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Jeju Mission Center, 2013.

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Jeju Region

By Sung Gu Choi

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Sung Gu Choi graduated from the Department of Theology at Sahmyook University and then completed Dr.Ph. at AUP. Since he first started at the Cheonsung Church in 1990, he has served as a pastor at Gunpo, Gwangmyeong, Naegak, and Anyang Church. He was appointed as the director of Health and Welfare of the West Central Korean Conference (WCKC) in 2007 and the general secretary of the WCKC in 2012. He was appointed as the director of the Jeju Region in 2021.

 

Formerly Jeju Attached region, Jeju Region is a mission region under the direct control of the Korean Union Conference (KUC). This mission field was separated from Southwest Korean Conference and organized into KUC Jeju Attached Field in 2009. The organization was renamed Jeju Attached Region in 2014 and then renamed Jeju Region in 2017.

Current Territory and Statistics

The territory of the Jeju Region covers Jeju Island. As of June 30, 2019, there were 668,813 people in the Jeju Island, and the Jeju Region consists of 10 churches and 1,207 church members. The headquarters of the Jeju Region is located in 77 Ganwoldong-ro, Jeju-city, Jeju-do, Korea.1

Origin of Adventist Work in the Territory of the Region

In 1914 Jong-won Kim, who was a literature evangelist, entered Jeju Island and distributed Adventist literature. With this work, the message of the Adventist Church began to spread to Jeju region, the southernmost island of the Korean Peninsula. He delivered a booklet containing the message of Sabbath truth to Hyo-seon Han, and Hyo-seon Han realized the truth of Adventism through the booklet and began to observe the Sabbath. As the number of people keeping the Sabbath increased, C. L. Butterfield, who was the superintendent of the Korean Mission, and R. C. Wangerin, who was the director of the south mission field, visited Jeju Island in February 1915, baptized 11 people, and organized the Sabbath School in Sagye-ri, Namjeju-gun.2 This Sagyeri Church became the first Sabbath church on Jeju Island.

In September 1915 Gi-chang Jeong and Yong-yeop Jeon were dispatched as ministers to Jeju Island, and three Sabbath Schools (Sagye-ri, Aewol-ri, and Ildo-ri) were established in Jeju Island by 1917.3 In the Jeju area, three representatives attended the 2nd General Meeting of the Chosen Conference held in May 1918, including Ki-chang Jeong (Jeju-eup Ildo-ri Church), Yong-yeop Jeon (Aewol-ri Church), and Chong-il Yang (Sagye-ri Church).4

In May 1919 the Korean Adventist Church was reorganized into the Chosen Union Mission.5 At this time the Jeju area was included in the mission area of the South Chosen Mission. The South Chosen Mission sent Sang-ik Nam and Sung-won Im as ministers for the mission in Jeju. They established schools in Sagye-ri Church and Aewol-ri Church and educated elementary students. The South Chosen Mission promoted missionary work centered on three churches in Jeju, but church growth was slow. According to statistics from 1925, the number of Sabbath School members were only 23 (10 at Jeju-eup Church, 9 at Aewol-ri Church, and 4 at Sagye-ri Church).6 The leaders of the South Chosen Mission continued to visit and hold evangelistic meetings to promote missionary work on Jeju Island. As a result, in 1930 the number of Sabbath School members in Jeju increased to 36.7

In 1934 the Sabbath School was organized in Hallim, Bukjeju-gun, and the number of churches in Jeju increased to four. As a result, according to the 1935 statistics, the number of Sabbath School members in Jeju increased to 66. However, in 1937 the number of churches decreased to three, but the number of church members increased to 81. In 1939 the number of churches increased to six, but in 1940 the number of churches decreased to four, and the number of church members increased to 116.8 As such, in the early days of the mission, there were about one hundred members in four churches in the Jeju area.

At the 15th General Meeting of the Chosen Union Mission held in October 1945, the responsibility for missionary work in the Jeju area was left to Pastor Yang Chong-il. He rebuilt churches in Jeju and repromoted missionary work.9 After the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950, Korean Adventists evacuated to Jeju Island, and an evacuation school and evacuation hospital were established there. As a result, a church was established in Seongsanpo, Jeju.10 Jeju Island belonged to the Southwest Korean Mission as the mission was organized at the 16th General Meeting of the Korean Union Mission held in May 1952.11 However, in the 1990s it was argued that the Jeju Mission Field should be separated from the Southwest Korean Mission. The Jeju Attached Field was organized after a long debate based on these arguments.

Organizational History

It was at the 30th General Meeting held in December 1995 that discussions began in earnest to separate the Jeju area into a mission field under the direct control of the KUC. The Management Committee of this general meeting decided to "separate the Jeju region from the Southwest Korean Conference (SWKC) and foster it as an attached mission field of the KUC."12 In November 1998 the SWKC organized the "Jeju Separation Research Committee" and promoted research to solve the proposal.13 However, it was not easy to separate the Jeju area into an independent mission field. As a result, this problem was handed over to Agenda in the 2000s, when the new millennium began.

Since March 2001, the Jeju area has been granted autonomous management rights under the guidance of the SWKC, and based on that, the separation of Jeju was discussed in depth at the 20th General Meeting of the SWKC held in January 2004. However, the agenda for the separation of Jeju Island was rejected at this general meeting.14 The Administrative Committee of the SWKC, which was held in April 2004, decided on a "plan to operate Jeju missionary areas" and pushed for the issue of separation of Jeju until 2007. However, the issue of separation of the Jeju region was not completely decided at the 21st General Meeting of the SWKC held in January 2007.15 It was not until December 2008 that the SWKC and representatives of 11 churches in Jeju finally agreed to separate the Jeju mission field. As a result of the agreement, the "KUC Jeju Attached Field" was organized at the Special Session of the SWKC held on January 22, 2009.16

When Jeju Attached Field was organized, the region consisted of 11 churches and companies, and 1,046 church members.17 Jeju Attached Field declared "Vision 1000" after being organized as an independent mission field, and pastors and church members united to focus on missionary work in Jeju. Vision 1000 means achieving 1,000 attendees by 2014, the 100th anniversary of Jeju's mission. To achieve this goal, Jeju Attached Field integrated two churches (Jeju Headquarters Church, Jeju Central Church) located in Jeju City into one church on August 27, 2010 and increased the concentration of missionary work. In addition, at the Committee of the Board of Management held on January 8, 2011, the leaders decided to purchase a site for building the Jeju Mission Center.18

The Jeju Mission Center was completed in October 2013 and officially dedicated in November 2014. In particular, on November 21, 2014, a ceremony was held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Jeju's mission, and an evangelical meeting was held at the newly built mission center. In particular, in 2013, KUC Jeju Attached Field was changed to Jeju Attached Region and independent missionary capabilities were developed. However, it took more time to realize "Vision 1000." According to statistics at the end of September 2015, the number of church members in this region was reported to be 1,135 and the number of attended members present was 615.19

In 2017 Jeju Attached Region was renamed Jeju Region again. The leaders of the Jeju Region developed various attempts to revitalize missions in the region, which was divided into independent mission organizations. In 2017, under the support of the NSD (Northern Asia-Pacific Division), evangelical meetings were held simultaneously in eight areas, baptizing more than fifty members. From 2018 four churches improved the missionary environment through remodeling the buildings. In addition, in 2020 broadcasting equipment was provided to all churches to cope with the non-face-to-face environment caused by COVID-19.20 Despite these efforts, the Jeju Region needs more time to set up independent missionary capabilities as a new mission field. Leaders and church members belonging to the Jeju Region are building missionary capabilities to establish a kingdom of God in the Jeju region.

List of Presidents

KUC Jeju Attached Field: Won Kwan Jang (2009-2012); Byung Soo Lee (2012 and 2013).

Jeju Attached Region: Kwon Soo Park (2013-2017).

Jeju Region: Kwon Soo Park (2017 and 2018); Kyung Ho Kim (2919 and 2020); Sung Gu Choi (2021-Present).

Sources

“A Report of the Southeast Korean Mission.” Minutes of the General Meeting of Korean Union Mission. Seoul: Korean Union Mission, 1956, 2011, 2015, 2020.

Butterfield, C. L. “Chaiju Island, Korea.” ARH, July 6, 1916.

Evans, I. H. “Meeting of Chosen Union Mission.” ARH, August 7, 1919.

Korean Adventist News Center. February 3, 2004; June 12, 2007; January 8, 2010; November 17, 2010; July 20, 2011; November 27, 2020.

Lee, Yung Lin. A Comprehensive Study in the History of the Adventist Church in Korea. Seoul: Sunmyung Cultural Press, 1968.

Oh, Man Kyu. History of One Hundred Years of Korean SDA, 1904~1945. Seoul: Korean Publishing House, 2010.

“Resolution Number 98-231,” in Minutes of the Executive Committee of SWKC, 1998. Gwangju: Southwest Korean conference, 1998.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/.

Won Im, Sung. “Gospel work in Jeju Island.” Church Compass, August 1971.

Notes

  1. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 2020), 225.

  2. C. L. Butterfield, “Chaiju Island, Korea,” ARH, July 6, 1916, 10.

  3. Man Kyu Oh. History of One Hundred Years of Korean SDA, 1904~1945 (Seoul: Korean Publishing House, 2010), 183. Sung Won Im, “Gospel work in Jeju Island,” Church Compass, August 1971, 20.

  4. Church Compass, June 1918, 4.

  5. I. H. Evans, “Meeting of Chosen Union Mission,” ARH, August 7, 1919, 14.

  6. Man Kyu Oh, 582.

  7. Church Compass, June 1927, 30.

  8. Man Kyu Oh, 584, 585.

  9. Yung Lin Lee, A Comprehensive Study in the History of the Adventist Church in Korea (Seoul: Sunmyung Cultural Press, 1968), 86, 87.

  10. Yung Lin Lee, 100-102.

  11. Church Compass, July 1952, 51-53.

  12. Church Compass, January 1996, 15, 16.

  13. “Resolution Number 98-231,” in Minutes of the Executive Committee of SWKC, 1998 (Gwangju: Southwest Korean conference, 1998).

  14. Minutes of the 20th General Meeting of the SWKC (Gwangju: Southwest Korean Conference, 2004), 15, 16.

  15. Korean Adventist News Center, January 24, 2007.

  16. Korean Adventist News Center, January 22, 2009.

  17. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (2010), 250.

  18. “A Report of Jeju Attached Field,” Minutes of the 34th General Meeting of the KUC (Seoul: Korean Union Conference, 2011).

  19. “A Report of Jeju Attached Field,” Minutes of the 35th General Meeting of the KUC (Seoul: Korean Union Conference, 2015).

  20. “A Report of Jeju Attached Field,” Minutes of the 36th General Meeting of the KUC (Seoul: Korean Union Conference, 2020).

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Choi, Sung Gu. "Jeju Region." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. October 11, 2021. Accessed January 25, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6FLW.

Choi, Sung Gu. "Jeju Region." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. October 11, 2021. Date of access January 25, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6FLW.

Choi, Sung Gu (2021, October 11). Jeju Region. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved January 25, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6FLW.