Korean church thrives in Gilbert neighborhood Service is traditional on Sundays, just done in native language
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 18, 2006

Cary Aspinwall

The 1:30 p.m. service at New Hope Community Church in Gilbert has beautiful hymns, a traditional reading from the Gospel and a powerful sermon from the pastor.

The only difference? It's in Korean.

Every Sunday afternoon, New Hope Community Church becomes the home of the Arizona Gilbert Korean Church. advertisement

The non-denominational Christian church started meeting last December, in
hopes of serving the growing Korean population in Gilbert and the far
Southeast Valley, said the Rev. Youm Yoon Oh.

There are several other Korean Christian churches in the Valley, but those
churches' leaders told him of the need for a congregation in Gilbert, he

A large celebration in December marked the church's launch, and the
congregation has grown to about 15 to 20 members since, Oh said.

The church advertises in a local Korean-language newspaper and with an
A-frame sign in front of New Hope Community Church, 1380 E. Guadalupe Road.

The Korean sermon is sprinkled with bits of English. Oh, 53, is working on
his spoken English at the Southeast Regional Library's
English-as-a-Second-Language conversation group on Saturdays.

He and his family came to California from South Korea in 2003, and moved to
Arizona in January 2005, when his daughter decided to attend college in the

"I love Arizona," he said.

His daughter, Sora, 24 is a music education major at Arizona State

Sora also is the pianist for the church's services and an occasional soloist
for hymns.

While the music and service are mostly in Korean, anyone is welcome to
attend, Pastor Oh said.