New pastor brings cultural insights

Rev. Moon Ho Kim sits inside the Foothills United Methodist Church in Gloversville on Friday. (The Leader-Herald/Kerry Minor)

GLOVERSVILLE — For Rev. Moon Ho Kim, a church can be a lighthouse in the darkness for those seeking guidance.

According to Kim, a relationship with God is central to one’s life, providing spiritual nourishment. He said he sees the role of the church in young lives as being a guiding light to help them through times of turmoil and confusion.

Kim has now brought his guiding light to the city. He took over as head of the Foothills United Methodist Church on July 1.

Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in a Methodist home.

“I was trained in my faith as I grew from my parents who were very dedicated to the church,” Kim said. “Under my parents Christian influence, I grew.”

He decided to devote his life to the church and in 1981 earned his masters of divinity from Drew University, and was ordained at the New Jersey Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Upon being ordained, Kim began serving in congregations both the Albany and Syracuse areas.

“I have learned so many cultures, traditions and value systems. They’re all different whenever I’m appointed to a different parish,” Kim said. “That has given me ample new experiences in terms of communicating with all different people in the ministry context.”

He has since earned his doctorate of ministry from Drew University in 1999.

Kim’s wife, Insouk, studied fine art in Berlin, Germany and has a bachelor’s of fine arts from Cazenovia College. They have raised two sons: Daniel, 35, a law student in Washington D.C. and David, 33, who works at AIG on Wall Street.

According to the church, Kim’s specialty is helping to revitalize church congregations and equipping pastors and lay leadership of local churches with Evangelistic strategies, particularly in small group settings.

“He loves a spirit filled and uplifting worship service,” the church’s introductory not on Kim states. “On a side note he is musically talented.”

Since coming to Foothill United, Kim said he has been welcomed with open arms by the congregation. He said all parishioners have been open to his teachings and spiritual guidance and positive about his services.

Kim said he has seen a few parishioner in the past at other congregations who did not mesh with him. He said he has not found that to be the case here.

“I found it very happy, and joyful, to see their open minds and welcoming hearts,” Kim said.

Kim said he key members are happy with the current leadership. Kim himself was glad to see the amount of community involvement coming from those who attend Foothills, especially its youth group.

“My preaching ministry seems to be satisfying their [spiritual needs],” Kim said.

Kim is additionally ministering at local nursing homes, using music to help seniors worship.

Kim said he feels the ultimate goal for the Foothills United Methodist Church is to shine a light on the current society, particularly toward people who are wondering, and don’t know which direction to continue on.

“We see some confusion going on in the minds of the younger generation. So I just want to see our church taking such an important role as the lighthouse amidst the darkness,” Kim said.

The Foothills United Methodist Church holds two services every Sunday: a contemporary service at 9 a.m. in the chapel and a traditional service at 10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary.

Kerry Minor can be reached at