When Daniel Yongtaek Bang was at the Council of Korean Southern Baptist Churches meeting at the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Birmingham, he bumped into someone who changed his path — quickly.
“I met Pastor Lim there, and he was about to retire,” Bang said of Song Bin Lim, who founded Vision Baptist Church, Daleville, 17 years before.
At the time, Bang was serving as pastor of a Korean church in Alexandria, Louisiana. God had led him there from serving in a similar capacity in Kentucky.
Picking up the baton
But it seemed God had another stop in mind for Bang that he wasn’t aware of — Alabama.
“We started talking about moving here after the annual meeting, and things started going fast,” he said. “Just about a month and a half later, I was here.”
Nearly a year later, Bang is seeing God at work in the multicultural congregation. It’s made up largely of Korean Americans, some of whom have American spouses. Many of their children are bilingual.
Bang said he wants Vision Baptist to be a place where all feel welcome.
He preaches in Korean with English subtitles on the screen at the front. They also have both languages on the screen during the singing.
Jim Hill, associational mission strategist for Dale Baptist Association, said worshipping there is “always invigorating” when he has a chance to join them for services.
“The songs are displayed on the wall in both Korean and English, and we sing together. It is awesome,” Hill said.
And as for Bang, he’s doing a “marvelous job” carrying on the legacy of the church, Hill said.
Bang said they had to make some adjustments during the COVID-19 crisis, but they’re back meeting together again now.
“We had to slow down due to the current circumstances, but we’re still doing what we should do,” he said.