James has a very special story of how God led him to become a chaplain. Born and raised in South Korea, James came to the US to attend Fuller Seminary, where he received his master’s in divinity and Doctor of Ministry. He met and married his wife Sarah, and they had two children. After finishing school, James took the position of a Pastor at a Korean American church. He was in pastoral life for 12 years.
It was during his time pastoring the church that his son became quite ill, being hospitalized for a surgery, then often became an in-patient and out-patient for a period of 3 years. While James spent a large portion of his time at his son’s bedside, he was visited by the hospital chaplain (an HCMA chaplain) on numerous occasions, and this had an immense impact on him. When his son died, James reflected on how much the support and prayers of the chaplain had meant to him, that he sensed God calling him to become a chaplain.
James completed his chaplaincy training and went on to be the chaplain at Kaiser Hospital in LA for nine years, followed by Torrance Memorial Hospital for an additional 12 years. HCMA is blessed that God has led him now to the position of Executive Director.
James and Sarah are proud grandparents to their daughter and son in law’s two children.
James has said that, “Those whose eyes have been opened on human suffering and spiritual care without going through their own severe grief and suffering must be greatly blessed.”