The Rev. Young-Chuel Cho is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving as director of church development and spiritual life of the Central Russia Annual Conference, based in Moscow.
Moscow’s metropolitan area forms a large, ethnically diverse region with many opportunities to start new churches and strengthen existing ones. To achieve its goal of self-sustainability, The United Methodist Church in Russia needs to step up its leadership development for laity and clergy. It is part of the Russia and Eurasia Initiative of Global Ministries, launched in the early 1990s after the collapse of the former Soviet Union.
Young-Chuel Cho returned to Russia as a missionary in 2014, having first been in mission service there with his wife, Susanna Cho, from 1990 to 1996. He works with districts, congregations, and church institutions in the area of church growth and spiritual development.
Rev. Cho is a clergy member of the New York Annual Conference. Born in South Korea, he came to the US in 1983 when he was a deacon with the Korea Methodist Church. Now a US citizen, he organized the Buffalo Korean United Methodist Church, pastored other Korean congregations in the conference, and eventually earned a Master of Divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary in New York City. Earlier he received bachelor degrees in ministry and theology from Chong Shin College in Seoul and Hyupsung University, also in the Seoul area.
Young-Chuel’s father was a pastor on Kanghwa Island, located on the border between South and North Korea. His father was actually born in the north.
He experienced a strong call to mission service in 1989 while visiting Ephesus, in Turkey, on a seminary-related trip. That was realized when he and his family went to Russia. “I preached the Gospel and built the church by helping Koreans who lived in Russia to understand their identities as Korean and as God’s children.
“I believe that Jesus Christ is the only answer for every person and nation. I would like to introduce Jesus Christ to people in Russia who have wounded hearts from their history.”
Young-Chuel and Susanna Cho are the parents of three grown sons, Daniel, John, and Paul.
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