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
Life is the only journey
I am still confused when some of my church members or our neighbors explain to me a direction, saying “ . . . off route 27,. . . turn left, . . . then turn right on the second street. . .” Then the explanation never ends.
Fortunately, what I do is to turn on the map application on my cell phone, hit the address of the DESTINATION and just follow the way. Yes, it is easier and a more convenient way (even though sometimes I feel I am losing my sense of direction). When we plan to go somewhere, we should know the destination first. Either by asking other people, or using your cell phone, we should check ‘where we are going to’.
Not knowing where to go
If we describe ‘life is a journey’, however, then we often feel like we do not have clues for the destination. I have experienced the same thing. When I began the ordination process, when I came to the US, and even when I planted a church in DC, I often lost my way and felt I was standing alone on the sharp corners of life.
Then we look at the faithful people in the Bible. Even if we assume that they were different, proving different levels of faith, or unlimited love to God and to the people, they were the same people just like us. About Abraham, Hebrews 11:8 says, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place . . . even though he did not know where he was going.” And many other people in the Bible experienced the same journey. People do not know the destination in their life journey. But . . . they trusted in God.
To Wards Chapel
From a small village in Korea, to the US, then from the nation’s capital to the Baltimore suburban area. . . even if I have many questions and ask the reason why God has sent me to Ward’s Chapel, I trust in God’s faithfulness, and believe that the plan of God for the people of God is always right.
Now, God calls us to the same place for the goodness of God. As the people of God, let’s keep walking together on the faithful journey of life by faith and trust. Then the spirit of God will lead us and the divine clues will be revealed. “…in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
I am looking forward to seeing you all to begin our journey together.
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