A Church Plant Grows in Eastside

Over cornbread, beans and peach pie, a group of Korean Americans met together with a church planting coach to discuss how to plant a church. This accomplished group of young professionals no longer identified with traditional Korean American Seventh-day Adventist churches culturally or linguistically.

"We prayerfully came together to examine the need for a second-generation Korean Adventist church in the Puget Sound area," recalled Marvin Lee, a founding leader. "With the language and cultural barrier in our parents' churches, we knew we needed to move forward."

Now, seven years later, Eastside Seventh-day Adventist Fellowship, a member-led, second-generation Asian American church plant, is a recognized church of Washington Conference.

Through early growth years, members took turns providing sermons and leading the growing congregation. "We didn't let the lack of a pastor stop us," Lee said. "Yet, we needed spiritual shepherding for further growth."

Leaders began a nationwide search for a pastor, and ended up interviewing Matthew Gamble, a teaching pastor for 24/Seven Ministry Center, another church plant from the next town over. "We wondered," Lee said, "if a bald, white preacher who rides a purple motorcycle and used to be a drug dealer could effectively lead our church [the answer is yes]."

Officially recognized as a church on August 25 with 59 charter members, the future and potential of the church is best characterized by its committed lay leaders, committed members, vibrant small groups, creative children's programs, and a young energetic pastor.

Doug Bing, Washington Conference vice president for administration, offered a challenge for Eastside Fellowship: "Remember you are here for the third generation and every generation until Jesus comes."

Eastside Fellowship currently rents church facilities located at 11920 N.E. 80th St. in Kirkland. Read the full story in GleanerNOW!at www.Gleaneronline.org.

October 01, 2007 / Washington Conference
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Heidi Martella, Washington Conference communication intern with Danny Kim, Eastside Fellowship communication leader