CHANG KYU LEE
FEBRUARY 7, 1930 - DECEMBER 7, 2010
Chang Kyu Lee was born in PyoungYang, Korea, current capital of North Korea, on February 7, 1930. He was the middle child among two older sisters and two younger brothers. When he was a child, led by his older sisters, he began attending West PyoungYang Methodist Church in PyoungYang, and learned English from Methodist missionaries. After graduating from high school, he attended Seong-Hwa (Methodist) Seminary in PyoungYang, North Korea. During the Korean War in 1951, he fled to South Korea with his family and was able to continue his seminary studies at Seoul Methodist Theological Seminary in South Korea.
As an ordained minister, he served the Korean army as a chaplain for 2 years until 1958. Then he was sponsored by a Methodist Church in West Virginia to attend West Virginia Wesleyan College. He earned a BA degree which became the foundation for him to pursue further his dream for theological studies. In 1962, he graduated from Boston University, School of Theology, with a STM degree. After returning to Korea in 1962, he accepted a teaching position at Mok-Won University at Daejon, Korea where he taught Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics for 12 years.
In 1974, there was a second opportunity to study in America through the Crusade Scholarship which allowed him to take PhD courses at Emory University. Before finishing his degree, he took a position to serve two different churches in Throop, Pennsylvania: Throop UMC (English sermon) and North Eastern Korean UMC (Korean sermon). Four years later in 1985, he was transferred to serve the New Orleans Korean UMC in New Orleans, Louisiana where he retired in 1998. Just before his retirement he earned a PhD degree from Trinity Seminary, Newburgh, Indiana.
He married YooSoon Lee on June 29, 1963, and had two sons, Winston, Lt. Col (S) in the USAF and Harold, Principal Consultant at Samsung Co, Korea, and three grand children. He and YooSoon enjoyed playing tennis and fishing throughout retirement years. For personal leisure and hobby, he played clarinet and saxophone. In his daily routine, he played hymns in the morning before starting the day’s activities. Since hurricane Katrina, both he and wife volunteered their time at the senior citizens center and delivered meals to needy people.
Psalm 139 and Luke Chapter 4, verse 18 were his foundation, conviction, and dedication to the church. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke Ch 4, verse 18
On Dec 6, 2010, the day that he became unconscious, he played “Amazing Grace” with his saxophone, drank a cup of coffee, and took a very long and deep sleep. He was pronounced dead on Dec 7, 2010.
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