Korean church goes mainstream

October 11, 2007

OC Register staff writer Jaimee Lynn Fletcher reports on the new multi-ethnic church plant, Crossway Community Church, launched out from Sarang Community Church, reputed to be the largest Korean immigrant church in the nation.

Korean church goes mainstream: Sarang Community Church starts services in Brea.

A Korean-immigrant church is making a home in Brea to develop its first mainstream, multi-ethnic congregation.

Sarang Community Church kicked off the first service of its new church, Crossway Community, at the Curtis Theater on Sept. 23.

Crossway Community Church’s inaugural service drew nearly 500 people and Pastor Steve Choi said he hopes the church’s membership will continue to grow.

“One of our big goals is to reach those outside of our church,” Choi said. “Our motto is ‘A church for all people’, and that’s what we’re hoping to be.”

Sarang, which means “love” in Korean, has 12,000 members and, according to Choi, is the largest Korean-immigrant church in the nation.

The focus of the Anaheim-based church is Korean-speaking members, he said.

There are a few services offered in English, but Crossway is Sarang’s big move to become mainstream, he added.

“We’re doing it backwards in a way,” he said. “Most churches start with English and then offer services in other languages.”

Expanding to Brea is part of a bigger mission for the church. Sarang focuses on three levels of influence – local, regional and international, Choi said.

Regionally, Sarang wants to start offering night services in south Orange County and possibly share its faith with local colleges. Nationally, Sarang works with a seminary school in India.

Crossway Community Church will hold its Christian services at 10:30 a.m. Sundays and eventually will looks to add more services, Choi said.

He added the church is not looking to find a place to build a sanctuary, that’s not its priority.

“We don’t want to spend too much on a building because our focus is on the people,” he said. “We will stay here until, God willing, we grow out of the place.”

See photo of Pastor Steve Choi in the Star Progress edition of the article.

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