in South Chungcheong Province on Saturday to take part in the country’s largest-ever baptism ceremony.
The ceremony was held as part of the 60th anniversary of the Far East Broadcasting Company’s establishment in Korea and was officiated by FEBC - Korea’s chairman, the Rev. Kim Jang-hwan, also known as Billy Kim -- one of the country’s most prominent Christian evangelists and former president of the Baptist World Alliance from 2000 until 2005.
Along with the thousands of local soldiers, 40 local Baptist church ministers, 22 American ministers and U.S. military chaplains participated in the religious milestone event. The event was also a way of thanking the U.S. military personnel for their past sacrifices in the once war-torn country.
Some 5,000 Korean military personnel are baptized by Baptist ministers from Korea and the U.S. at a military training camp in South Chungcheong Province on Saturday. (FEBC-Korea)
The celebration also featured special international guest visitors including Ed Cannon, president & CEO of FEBC - USA; Jerry Johnson, president of the National Religious Broadcasters; Wallace Wilcox of Wilcox World Travel; James Groen of Global Connection International; and Cliff McArdle, director of international relations of Belhaven University.
Earlier in June, FEBC - Korea also celebrated its 60th anniversary with concerts across the U.S. by its 500-member FEBC - Korea Children’s Choir, including a special peace concert at Carnegie Hall in New York.
More events have been planned for the rest of the year to celebrate FEBC - Korea’s 60th anniversary. FEBC - Korea Children’s Choir will hold a concert marking Liberation Day on Aug. 15 at the Daejeon Arts Center. The performance will feature the same program staged at Carnegie Hall in June.
FEBC - Korea chairman the Rev. Billy Jang-hwan Kim (front row second from left) poses with a U.S. delegation at a military training camp in South Chungcheong Province, before a mass baptism ceremony on Saturday. (FEBC - Korea)
Other cultural events include the 31st Sacred Choir Concert at the Sejong Center in Seoul on Sept. 7, a fall music performance at the Seoul Arts Center on Oct. 11, a Christmas carol concert at the FEBC - Korea Art Hall on Dec. 6 and a special anniversary celebration event at the 63 Building in Yeouido on Dec. 19. To conclude its yearlong celebrations, FEBC - Korea will be holding its 60th anniversary year-end concert at the FEBC - Korea Art Hall on Dec. 29.
In December 1956, HLKX Seoul was established to broadcast the gospel to North Korea, China, Russia and Mongolia -- countries where missionaries were not allowed. Since then, FEBC - Korea has grown into a major Christian radio network broadcasting to 12 cities in South Korea. Globally, it broadcasts in Korean, Chinese, English, Japanese and Russian every day.
By Julie Jackson (email@example.com