Millbrook Baptist prepares to welcome Korean visitors

Sep. 19—An internationally prominent evangelist and a Korean children's choir to match are on track to visit Millbrook Baptist Church this weekend, with plans for a 10:30 a.m. Sunday gathering.

The Rev. Billy Kim, 89, largely known for his decades of association with the late Rev. Billy Graham, is a former chairman of the Far East Broadcasting Company and a former Baptist World Alliance chairman. Admission is free. Kim is in the midst of a U.S. tour, and he is to speak in such locales as Greenville; Charlotte, North Carolina; suburban Atlanta; and Bristol, Virginia; in the course of the following week.

He is to be the featured speaker, and the music will be by the FEBC-Korea Children's Choir, from Seoul. "They're really, really good," in the words of the Rev. Bill Howard, Millbrook's worship pastor.

He described the singers as ranging in age from 6 to 15 — "young children of the Lord, and singing songs that bring praise to the Lord, and glory." The selections are likely to be in Korean and English.

"These kids have sung in Carnegie Hall. They've sung at the White House. They've been in the Billy Graham crusades, so this is a group that has sung for the dignitaries of the world, and we're very blessed to have them coming to Aiken, South Carolina."

The Rev. Jim Diehl, with Clearwater First Baptist Church, made similar comments. "These kids are fantastic. They are phenomenal," he said.

Diehl and the Rev. Stephen Cannon, Millbrook's senior pastor, are among local residents who have had personal contact with Kim. Cannon, whose contact with him was in Seoul, in 2016, recalled reaching out to Kim "several years ago, and they have not been able to travel since the COVID-19 virus, but he had told me that if he ever came back in this area, that he would try to come to Millbrook, and so this is it."

Cannon added, "He was ... gracious enough to include Aiken in his stops through the United States."

An Amazon summary of Kim's autobiography notes, "Billy Kim was plucked out of poverty and obscurity during wartime in Korea by what could only have been chance — or a miracle. Picked seemingly at random by an American GI to be the houseboy for their barracks in Korea, 16-year-old Billy began the path that would bring him to school in America. Later he would go on to be the translator for Billy Graham's 1973 crusade, a preacher to millions and an influential global leader for the spread of the gospel. He has been aptly described as the Billy Graham of Asia."