Last Korean Church in Duluth Closes

Pastor Hyung Doo Park lead the congregation for the past eleven years.

DULUTH, Minn. – The only Korean church in Duluth closed its doors last week Sunday. Grace Korean United Methodist Church had its last service because the pastor is now retiring.

The last service was a bittersweet celebration, remembering the pastor’s legacy as well as the legacy of the church. Attendees of the service included UWS students as well as pastors from the Twin Cities.

Pastor Hyung Doo Park, also known as David, lead the congregation for the past 11 years while attending the church for the past 17. Grace Korean United Methodist Church itself has been open for 18 years.

Pastor Park attributes the church’s success to God.

“I believe it’s all God’s grace,” Pastor Park said. “The church was established in October of 2002, God was the one who established the church, and God was the one who carried the church during the past 18 years.”

Pastor Park, who lives in St. Cloud, drove two and a half hours every weekend to serve at the church, which meant cooking, giving sermons and providing rides for college students attending the University of Wisconsin Superior.

Past congregants came up to the church’s last service, giving testament to the impact of the church on their lives.

“This church has been like a family for us, so we got together during the holidays or the weekends so we can make our own community and share our own gospels,” said Min Soo Ahn, a previous attendee of Grace Korean United Methodist Church.

The last service concluded with congregants holding hands in a circle and lifting up one last prayer.

Faith UMC in Superior has offered to host the previous congregants of Grace Korean United Methodist Church and will hold services for them on Sundays at 3 p.m. Pastor Park and his wife will continue to reside in Minnesota as he adjusts to retired life.

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