Billy Kim

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Billy Kim
Personal details
Birth nameBilly Jang Hwan Kim
Born (1934-07-25) July 25, 1934 (age 85)
Suwon, South Korea
OccupationFormer President of Baptist World Alliance and Far East Broadcasting Company Korea
EducationBob Jones University

Billy (Jang Hwan) Kim (Hangul: 김장환) (born 1934) is a prominent Christian evangelist and humanitarian. He was the president of the Baptist World Alliance from 2000 until 2005 when he was succeeded by David Coffey.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Billy Kim was born in Korea on July 25, 1934 into a poor farming family with three older brothers and an older sister.[3] His arrival was near the end of the Japanese occupation and life was very difficult. He aspired to become a politician in order to help poor people live a better life. When the Korean War broke out in June 1950, the Kim family could not escape thus enduring the hardships of war in Suwon. [4] Billy worked as a houseboy for the U. S. military under Sgt. Carl Powers, who helped him go to America to get an education. He left Korea on November 12, 1951 filled with fear and excitement. Carl Powers enrolled Billy at Bob Jones Academy in Greenville, South Carolina where Billy converted to Christianity.[5] He excelled in many areas, but early in his education, won a South Carolina speech contest with a speech entitled “I Speak for Democracy”. On weekends, he preached at small country churches impressing the congregation along with his classmates. He earned top grades in college and in August 1958, Billy married Trudy whom he met at Bob Jones University.[6] [7]

In February 1959, Billy was ordained at Dante Baptist Church, and in November of that year received his master's degree. The fearful 17-year-old boy who left Korea in 1951 returned to his country with an education, a wife, and a passion and vision for ministry.


Billy Kim first began to work with Suwon Central Baptist Church on January 1, 1960, when it had only 10 members.[8] In 2005, the congregation has grown to over 15,000,[9] [10] including 100 members in an English speaking congregation founded by Billy and his wife Trudy and currently led by Pastor Jonathon Futch. He retired from the post of senior pastor on December 19, 2004 and was succeeded by Rev. Myung Jin Koh, formerly senior pastor of Osan Baptist Church, on January 2, 2005.

Billy is the Chairman of the Far East Broadcasting Company in Korea. [11]


The Days of Ministry[edit]

When Billy returned to Korea in 1959, he and Trudy began their ministry in Suwon. Evangelism, pastoral work and youth ministry highlighted Billy’s first year. There were only a dozen members when they began serving at Suwon Central Baptist Church in 1959 and now there are over 15,000. In 1966, Billy Kim began a Youth for Christ ministry in Suwon, Korea following the lead of other Christian leaders and missionaries who had already founded Youth for Christ in Seoul in 1960, and trained many leaders. He raised $200,000 through an international tour to build a Christian Center for YFC where young people could study and have fellowship. He established a Job Training School, Central Kindergarten, Christian Night School and Capital Baptist Seminary. In 1994, Central Christian Academy was built and in the years that followed, hundreds of children and their parents have become Christians because of the church’s concern for early education in Suwon. As a result of his assistance to the underprivileged, he was the recipient of the Lions Clubs International Humanitarian Award in July 2004.

Billy Kim translated for Rev. Billy Graham during the 1973 Crusade.[6] [12] His interpretive skill was marked by speed, accuracy, and enthusiasm.[citation needed] Each night the crowd grew to a maximum attendance of 1.1 million. Thousands of people gave their lives to Christ through the crusade, which greatly contributed to church growth in Korea.

Borderless Ministry[edit]

In 2000, Kim became the first Asian to be elected as President of the Baptist World Alliance.[1] As BWA President, he has had the privilege of meeting many world leaders. Continuing an active and broad international ministry he has been invited to many large Christian rallies all over the world and has become a famous speaker. His preaching opportunities include the Billy Graham Evangelists’ Conference in Amsterdam, a crusade in Nagaland, India; Promise Keeper’s Rallies in Anaheim, California and Atlanta, Georgia; a YFC rally in Moscow and many more.

Dr. Kim’s schedule is always packed with preaching and meetings. He is willing to go wherever the gospel is needed and meet with whoever needs his help. More than 400 international delegates joined 500 Cuban pastors and Christian leaders in Havana, Cuba for the Baptist World Alliance General Council meeting where Dr. Kim was installed as the President. It was his privilege, along with selected conference delegates, to visit with Fidel Castro who was very grateful to receive the Spanish Bible, which Dr. Kim presented to him.


Billy Kim and his wife Trudy have three children: Joseph Carl, Mary Kay, and John William. They have ten grandchildren.[6] [13]


  1. ^ a b "Baptist Centenary Congress 2005 Ends Successfully with Hallelujah Praise". Retrieved 2008-08-27.
  2. ^ Tammi Mallory, Billy Kim: from 'lowly houseboy' to Baptist World Alliance president Archived December 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Baptist Press Feb 5, 2002
  3. ^ Christian post, Billy Kim,, USA, November 22, 2002
  4. ^ Tammi Mallory, Billy Kim: from 'lowly houseboy' to Baptist World Alliance president,, USA, February 05, 2002
  5. ^ Bethany Bridges, Dr. Billy Kim,, USA, April 23, 2013
  6. ^ a b c Bethany Bridges, Dr. Billy Kim Jackson Free Press Tuesday, April 23, 2013
  7. ^ Greeneville sun, Korean Pastor Billy Kim Visits Here,, USA, March 3, 2005
  8. ^ Robert E. Johnson, A Global Introduction to Baptist Churches, Cambridge University Press, UK, 2010, p. 272
  9. ^ C. Douglas Weaver, In Search of the New Testament Church: The Baptist Story, Mercer University Press, USA, 2008, p. 240
  10. ^ Wendy Ryan, Korean Billy Kim nominated to lead Baptist World Alliance Archived December 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Baptist Press Jul 26, 1999
  11. ^ Millie Rothrock, Korean Children's Choir performs in Wytheville,, USA, April 29, 2013
  12. ^ David Aikman, Billy Graham: His Life and Influence, Thomas Nelson Inc, USA, 2010, p. 111
  13. ^ Leah MarieAnn Klett, Billy Kim, the 'Billy Graham of Asia,' Inducted Into NRB Hall of Fame,, USA, March 6, 2018

External links[edit]