| 1962 - 1972, The Church at Seo - Dae - Mun
After undergoing a major operation and discharge from the army,
the church entered into a new phase of growth.
Not long after his discharge from the army, on September 1,
1961, a great tent crusade was held at the Seo-dae-mun interchange
on the field where a circus was often held. Sam Todd was the
preacher for the crusade, and Pastor Cho Yonggi provided the
The crusade drew people from all over Seoul, and they gathered
at the crusade much like the gathering of rain clouds. Not to
mention the scores of souls who accepted Jesus Christ that day,
many of the sick were touched by the healing hand of the Holy
Spirit. During the period of the crusade, Pastors Cho Yonggi
and Pastor Choi Jashil made a decision to establish a church
On October 15, 1961, a church was established at the very place
where the crusade had taken place and the first worship service
was held. It was named the Full Gospel Revival Center. However,
a problem, legal in nature, forced the Full Gospel Revival Center
to acquire the help of an attorney, "Hwang Sung-su",
and his expertise. His wise and dedicated counsel made the completion
of the church a reality the following year.
On April 26, 1962, Pastor Cho Yonggi received pastoral ordination.
On May 13th, the Full Gospel Revival center was renamed, the
Full Gospel Central Church. By then, the church membership had
grown to over 500.
Three years later, by 1964, the Seo-dae-mun church grew to a
membership of 3,000. In the same year, Pastor Cho Yonggi was
invited to attend the 50th anniversary celebration of the American
Assemblies of God, and He left on his first trip abroad. He
attended the celebration as the one representing Korea, and
having delivered a sermon in English, he did a splendid job
of introducing Korea to all in attendance.
On March 1, 1965, Pastor Cho Yonggi entered into holy matrimony
with the daughter of Pastor Choi Jashil. Pastor Cho Yonggi's
marriage to Grace Kim was a culmination of Pastor Choi Jashil's
10 years of praying. With the blessing of the then 3,000 members
of the church, Pastor Cho Yonggi walked down the aisle with
The Full Gospel Central Church continued to grow to a membership
of 5,000, then 6,000, then 7,000. By 1968, the church had 8,000
members, necessitating three services to be held on Sundays.
Even with three services on Sundays, those who came late to
the services were not able to find seats within the church,
but were required to sit in the parking lot on plastic mats
as they listened to the worship service over the loudspeakers.
Having to lead three worship services, Pastor Cho Yonggi continued
his battle against exhaustion and overwork, delivering his messages
with fervor and perspiration as he had always done.
With the continued growth of the church, Pastor Cho Yonggi was
also required to lead the baptismal services even more often.
One day, as he was baptising several hundred people, he once
again succumbed to overwork and exhaustion, and collapsed to
the floor. As he was recovering in the hospital, the hospital
doctor recommended Pastor Cho Yonggi change his profession.
Brushing aside the doctor's advice, Pastor Cho Yonggi discharged
himself from the hospital to deliver the Sunday messages.
As he went forward to the pulpit, however he dropped unconscious
to the floor and was forced to return the hospital once again.
Then a wondrous thing happened as Pastor Cho Yonggi began to
read the Bible from Genesis on. As he was reading in Exodus,
a particular verse, Exodus 18:18 moved his heart.
"You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves
out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone."
The next morning, Pastor Cho Yonggi called a meeting with the
elders and deacons to share with them the wisdom he had received
from God through the Bible. This was the birth of the cell system.
Although the elders and deacons realized the function and the
necessity of the cell system, they were not yet trained to be
able to implement the idea. Pastor Cho Yonggi realized that
there was a need for a training program for those who would
become cell and district leaders.
As Pastor Cho Yonggi continued to search for solutions for the
training of those who would be leaders, he learned another fact:
that the men were reluctant to make home visits to other members.
He realized that for this purpose, women were much more suited
than the men.
At the time, Korean society frowned upon women taking the role
of leaders within groups containing both men and women.
Even so, as the Holy Spirit moved the hearts of both men and
women, such social obstacles were overcome and women played
a critical role in the development and growth of the YFGC.
The home visits by the cell leaders proved to be an effective
method in drawing the new members into the fold of the church.
And with the continued wok of the Holy Spirit, these cells and
the cell system worked effectively to promote fellowship between
the members of the cells and the districts.
In 1967, when the cell system was introduced, it consisted of
7,750 individuals of 2,267 families organized into 125 cells.
Currently, YFGC has adopted the district system to better help
all members of the church.
On a weekly basis, district members consisting of district leaders,
the elders, the deacons and deaconesses, and lay members gather
together for meetings to further promote the growth of the church.
Aside from the implementation of the cell system, in 1960, the
women's Fellowship Association was formed. In 1963, the men's
Fellowship Association was added. These two organizations currently
play a central role in volunteer services which make possible
the various services held by the church.
In 1967, to further aid the qualitative, spiritual growth of
the members and also to spread the Holy Spirit movement, the
monthly "Faith" magazine was first published. It was
an evangelical tool for the purpose of spreading the Holy Spirit
movement based on the Word of God. The monthly periodical contained
God's messages, testimonials, and Bible studies for the purpose
of education and evangelism. From its first issue, the quality
and the reach of the monthly periodical continued to expand,
extending all across the southern peninsula.