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
Finding Clues. . .
Have you heard about the MBTI test? It is the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a test to know one’s individual psychological preference by filling out questions. Individuals can choose different answers from the following four categories: Introversion/Extraversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, Judging/Perception. Then the result shows that each individual has one quality from each category, by saying, for example, ESTJ: extraversion (E), sensing (S), thinking (T), judgment (J) or INFP: introversion (I), intuition (N), feeling (F), perception (P). Even though most scholars doubt the scientific quality of this test by claiming that MBTI has poor validity, it is still good to know one’s personal preference and can be a good clue for finding ‘who I am.’
It shows that I am ‘INTP’ type which means that my personality is more introverted, intuitive, thinking, and perceptive. Even though I do not fully trust this test and I would not predict or choose anything based on what the result shows, I have learned a lot about ‘myself’ through the test. I could explain to myself certain reactions and the reasons for the choices that I had made. I am the type of person to gather information and interpret the world by my ‘intuitive’ process, and I lean more towards making decisions by my thinking process. It explains to me a lot about my life, and the stories in the past. It provides good clues to know who I am.
I believe having clues on certain things is very important, especially when we move into a new community, begin a new job, or meet new people. We cannot know or understand things right away, but need more time to have a better idea. So, what we can do is to find good clues.
It has been a quick, and busy two months. I am so glad to find good friends in our congregation, and had a great time with our youth group and volunteers at Camp Hope. But still I need more clues. About what? What kind of clues do I need? . . . about our ‘spiritual need’ and how our spirits have been in our congregation.
I believe most of us are curious to know about a new pastor’s leadership and how the new pastor would establish the vision for the future. (it makes it a bit stressful for me though). What I believe now is this new appointment will become the perfect match for Ward’s Chapel and myself, too. I will bring up some ideas for our church and important strategies to prepare for the next generations in our community. But. . . I still need to know God’s plan, where God is leading us to.
From now on, I will carefully keep looking for the spiritual clues about God’s plan and the passion from our congregation by asking essential questions of all of you.
What makes your heart beat when you come to the church?
Where is your passion?
What is your personal calling from God?
These questions will be great clues for our ministry here at Ward’s Chapel. Please do not hesitate to share your personal passion and calling from God. Tell me what makes your heart beating!
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