Meet Our Pastor --- Rev. Dr. Steven Sunghwan Cho
Rev. Dr. Steven (SungHwan) Cho is the pastor of Ward’s Chapel. Upon beginning his ministry at Ward’s Chapel, his focus was on ‘nurturing spirituality’, ‘equipping laity leadership,’ and ‘sharing God’s hospitality.’ His doctoral study researched the trend in the US, ‘spiritual but not religious’ and pointed out that this might mislead American Christians to lose precious religious traditions and cultural heritages. Pastor Cho said that the Bible basically teaches us, “spirituality is all about discipline.” As Jesus taught and showed, ‘prayer’, ‘meditating on the words of God’, ‘reaching out to the community’, and ‘heartful worship’ are the main components of spirituality. In order to re-establish those four components of the spirituality, Pastor Cho suggests that laity leadership and radical hospitality are the two critical keys.
Pastor Cho is a spiritual leader, preacher, life-coach (ACC), and published author. He is an ordained Elder in Korean Methodist Church and is in the process of being transferred to the United Methodist Church.
Pastor Cho earned his master’s and doctoral degrees at Wesley Theological Seminary in DC. While he was working on academic study in 2010, he was called to plant a worshiping community in DC, Alpha Community Church. The church focused on younger generations with diverse cultural background. They gathered at the heart of Washington DC and strived to look at their call from God, and what to do for the kingdom of God. After this ministry, Pastor Cho served at two churches, Stone Chapel (New Windsor) and Zion UMC (Westminster).
In 2019, Bishop Easterling of the Baltimore-Washington Conference appointed Pastor Steven (SungHwan) Cho to Ward’s Chapel. He is excited to serve Ward’s Chapel, and the church responds to him with love and special welcome.
He loves, playing music, golfing, motorcycle riding, and Korean calligraphy. His wife Dong Eun Lee is currently serving at Glyndon United Methodist Church as a pastor and they have a son, Won.
Pastor Steven’s Three Core ministerial values are:
Equipping Laity Leadership
Sharing God’s Hospitality
“I want to visit Korea this Summer.”
One day, my son Won said this. It was surprising, because six years ago, his reaction was the opposite. “I will never come back to Korea!” To a young boy, at the age of twelve probably, fourteen hours of non-stop flight must be very difficult. However, this summer, he told me that he changed his mind. He even wants to invite one of his best friends to travel together. They already explored a popular area in Seoul and other cities on Google maps, and listened to YouTube channels that explain hundreds of fun things to do.
I think it is perfect timing and even I feel it is a blessed opportunity as well. As you all know, my family all acquired citizenship this spring. My wife will be ordained this Annual Conference in the last week of June. And my son graduates this summer and he will move to Nashville, Tennessee. So, this trip will be a perfect chance for us to all have a great family time, and celebrate all things together. Even if we are still worried about another surge of COVID cases this summer and there are so many unpleasant travel regulations especially for the international travel, my wife and I are very excited. Since 2008, we as a family only visited our parents once in 2016, and still miss them a lot. In May and June (the season of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day) I feel that my heart for my parents and siblings grows bigger and bigger.
At the same time, my heart is not just happy for this family trip. I will not be with you for three weeks. I will miss our summer VBS. (I am sorry, Jacob, Wendy and other volunteers!) and our ongoing Re-formation projects and plans such as Coffee and Cars, and our next Family-Friendly service. I am sorry.
As a pastor of Ward’s Chapel, I have always been so thankful for being here with wonderful church members. Our church families and leaders have wonderfully supported me and my family. Especially, our lay speakers generously accepted to lead the services while I am away and the SPRC committee encouraged me to have a great time with my family and parents. I am so thankful for all the loving words and warm encouragement.
I am praying that for three weeks I hope we do not have any pastoral emergencies. Of course, I will leave information for an emergency contact who can back up ministerial help for you. So please contact church office, or Barb Charnock or Mike Blank when you need urgent support from a pastor.
Thank you, Ward’s Chapel families. Love you.
Pastor Steven Cho
Reverend Steven Cho's Monthly Message
- Pastor since 1992, ordained 2007 in Korean Methodist
- Church Planter, DC multicultural project church (2010-2016)
- Published Author, "Bible 101" series found on Amazon, and more books coming
- Novel Writer, "Sicarii", a Korean novel
- Life Coach, International Coaching Federation, ACC
- Enjoys- the tv show "This is Us", calligraphy, motorcycle riding, golf, and music
- Family: wife, Vivian Dongeun Lee, Pastor of Glyndon UMC and son, Won Cho, currently attends South Carroll High School, Jiujitsu player, interested in Bio-Med, violinist