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BTS Mourns Death of Student Seongi Lee

BTS passing

From President Frank A. James:

Sadly, I must report to you that one of our beloved students, Seongi Lee, passed away on 19 May from liver cancer. He was a pastor and MA in Ministry student from Korea. Todd Mangum informed me that even after his dismal diagnosis a few months ago, Seongi continued to come to class. Astonishingly, three days before his death, a very weak Seongi Lee turned in his last essay for his class. Such was his dedication to his calling that he labored until the very end. I trust his seminary education at BTS was good spiritual preparation for his journey home.

We will be holding a memorial service at the BTS chapel on Saturday 24 May. Please pray for Seongi's wife and family at this difficult time.

From the Academic Dean Todd Mangum:

Pastor Seongi (English name: Edgar) Lee came to Biblical in 2011, having already served as a Methodist pastor in Korea, he came to Biblical to be trained in missional ministry. His special passion was always reaching the seeker, the lost, and building relationships with unbelievers (or, as he saw them, the not-yet-believing).

After completing the Advanced Cultural Studies program at Biblical, he embarked upon the MA in Ministry; about halfway through, he was diagnosed with liver cancer (in October 2013). The doctors estimated that his life expectancy might be a year or so; but Seongi and his wife, Zoe, decided that he would press on with his studies, and with his ministry (he was a pastor of a church plant in the U.S.), for as long as he could.

I happened to have Seongi Edgar Lee for what turned out to be his last class at Biblical. My classes have regular assignments due, nearly every class period. Thursday, May 15, 2014, was no exception. A biblical study thought assignment was due at the beginning of class, 1:30 PM. A little after 1:15 PM, I was told that Seongi had just come from the hospital where he'd had a difficult and draining procedure done, which would prevent him from attending class that day. Nevertheless, I was told, he wanted to see me; he and his wife were in the parking lot. When I went down, I found him, very weak, reclined in the seat of his van. When I came to the side of the van to see him, he looked up and smiled faintly, and then handed me a set of papers — when I looked, it was the assignment due that day, which, despite everything, he had completed. He wanted to make sure I got it, and got it on time. In fact, up to the day of his passing, he'd completed every assignment — on time.

I only had Pastor Seongi for that one class; but I feel like I got a pretty good measure of the man just from that brief window into his life. He truly persevered to the end. And worked for the Lord, including maintaining daily study of His Word, through his last day.

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