Anonymous donor gives $1M to historic Korean church in NY for reconstruction

October 7, 2015
The Korean Methodist Church and Institute in New York (Yonhap)

The Korean Methodist Church and Institute in New York (Yonhap)

By  Julianne Lee

A historic New York Korean American church has a generous supporter in its hands — an anonymous donor gave $1 million toward its reconstruction.

According to the Korean Methodist Church and Institute, which used the 633 W. 115th St. building since its founding in 1927, the donor is a longtime Korean church member.

The building — known not only for its history as the city’s first Korean American church, but also as a central gathering site for independence activists during Japanese occupation — is currently under restoration.

It closed in June to allow for a two-year reconstruction. Efforts are being made to preserve the facade of the building.

The South Korean government has named it an overseas historic site.

“The donor had a wish that the church building be used as a place of hope for the next generation,” said Lee Yong-bo, head pastor.