Click to return to the Mercer Island United Methodist Church main page.

7070 SE 24th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040


Click for a map to Mercer Island United Methodist Church.       Mercer Island United Methodist Church.

main page

Our Pastor
Reverend John Chae

My Personal Journey 

I was born in Taeku in the southern part of South Korea in 1953. I was raised with loving care by my parents, the only son among four sisters. My mother was a very strong Christian and attended a Morning Prayer service at her church every day. Even before I was born, I was attending church during my motherís pregnancy. So I was acquainted with Morning Prayer services with praising and peopleís prayer to God. In my very early childhood my mother carried me on her back to revival services and other church events. When I entered adolescence I had many deep questions about life. What does it all mean? What is the purpose of life? Why am I here? I also thought a lot about death. A person strives to live a happy life, and has a job, and has ambitions, etc. and then death comes and everything is swallowed up. I wondered why. It was like a ďbig holeĒ that death sucked up all of a personís life. These questions made me search about God and the eternal foundations of life to overcome death. In this changeable world we really need a connection to the eternal being, and the eternal foundation. Without this kind of connection with God, life just spins around without purpose and meaning.

I continually searched for these eternal things, so after I graduated from high school, I entered Seoul Methodist Seminary to study further about these spiritual matters that I was seeking after. After two years of study I was called by my country to serve in the military. I served in the DMZ for three years. I worked in the military as a chaplainís assistant, visiting the soldiers who were on night duty, and counseling those who were injured or discouraged, homesick, suicidal, and had other needs. I learned again that without an eternal connection it is easy to give up during a time of crisis. The worldís foundation is very shallow during these times, and I learned a lot about this when I had this duty as a chaplainís assistant. After the three years, I returned to seminary, and finished my study in two more years. After I graduated I had the opportunity to serve in a small country church in a farming area in Korea. After serving there for a year I decided to go to the U.S. for further study. This happened in 1980. It was a big decision on my part, and in the end, I stayed here and eventually became your pastor! It is a mystery of God who has led me and continually guided me even until now.

I attended Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois and graduated in 1987 receiving a Master of Divinity. I was ordained a deacon and elder in the Wisconsin Annual conference. It has been 24 years since I became an active Methodist minister. The time has gone very fast it seems, but God continues to guide me and bless me with his loving hands. I thank God for the support of the congregations I have served, and for Godís loving hands in helping me and supporting me. Thatís why I am here. Letís continue to work together to accomplish Godís will in our community and in the world. God bless you all.

Rev. John Chae