What’s the Story Behind Gospel City Church?

What’s the Story Behind Gospel City Church?

Several weeks ago, I embarked on a new journey. It meant that I would need to step down from the church that I loved and head in a new direction.

4.5 years ago, my wife and I, with our then 2 year old daughter, took a daring step outside of the U.S. to serve at a church in Seoul, Korea. You may have heard of it. It’s a 70,000 member church called Onnuri. In this church, I had the privilege of serving at Onnuri English Ministry (OEM).

I came to Korea with 2 convictions God had given me: 1) Learn from P. Yong Jo Ha & Onnuri and P. Eddie Byun & OEM. I did that. I soaked in a wealth of wisdom and experience. 2) Bring a richer gospel of grace to Korea.

Twice a year, I always take an extended period of time praying about God’s will for my life and my family’s life. For the past four years, God has always clarified my purpose there and given me a heavier burden to serve OEM. Then something interesting happened this past year. As I was praying, I got a strong sense that God was going to bless OEM, but I was not going to be a part of it. After this time of prayer, I was a bit saddened and confused. Upon spending more time searching for God’s will, initially I started to think it’s time to go back home to the US, to the land of American football, Chic-Fil-A, and clean air!

Excited at the thought of going back home, I started to pray. But immediately, I knew my time in Korea was not done. Instead, He was telling me, “You know how I brought you to Korea to bring a richer gospel of grace? Well, now, you are really going to start that ministry.” 

That’s when God put on my heart to plant a church. Since then, it’s like God put a match to a oil-saturated heart — my heart burst into flame with a vision that has taken a hold of me. After that, it was game over. The following quote is a good description of what happened to me.  

When God wants to impact a city through a new church plant, He taps someone on the shoulder and places a vision in their heart. You will know when you’ve been called. Bruce Wilkinson once said, “When you find the vision for your life, you won’t take hold of it; it will take hold of you.” A vision is something that begins as a thought and eventually captures your heart and life. -Ron Sylvia

This past year was filled with much time in the Word and in prayer as he continued to reveal to me with His great heart for this city and more. That was my past year.

Now, with the church plant underway, it’s so exciting to see the seeds of this conviction bear fruit. God is so faithful.

God, may You use this church to bring much glory to Your name.

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