National Association of Evangelicals Appoints Its First Minority President
Virginia pastor Walter Kim has been appointed president of the National Association of Evangelicals, becoming the first-ever minority president of the organization.
According to The Christian Post, Kim said at his inauguration that he hopes to bring “reconciliation” and “spiritual renewal” to the association.
“By identity crisis, I certainly mean this discourse that seems to be happening right now and our inability to engage meaningfully and charitably in conversation with one another,” Kim, who was inaugurated in a ceremony held in Washington, D.C. last Thursday, told The Christian Post.
“It's an opportunity for us to remember the essentials of the Good News to come together in our belief that we as evangelicals are not a political movement. We're not a social movement. We are a spiritual movement. In the public discourse right now, that often is forgotten, where evangelicalism is often presented as a political movement or a cultural enclave.”
Kim also said that he wants to “build bridges” between “communities of color in the network that NAE represents.”
There are some 45,000 churches represented in the National Association of Evangelicals.
“We are at a point of distrust,” he said. “That distrust makes us dismissive of people who are different from us, who may approach the issues differently but ironically have the deepest core convictions about faith in Jesus. So that dismissiveness is very challenging at this particular point.
“We're so prone to want to talk and explain our position and justify and advance our position and a lot of times the first instinct that we need to have is the instinct of curiosity and humble listening to the concerns of others. Even within the evangelical community, there's just not enough of that mutual engagement within the various facets of evangelicalism.”
Kim replaced longtime president Leith Anderson, who served in the association’s top role since 2006.
Kim was born in New York City to a Korean immigrant family. He worked about 20 years in Boston as a pastor and for the past three years, he has worked as the pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.