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Biography of Yoon Kwon Chae

Here in Yoon Kwon Chae’s own words is a short description of his life:

"I was born in Seoul, Korea, in 1932. My father was the first Christian Church minister in Korea. All through my life persecution and poverty were my companions. At first, the Japanese imperialism persecuted us. I don’t remember any time when we did not have Japanese detectives in our home. My father used to be called "Hundred Patches Preacher," because he had so many patches on his suit. I was so tired of the poverty and persecution that I never dreamed of becoming a preacher. But perhaps it is the way God works, because the persecution motivated my dedication.

In 1950, when I had just graduated from a high school, the Communists invaded South Korea and began to arrest Christian ministers one by one. My father was arrested and so was I. I was young enough to make an escape, but my father could not. When the War was over, the first thing I wanted to do was to find out where my father was. They told me to go several places. At one place I found a number of Christian leaders who had been shot and burned. I looked into every one of those faces to see if my father was there. I could not identify him. But soon I saw some of the families of the deceased ones gathered together beginning to sing that beautiful song, "In the Sweet By and By." I looked around and saw them singing with tears streaming down their cheeks. I joined them. We sang, and sang -- more than fifty times. I looked around again and saw that nobody was crying any more. They were not looking down at those charred corpses, but instead were looking up to Heaven where members of their families were having a wonderful time with Jesus Christ. There was no more crying. The sight was so impressive that I dedicated my life to the ministry of Jesus Christ right there. And I have been preaching ever since."

I had the privilege of coming to the United States to study. I attended San Jose Bible College for B.A. degree and Lincoln Christian Seminary for M.A. degree. I returned to my country in 1961 with a prayer in my heart: "God, give me Korea."

Comments by Lester LeMay, last updated January 03, 2007

Bro. Chae married Geon and they started one church in Towon-Dong area of Seoul in 1962. They also adopted a little girl from Eden Orphanage, whom they called Jung Hae. In the years to come they began taking homeless children into their home one by one until the Geon Christian Children’s Home was born. Bro. Chae started some other churches, began a Bible Correspondence Course and he and other Korean preachers began Korea Christian Seminary in 1965. From the Correspondence School came a prison ministry, and in 1971 a Braille school for the blind preachers was begun as a part of the Seminary. Ministry to lepers led to some of their children (who did not have leprosy) to be cared for at Geon Home.

Bro. Chae began a publishing house in 1964 and started writing tracts and books to spread the Gospel. This has been a continuing ministry and some of his books (in both English and Korean) are presently available through the mission. A printed edition of his doctoral thesis (from Immanuel Baptist Seminary of Atlanta, Georgia), is available as "First Christian Mission to China".

In 1967 Bro. Chae and his family came to visit their supporters in the United States and little Jung Hae charmed everyone by her Korean songs. They visited the North American Christian Convention and many other Christian gatherings.

In 1971 Bro. Chae did a preaching tour through Okinawa, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. This began his evangelistic outreach that has since encompassed the world. He has been active in campaigns and conferences in Australia, Great Britain, Kenya, and even the United States. He has spoken for the Brazilian Christian Convention and at the  World Convention of Churches of Christ which met in Brisbane, Australia, in 2000. Korean missionaries are ministering in all the above places, as well as Turkey, Peru, China and Russia.

Geon Chae was stricken by a massive stroke and died in 1981. Her life lives on in the ministry of Geon Christian Children’s Home and the many lives she saved and loved.

 In 1982 Yoon Kwon married Kook-Ja Park, a lady he had baptized years before. At the time of their marriage, she was the highest woman in Seoul City Government, directing a social service program for needy Korean women. This marriage was blessed by the birth of a son, John Wooshik Chae. Mrs. Chae directed the Social Service Center of Seoul Christian University but is now directing the Geon Christian Children’s Home.

For many years Bro. Chae taught at least one term per year at San Jose Christian College (now William Jessup University) in California where many Koreans live. Resulting from these classes have been the training of many Korean Christian workers and the establishment of several Korean churches in the San Francisco Bay area.

The unity of Christians is one of the key stones of the Restoration Movement. Bro. Chae was instrumental in the union of Seoul Bible College and Korea Christian Seminary in 1981. That school, now called Seoul Christian University, has over 800 students. In 1983 a merger of two branches of the Restoration Movement existing in Korea was begun with one conference and one convention resulting, even though continued cooperation is needed. There are now about 500 churches in Korea representing this movement.

The tragic division of Korea into North and South after the second World War by the Allied Powers was a severe blow to these folk who had struggled to remain one even though dominated and persecuted by the Japanese for over 35 years. The Korean Conflict was a result. The North is dominated by a Communist philosophy that seeks to isolate and totally control the people by establishing itself as a religion demanding their full submission. The South has prospered numerically and materially, but is in danger of being drawn into the secularism of the present age. 

Bro. Chae preaches regularly over the Far East Broadcasting System and the liberating message of the Gospel is being heard even in North Korea, Russia and China. The prayers of Christians continue to reach beyond all restrictions of earthly governments. God will be victorious in the End.

Far Eastern Broadcasting Promotional Card Dr. Chae outside FEBC Building

Comments to Bro. Chae can be sent to  yoonkwonchae@hotmail.com

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