Congregational Excellence >  5 Talent Academy Mission Insite Parish Papers  > Fresh Expressions

Jonthan Park, Emmaus at Stratford Hill UMC

The Rev. Jonathan Park, 42

Family: Married to Terah for 14 yrs. I have a 13-yearr-ld daughter named Faith, and a 10-year-old son named Micah.

Contact Information: Emmaus UMC at Stratford Hills 7440 Cherokee Rd, Richmond, VA 23225, 804-929-6254,  

Vision: To give my all in facilitating the experiential implications of God’s Kingdom by planting, strengthening and mobilizing into mission Spirit driven, equipped and passionate followers of Jesus Christ.

Life Verse: “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (John 12:24)

Current ministry: I am in the process of planting Living Grace Ministry at Emmaus that will minister to the multicultural community of Richmond, VA. I began at Emmaus in July 2008.

Previous ministry: Planted and was Lead Pastor of Journey of Faith Fellowship at Wilshire UMC, Los Angeles, CA ’01-’08; Associate Pastor ministering to Youth and College students at Aiea Korean UMC in Hawaii ’98-’01; part-time Youth Pastor at Glendale KUMC in Glendale, CA ’95-’98; Missionary to Russia planting a youth and college ministry at Moscow UMC ’92-’93; Youth ministry volunteer at various churches ’87-’92.

Education: M. Div. ’98, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA. B.A. in Social Ecology ’92, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA.

Hobbies: I enjoy fishing, surfing, basketball, mountain biking, eating ethnic foods, traveling and just hanging out with friends.

Currently Reading: “Strengthening the Soul of your Leadership” by Ruth Haley Barton

Favorite Places to Visit: Hawaii & the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains near Bishop, CA

Something Quirky: I’ve lived on two different islands in my lifetime. Blessed.

Tell us about you and your call and your plant.
The call to this plant was birthed when I first met Rev. Yunhoe, the previous pastor of Emmaus UMC at Stratford hills. He had a vision to birth an English speaking congregation to stand alongside the Korean speaking Emmaus church. Initially I didn't think that vision was for me but God kept bringing back to my conversations with him in 2007. In general I believe Korean speaking congregations benefit greatly when they birth an English speaking ministry. It is good for the children being raised in the U.S. and are more comfortable with English rather than the korean of their parents. It is good for the immediate community as the English speaking congregation can be more intentional about community outreach where the Korean speaking congregation would be limited by language and cultural gaps. In 2008 my wife and I felt strongly that God was calling us to plant and lead the English speaking congregation at Emmaus. In 2011 we officially named ourselves Living Grace Ministry.

What is the vision for the plant you are in?
Living Grace Ministry is a diverse, Christ-centered body seeking to build a missional and grace filled community serving Greater Richmond and the world.

Where are you in the process of planting?
We have a small group of committed members and have established a vibrant small group ministry. Having a foundation we are now attempting to attract non church going folks who might resonate with our vision statement.

What does the plant currently look like?
We hold a weekly service with about 40 adults and 40 youths and have numerous small groups that meet over the week.

What are your current prayer needs – for you personally?
Our greatest prayer need is for ALL our regular worshipers to lay hold of the vision and share it within their spheres of influence. Evangelism and outreach is the big need right now.

What are your current prayer needs for the plant?
What needs does the plant have? (Think fundraising/ in kind donations also staffing needs, etc)
We could definitely use more help in our childcare department.
We do have a few young children each Sunday but we need to do a better joy of ministering to them. We also need nursery care workers.


The Cross and Flame is a registered trademark, and the use is supervised by the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) of The United Methodist Church. Permission to use the Cross and Flame must be obtained from the GCFA, Attn: Legal Department, PO Box 340029, Nashville, TN 37203-0029; phone 615-369-2334; fax 615-369-2330

Background photos courtesy of VDOT.

The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606
(804) 521-1100
Click here for directions to the Center