Ethnic Background: Asian (Korean-American)
Conference: California Pacific
Probationary Date: 06/19/1999
Full Membership Date: 06/16/2001
Number of Eligible Quadrenniums: 2
Feb. 1993: Methodist Theological Seminary, B.Th. SEOUL, KOREA
(Jul. 1986 – Jan. 1989: Military Service: R.O.K Army)
Sept. 1994 – May 16, 1998: Master of Divinity, Claremont School of Theology, California
Sept. 2001 – May 13, 2006: Doctor of Ministry, Claremont School of Theology, California
Thesis: Cultural Issues in Cross-Cultural Ministry for Effective Pastoral Leadership
2007 – 2008: New Start / Revitalization Institute
California-Pacific Annual Conference Board of Congregational Development
June 23, 1997 – Aug. 29, 1997: CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) Program
at Huntington Memorial Hospital, Pasadena, CA
Aug. 1998 – June 1999: Christ United Methodist Church, Honolulu, HI
Director for Youth Group and Hospital Ministry
Aug. 1998 – June 1999: Resident Hospital Chaplain
at the Queen’s Medical Center of Hawaii with CPE program (3 Units)
July 1999 – Aug 2003: Pastor for Bardsdale UMC. Fillmore, CA
(English Congregation as the Cross-Cultural / Racial Ministry)
Sept. 2003 – June 2005: Pastor for Anchorage Korean UMC, Alaska
July 2005 – June 2006: Pastor for Pacific United Methodist Church of S. Pasadena, CA
July 2006 – June 2018: Pastor for Artesia-Cerritos UMC (English Congregation), Artesia, CA
July 2018 – Present: Pastor for Kum Ran United Methodist Church, Gardena, CA
Community and Ecumenical Involvement:
Jan. 2005 – June 2005: Secretary for Association of Alaska Korean Churches
Jan. – Dec. 2007: Treasurer, Los Angeles Mid-City Church Association
Feb. 15 – Mar. 3, 2010: Philippine Mission Trip 2010
Oct. 5 – 12, 2011: Korean Mission Trip 2011
Oct. 10 -16, 2015: The 2015 Western Jurisdiction Immersion Trip to Korea
2017 Spring Semester: Teaching “Ministry Theology” at Mission Christian University
Jan.- Dec. 2019: The Vice-President, The Council of Churches in S. California
Other Relevant Experience:
Sept. 2007 – June 2010: President of Claremont Alumni/ae Association
Sept. 2007 – June 2010: Member of Board of Trustees, Claremont School of Theology
July 2009 – June 2011: Elected Member of Conference Leadership Team.
May 2009 – Sept. 31, 2012: The Chair of District Committee on Ordained Ministry &
Member of District Leadership Team
Santa Ana District, Cal-Pac Annual Conference
July 2011 – June 30, 2012: President of Korean Claremont Alumni/ae Association in USA
2000 – 2014: Member of the Board of Directors,
Center for Pacific and Asian American Ministries, Claremont
Oct. 2012 – June 2013: The Chair of District Committee on Ordained Ministry &
Member of District Leadership Team
West District, Cal-Pac Annual Conference
July 2010 – June 2014: The Member of Worship Team for Annual Conference
July 2011 – Aug. 2016: Council member for Conference Relationship,
Korean Caucus of Cal-Pac Annual Conference
2006 – 2016: Council Member of Alumni/ae Association,
Claremont School of Theology
July 2016 – June 2018: The Chair of 605 Mission Area of West District
Oct. 2012 – June 2020 : District Committee on Ordained Ministry
Conference Board Liaison
West District, Cal-Pac Annual Conference
July 2012 – June 2020: The Board of Ordained Ministry, Cal-Pac Annual Conference
July 2019 – Present: Chair of the Council of Korean Ministry for Cal-Pac Annual Conference
July 2021 – Present: Chair of Superintendency Committee of West District
Why are you being called to the episcopacy at this time? What is it that you especially bring to the role of bishop with the current challenges facing our denomination and the Western Jurisdiction right now?
I have served as a UMC pastor for 23 years with God’s calling. I do my best in preaching God’s words to, caring for, spiritually developing, and reviving the church. God has guided me to do many things. I graduated from Claremont School of Theology (M. Div) in 1998. I earned the Doctor of Ministry degree from the CST in 2006 (Cultural Issues in Cross-Cultural Ministry for Effective Pastor Leadership). I have served various Korean and English-speaking churches in California, Hawaii, and Alaska. I understand multicultural relationships and perspectives and apply this understanding to fulfill the mission of Jesus Christ with integrity as one of Bishops.
I served as the President of the Alumni/ae Association of Claremont School of Theology and Board of Trustees. Furthermore, I served as the chair of dCOM, was a member of the Leadership Teams for the districts & Conference, and served on various boards such as the Board of Ordained Ministry.
Now, I am serving as the Chair of the Council of Korean Ministry for Conference and the Chair of Superintendency Committee. I have also been appointed to serve Kum Ran United Methodist Church effective as of July 1, 2018 after I was the pastor for 12 years at Artesia-Cerritos UMC (Multicultural English-speaking church). For our UMC, I will demonstrate my leadership as an administrator, pastor, educator from my experience.
During my ministry, many faithful friends have encouraged me to run for Bishop because they know my leadership style and experience. Frankly, at first, I did not think about running for Bishop. But, I prayed to hear the voice of the Lord Jesus and heard His new mission to strengthen our UMC and people. I believe that God wants to use my experience and passion to unite us in our diversity.
There are a lot of roles the Bishop fulfills. I will first harmonize us for the UMC’s mission. The UMC and many local churches are divided with different ideas. We need to actively have conversations about our views. We may have different ideas, but we should understand and work together for our mission, evangelism, and mission to make more disciples.
I will work to revitalize our local churches because local churches are our roots. The Bishop should connect and support them to make disciples. I believe that I am called to serve as one of the Bishops to help carry out God’s vision. The most important role of bishop for the Western Jurisdiction is to build up our local churches in their cultural competency and to help them grow inclusively. I will humbly carry out my mission as the spiritual Bishop to fulfil Jesus’ last commandment. I will embrace everyone with God’s love in the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Describe how the last two years have affected your ministry.
The last two years have been very difficult. We are living in a pandemic caused by COVID that we have never experienced before. It was difficult to worship, to visit, and to socialize. Everything has changed. Even though we are going through a long and unfinished tunnel, I did not stop pastoring, caring, and worshiping. I have been carrying out the given mission. All of these new circumstances have challenged my ministry.
New types of ministry presented new challenges. In order to address them, I learned and used new skills and methods. Of course, it is still difficult. However, I am learning a lot while pastoring as a team to build a new paradigm. It is a team ministry and a challenge to engage in new things. I am sure that ministry is a team ministry where everything comes together. Churches must help and support each other for our community. Our connectionalism is important. We are not alone, but rather we are a team for ministry.
I realized the value of family. During the last two years, many people have passed away because of vires. During this period, I saw how important it is that I be with them in their final moments as their pastor. Through these times, I truly realized the importance of pastoral presence. I knew that the ministry of caring for, comforting, and healing the members of the church is very needed. I was with them and shared their concerns and prayers.
We help the marginalized and needy. Our church has supported many missionaries during this pandemic. Although it was not easy for us, we did it together with our members to pay the apportionment, and moreover, we helped local community groups in need. For example, rice bags were provided to the South Bay Seniors Association. Masks and hand sanitizers were distributed to the church members and many others in need. We learned that we must live and help together. Our church donated for Ukraine victims.
In May of this year, my daughter graduated from Harvard University. While attending graduation ceremonies, my wife (Therapist for M.F.C) and I realized the importance of family and learned USA leadership for the next generation.
Also, most important thing has been to find the answer to the question: “Why has Jesus called me to be a pastor?” My answer is to rebuild God’s mission in this era. I renewed my vocation through the last two years and made a new vision to extend ministry for our UMC and churches as a bishop. I read books and meditated for my spiritual and faithful leadership.
Everything I have experienced in the past two years has made me work harder in ministry, and humbly responded to the call of Jesus again.
Here I am Lord! Send me! I will go for your people! Amen!
Endorser: Rev. David Richardson
Relationship to Candidate: The first DS to Brian Suk-Boo Lee
I have known Brian since the 1990s, serving with him on the Board of Trustees for the Claremont School of Theology and serving as his District Superintendent. I commend him highly for the role of Bishop in the UMC. I understand the qualities and gifts needed for that office. While Brian has not actually served on a Cabinet, he has all the human and spiritual qualities needed for the task and is bright enough to learn the technical aspects of the job. Above all, he has had a very successful and varied pastoral career and fully understands the local church, United Methodism, and the laity.
My favorite story about him is his first cross-cultural appointment. In the late 90s, Bishop Sano was intent on breaking barriers to cross-cultural appointments and decided to appoint Brian to an all-Anglo farming community outside of Los Angeles. He was beginning an appointment outside the comfort zone.
That appointment was an ice-breaker for Cal-Pac. It paved the way in Cal- Pac for many cross-cultural appointments to come. Brian did a great job and even had those farmers joining him for “early morning” prayer Korean style. He illustrated how cultures can blend and mend in such ways as to bless one another. Brian has gone on in his successive appointments to illustrate his gift for building bridges and breaking down barriers.
He has the gifts and graces. He is bright and can read situations for the Episcopal office.
Special Assistant for Bishop Grant Hagiya
Endorser: Rev. Mark M. Nakagawa
Relationship to Candidate: Current DS for Brian Suk-Boo Lee
I write in support of the Rev. Dr. Brian Suk-Boo Lee, who has been nominated as an Episcopal candidate at the upcoming Western Jurisdictional Conference in November.
As his District Superintendent during the past six years, I have witnessed Brian ministering successfully to congregations in both a cross-cultural context and in his native Korean cultural context. His broader ministerial record also includes ministry in the former Pasadena District and as a Missionary in Alaska.
Brian has been active on the district and conference levels in several capacities. He is the current District Superintendency Committee Chair, a past servant on the West DCOM as the Chair and the Cal-Pac BOM. Beyond these official capacities in which he has served, Brian is a faithful and trusted clergy colleague who I value very highly.
He has a faithful and wonderful family. His spouse Chloe S. Kim is seving as the therapist for Marriage & Family, Children in Los Angeles. Their only child Frances H. Lee graduated from Harvard University (Class of 2020). All of them are serving for our community.
I commend Rev. Dr. Brian Suk-Boo Lee for our Bishop and trust that his candidacy will be honored in the highest regard.
Rev. Mark M. Nakagawa
West District Superintendent, Cal-Pac Annual Conference
Endorser: Rev. Frank Wulf
Relationship to Candidate: Colleague & Friend in Ministy
To whom it may concern:
I have known Rev. Brian Suk-Boo Lee for nearly a decade both as a colleague in ministry and as a friend.
Rev. Lee and I both served as chairs of our respective District Committees on Ordained Ministry at the time when our two Districts and one other were merged to form a new District. We worked diligently and carefully with each other and with our new District Superintendent to ensure that the process proceeded smoothly and all candidates were treated fairly. Through the years, we have also worked together on a number of other conference- and district-related projects.
I have always found Rev. Lee to be a person of deep integrity and competency. He carries through with his commitments, exercises effective leadership, and opens his heart and mind to all. He is deeply spiritual and disciplined in his practice of faith. He has a strong theological grounding and a passion for evangelism. I have also known him as one of those rare individuals who exhibits strong cultural competency in relating with diverse groups of people both inside and outside the church.
Rev. Lee deserves our consideration as a potential bishop in the United Methodist Church. At this time of deep divisions, he has the potential to be an effective bridge builder.
Rev. Frank Wulf, Pastor
Echo Park United Methodist Church