B.A. in history, Biola University
Master of Divinity, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary
Master of Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary
Ph. D. in theology, Baylor University
More about me..
Proud to be A.L.A. Grateful to be ‘Baptholic’. World Class Stationary Bike Rider. Married to Jaimy for over 20 years. Proud father of 3 daughters Loves to Read, Hike, Cook, and Chat with Friends.
Pastor Paul I Kim’s life can be summed up with 3 M’s. The first “M” signifies the Miracle of God’s Mercy. He grew up as a devout Buddhist and planned to be a monk after his retirement. He also had strong antagonistic sentiments toward Christianity and did not have a good impression of the church when he first participated in a church youth group. Against all odds, he received Christ in his heart at the age of seventeen after two years of a spiritual tug-of-war with God. He thought that he would be the last person to become a Christian and certainly the least qualified to be a pastor of God’s church. Now, he is an example of God’s double miracle or miracle of double mercy.
The second “M” stands for Multi-Cultural and Multi-Ethnic experience of life. Pastor Paul was born in Seoul, South Korea but grew up in Argentina and Venezuela. He is not a typical Asian-American and calls himself “A.L.A. (Asian-Latino-American)”. He lived in Los Angeles and the Bay Area for 18 years and then in Princeton, NJ for 3 years before moving to Texas in 2002. Pastor Paul believes that his confused trilingual and marginalized immigrant life experience has opened his eyes to appreciate different people from diverse backgrounds. Calling himself an “A.L.A. mutt,” he is not ashamed of his lack of mono-cultural and mono-ethnic center.
The final “M” stands for Mission. Pastor Paul came to Texas initially to finish his graduate theological studies and moved to Dallas to teach at Dallas Baptist University after his Ph. D. Slowly but surely, he recognized God’s call to make DFW his permanent home and last stand for God’s work in his life. He believes that he is not an accidentally transplanted resident of the Lone Star state, but a providentially guided agent of God’s kingdom in the buckle of the Bible belt.
As an intentional Texan, he dreams to make Forest Community Church a home for people who are serious about God’s love in Christ and love to obey Christ’s Great Commandment and Great Commission.
Q&A with Pastor Paul I Kim
Q: What was the most difficult decision that you’ve made in your adult life?
A: In 1999, I decided to leave my first church (New Community Baptist Church in Mountain View, CA) to pursue further theological education. I served this church for ten years and experienced tremendous church growth and relational blessings in the Bay Area. Saying goodbye to my first spiritual family was harder than returning to my vigorous academic training at Princeton seminary and later at my Baylor doctoral program. That ministry laid down the foundation for my pastoral ministry and theological reconstruction.
Q: What are your favorite books?
A: While my theological training is in the area of systematic constructive theology, I was spiritually shaped by classic Christian literature. In college, A. J. Cronin’s Keys of the Kingdom led me to romanticize a lonely yet beautiful adventure for God. C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces showed the depth of Christian truth which surpassed classic Greek mythology. Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov is my all-time favorite Christian book that I want to read over and over again. I think that Brothers Karamazov is a must read to any Christian after reading the Bible. In our Good Shepherd College, I plan to have a reading class to reflect on this great novel and its theme of apatheia. Also, I am a fan of the Harry Potter series and J. R. R. Tolkien’sThe Lord of the Rings.
Q: Who are your spiritual mentors?
A: Rev. Don M. Kim and his wife, Esther Kim (the author of If I Perish), are my spiritual parents and the best pastors in the world! I am trying to carry out their legacy in my ministry and life. Also, Dr. Ralph Wood, Dr. D. H. Williams, and Dr. Barry Harvey at Baylor are my theological mentors who opened my eyes to early church fathers, Thomas Aquinas, Karl Barth, G. K. Chesterton, Henri de Lubac, and Flannery O’Connor. The Baylor graduate school professors are master church theologians who taught me to study and teach the Bible and theology with love for the Church.
Q: How did you meet your wife?
A: Jaimy and I were introduced by mutual friends. We met in Boston, a neutral territory (Jaimy from NYC and me from the Bay Area), and after a first blind date, I proposed to her the next morning. We were married four months later. We are blessed with three daughters. We tell them to go slow in dating!