In celebration of the twentieth year of West Coast Baptist College, I am planning to post a monthly interview with WCBC alumni who are serving around the world.
This month’s interview is with Pastor Paul Choi who graduated from WCBC in 2007. I had the privilege to preach Paul’s ordination service, and I’m delighted to see how the Lord is blessing him as he and his wife, Sera, have launched out by faith to plant a church.
Sera is also a graduate of WCBC (2006). The Lord has blessed Paul and Sera with two beautiful children, Noah and Natalie. Pray for the Choi family as they labor to establish a church in a large metropolitan city here in Southern California.
In what ministry and role do you currently serve?
I am the pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Eastvale, California.
What is a way in which you have seen God’s blessing in ministry over the past twelve months?
Earlier this year, our family launched out by faith on deputation to raise support in planting Hillcrest Baptist Church. To be honest, we didn’t know too many pastors and we didn’t have much in our bank account due to some personal circumstances we had just gone through. However, over the course of eight months, God stretched our faith as He miraculously provided for our needs through the generosity of loving pastors and church families. By the end of our deputation, the Lord allowed us to start the church at full support.
Describe a time when you saw God’s supernatural provision for a dream you wanted to accomplish for Him.
Years ago, the Lord laid on my heart the dream of one day starting a church for Him in a city where there was no faithful, gospel-preaching, Baptist church. After much prayer and seeking counsel the Lord began leading us to the city of Eastvale in Southern California. On November 16, 2014 the Lord allowed us to open the doors to Hillcrest Baptist Church and welcome fifty-eight people for our first service. It was a humbling experience, to say the least, to see God’s supernatural provisions and to be a part in starting a New Testament, local church.
What piece of advice would you give to someone preparing for or entering the ministry?
Strive to be faithful to your God-given priorities, which are your walk with God, your family, and then your ministry. Time is something that we all don’t have enough of, therefore we must protect our time with the Lord, schedule time with our families, and be as efficient and effective as possible in the ministry God has given us. It is so vital that we daily take time to pause, pray, and evaluate our God-given priorities.
What encouragement would you give to someone currently serving in ministry?
It is a great honor and privilege to serve the local church. I’m reminded of Acts 20:28 where we are told the church was purchased with Christ’s own blood. In light of this verse, let us remember the great love of Christ and let that propel us to be faithful in serving Him and His church. There is no greater work.
What specific prayer requests can I, fellow alumni, and readers of this blog pray with you for over the next 12 months?
- We are praying that God would allow us to see a core group of families that He would add to His church in this first year. If you would pray with us that we would see many souls come to Christ and new Christians being discipled, that would be a great blessing.
- Another request is concerning our children’s ministry and nursery. Currently, we have both the nursery and children’s ministry meeting in tents on the school campus that we rent because we are limited to using only their multi-purpose room. Please pray that the Lord would give us favor with the administration and that they would allow us to use other rooms throughout the campus.
What was the greatest truth or principle you learned while at Lancaster Baptist Church and West Coast Baptist College?
The greatest truth I learned was to die to self and be a servant. Especially I was challenged to not only be a servant to those in authority but to all people—including peers and those even under your authority. This truth was ingrained into my mind during my four years at WCBC—not only because it was continually preached and taught, but because I was able to see it in the lives of those in the church and college leadership.
When you recommend WCBC to young people preparing for ministry, what are a few reasons you encourage them to enroll?
I encourage young people to enroll at West Coast Baptist College because of its emphasis on Bible doctrine, soulwinning, servant leadership, and a balanced spirit. I believe in the Bible-based quality of its academics and highly value the weekly opportunities to practice what is learned in the classroom through the local church ministry of Lancaster Baptist Church.
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