SEVILLE — A New York-based South Korean Christian church welcomed community members Wednesday to its new seminary at the former Seville Elementary School.
The Nyskc Foundation bought the building in September and will transform it into the home of the Goshen Theological Seminary and a post-graduate educational center for Christian scholars.
“Every dream needs a home like a child needs a family,” Nyskc President Juyoung Joanna Choi told the audience. “Seville has become our home and the school has become the home of Nyskc.”
The Seokwang Korean Presbyterian Church of New York — or Nyskc — was founded in 1993 by Choi’s father, the Rev. Goshen Choi in Sunnyside, Queens, N.Y.
The church has expanded in recent years by establishing the Nyskc World Mission, with eight affiliates in the U.S. and missions in nine countries.
Choi said the church is associated with the Presbyterian denomination, and estimated it has about 4,000 members worldwide. She told The Gazette in March that her father had been searching for a suitable building in a number of states.
The group bought the building for $70,000 and Choi said they’ve already spent at least $30,000 repairing and refurbishing the former school.
Wednesday’s event was highlighted by a sermon from Goshen Choi, who said the group’s mission is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Choi — who spoke in Korean with an English translation on the screen behind him — thanked Seville for giving the church a place to put down roots.
“Dear People of Seville, and pastors here, as our ministry is spreading this gospel to the ends of the earth, we know life is ever so important. Jesus is the way to life and because of this, Nyskc was able to establish itself in Seville. Please pray for us, support us, let us become the pride of this town as well as God’s joy,” the translation read.
Choi’s sermon was followed by comments from Medina County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler, Seville Mayor Gene Sulzener, county Commissioner Stephen D. Hambley and former Seville Elementary student and local attorney, Stanley Scheetz, who helped facilitate the group’s purchase of the building.
The speakers all wished the group success, and Hambley picked up Choi’s message of planting roots.
“There’s a saying that society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in,” he said. “Thank you for enriching the village, county, state and our great nation, and for the spiritual blessing of planting this tree.”
The evening included performances by the Miclot Trio, musical doctoral candidates at the University of Cincinnati and formed by Miclot Arts in New York City in 2013; Joyful Sound Handbell Choir of Seville Presbyterian Church; and the Cloverleaf High School Swing Choir.
The evening concluded with a reception that included an authentic Korean-style barbecue.
Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.