May 26, 2024


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Discovering the Roots of Christianity in Korea: The Inspiring Story of Dong Suk-Kee

Photos show Korea before it was divided after war | Daily Mail Online

The history of Christianity in Korea is fascinating and complex, with many different people and groups contributing to its development over the years. One of the most inspiring figures in this history is Dong Suk-Kee, also known as D.D. Bell in America. His tireless efforts to spread the Gospel and establish churches throughout Korea have impacted the country, and his story deserves to be told.

Dong Suk-Kee was born on May 5, 1881, in North Korea. He grew up in a family that valued education and hard work and was determined to make a difference. After completing his early education in Korea, he traveled to the United States to further his studies. There, he enrolled in the Department of Law at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he began to study Methodism.

Dong’s passion for spreading the Gospel led him to pursue a divinity degree, and he received a B.D. from the Garrett School of Divinity in 1913. He then returned to Korea as a Methodist pastor, preaching for the Methodist Church for fourteen years. In 1914, he became the sixth minister of the Naeli Gyohae Church, where he helped to grow the church through his evangelistic efforts. He also remodeled the church’s sanctuary and parsonage and expanded the church’s elementary school system, the Yanghwa Hagdang.

Dong’s dedication to Christian education was evident throughout his career, and he was deeply engaged in the operation of the Yanghwa School. In 1917, he helped establish the Yanghwa Yuchiwon or Preschool, one of the first in Korea. His commitment to education would continue to be a significant part of his work.

In 1930, Dong founded the Church of Christ in Korea, which would go on to have a significant impact on the country’s religious landscape. By 1940, he had helped establish seven churches in northern Korea and five in the southern region. His tireless efforts to spread the Gospel and establish new churches were a testament to his faith and dedication to the people of Korea.

Even after returning to the United States in 1949 to raise money for missions, Dong’s work in Korea continued. When he could not return to Korea due to the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, he evangelized to Korean military officers who were being trained at the Army Infantry School in Port Banning, Georgia. He also sent missionaries to Korea after the armistice and raised money for missionary expenses.

Throughout his life, Dong Suk-Kee was a passionate advocate for the Gospel and a committed servant of the people of Korea. His work as a missionary and preacher had a lasting impact on the country, and his legacy continues to inspire people today.

In recognition of his many contributions to the country, Dong was awarded the Presidential Award in 1996 by the Korean government posthumously for his active participation in the March 1st Movement in 1919. His dedication to social justice and his willingness to stand up for what he believed in have made him a hero to many in Korea.

If you are interested in learning more about Christianity’s roots in Korea, Dong Suk-Kee’s story is inspiring. His tireless efforts to spread the Gospel and establish new churches have left a lasting legacy in the country, and his commitment to education and social justice continues to inspire people today. Whether you are a Christian or not, Dong Suk-Kee’s story will move you and give you a deeper appreciation.