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
While driving to church on Easter Sunday a few years ago,
I told my children the Easter story.
“This is the day we celebrate Jesus’ coming back to life,” I explained.
Right away, my son, Kevin, three, piped up from the backseat,
“Will he be in church today?”
-Peggy Key, Portage, Michigan
Children often surprise us. Even if parents tend to find a right moment for teaching life lessons, in fact God’s wisdom and insight come through the most innocent questions of children. “Will he be in church today?”
Celebrating Easter is the most meaningful ceremony that Christian churches do every year. It is supposed to be the most precious moment, and meaningful event so that the people of God celebrate the salvation of God. However, to be honest, as a minister of a congregation, there is a challenge. Since we celebrate Easter every year, and we know this Sunday is important to every Christian, it does not seem to bring us the real lesson of Easter anymore. Easter becomes just one Sunday, and we simply have more people at this time.
However, Easter this year is going to be different. As everyone has experienced, last year was seriously challenging to us. Due to COVID-19 outbreak, we have not gathered to worship on Sundays. Even if we could continue our worship through the NEW AGE’s technology (Zoom, YouTube, etc.), still we miss real communion and fellowship as well.
We planned an outdoor service this Easter. We hope we can see everyone this Easter. We hope our children can play on the playground, and do hide-and-seek. We hope everything’s back to normal.
This Easter, we take a step forward. More families are getting vaccinated, and we are getting used to maintaining social distance. Even though there are still important guidelines to protect one another, we will do our best to connect everyone again. So, please come to our Easter outdoor service, if you feel comfortable. We celebrate new life, Jesus’ resurrection, and our new day, together.
Jesus will be there with us, and we all enjoy the beautiful season of new life. Do not forget to bring your flowers!
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