Passionate about preaching the word of God and sharing the Gospel, Mark Kim enrolled in Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in the fall of 2014. In his younger years, Kim would not have pictured himself in seminary but rather in medical school pursuing a career in pediatrics.
Following his graduation from Baylor University with a degree in education, Kim was working at a hospital in his hometown of Lewisville. He constantly found himself drawn to patients, checking on how they were doing in the midst of sickness and emergencies. He was concurrently enrolled in an Old Testament course at Southwestern and found the Lord reaffirming his call to full-time ministry. So, he enrolled in seminary and continued to be open to the Lord's plan.
The son of a pastor, Kim was raised in a Christian home and spent many hours shadowing his father at the church. His life was filled with opportunities to share the Gospel, lead in worship and serve in his home church, Flower Mound Korean Church.
After attending seminary for a year, he continued to feel the call to ministry but wanted to find a way to pursue his calling specifically within the armed forces.
Kim visited with an Army recruiter and soon learned about the Army Chaplain Candidate Program, which would allow him to continue his studies in seminary while also serving in the Army Reserves and receiving training as a chaplain.
"I always had respect for soldiers serving our country," Kim said. "In the back of my mind, I wanted to serve but was scared. I felt convicted to serve and use my passion for ministry."
Kim attended Texas Baptists chaplaincy training in September 2015 and received endorsement and commissioning through Texas Baptists in the Dallas Offices last November.
He is currently a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, awaiting appointment to a unit and Army chaplain training. During his time in the Army Reserves, he will work with a Senior Chaplain twice a month to learn about the ins-and-outs of pastoral care with soldiers.
"Serving in the armed forces is a special mission field," Kim said. "Soldiers are far from home and need someone constantly preaching the Word. Jesus is the only thing we need. He provides. They need to hear that truth."
Kim is one of 20 seminarians currently commissioned by Texas Baptists as military chaplain candidates, serving in either the Army, Navy or Air Force.
"We want to work with God as He calls believers into full-time ministry in a specialized setting, whether that be community based or at an institution," said Eric Whitmore, Texas Baptists associate chaplain endorser. "Many students are interested in ministering outside the walls of the church. We want to share with them how chaplains are both ministers and missionaries in culture and communities."
For more information on Texas Baptists chaplaincy endorsement, visit texasbaptists.org/chaplaincy or contact Eric Whitmore at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214.828.5277.