Including the world’s largest church
During the eight-day journey, Aponte and Director of Graduate Admissions Kevin Miller T’04,’08, visited universities, educational institutions, churches, partners, and alums in South Korea.
Aponte was invited to preach at Yoido Full Gospel Church, known as the world’s largest church with an average of 480,000 attendees each Sunday. Aponte shared his sermon, “Calling, Hope, and the Boardwalk,” calling on the faithful to remain hopeful when explaining faithfulness to the curious. “Explaining our hope is one way we live out our devotion to Jesus Christ.”
In addition, Aponte was welcomed to preach at Myungsung Presbyterian Church, one of the largest Presbyterian churches in the world with an average of 24,000 attendees and 100,000 members where he preached “Strange Callings in Stranger Times.”
Myungsung’s Senior Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Hana Kim T’11, received his PhD in American Religion and Culture from Drew.
Aponte was also welcomed to preach at Chungdong First Methodist Church, regarded as the birthplace of Korean Christianity, where he shared his sermon titled “Surprises on the Road.”
The Rev. Henry Appenzellar T’1885, a graduate of the Theological School, became one of the first Christian missionaries to Korea. His work was integral in establishing the Methodist Church as well as other Christian communities in Korea, schools, and universities, and translated the Bible into Korean.
“Drew Theological School’s partnership with the South Korean faith community is profoundly important and significant to our school’s history,” said Aponte. “Our partnership is not solely a reflection of our academic pursuits, but also a closely interwoven history. By cultivating our relationships, we directly empower students to grow and follow their calling, just as Appenzellar did at the turn of the twentieth century.”