Ephesians 5:23 gives us the structure of church leadership. It says, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”
Ultimately, Jesus Christ is the head of any Independent Baptist Church. We have no denominational structure and are under the headship and authority of Jesus Christ.
Understanding that God is the ultimate head of the church, Yongsan Baptist Church does have human leadership.
Pastor Robert Oetman (우트만) was born in 1965 and raised on a farm near Holland, Michigan in the United States. He came to know Christ as his Saviour at age 7. When he was 16 God called Robert to serve as a foreign missionary. Robert began training at the Fairhaven Baptist College in Chesterton, Indiana. He graduated in 1989. While at Fairhaven, Robert met and Brenda Rud. They were married in 1987. Brenda graduated with a degree in elementary education in 1990. For the six years Robert served as an assistant pastor while helping with a new church plant in Madison, Wisconsin. The Oetman’s arrived in Seoul, South Korea as church planting missionaries on January 6, 1999. For 13 years they served at the Seoul First Baptist Church. Pastor Oetman has been leading the Yongsan Baptist Church since March 2013. The Oetman’s are sent out as missionaries from the Faith Baptist Church in Avon, Indiana. Pastor Oetman has earned graduate degrees from the International Baptist College in Tempe, Arizona and the Pensacola Christian College and Seminary in Pensacola, Florida.
Pastor Hyung-hun Kim (형훈 김) has served in several churches in Korea and abroad, including Heritage Baptist Church in Florida, Maranatha Baptist Church in Incheon, and Calvary Love Baptist Church in Vancouver. He is currently the Associate Pastor of Yongsan Baptist Church. He graduated from PTS (Pensacola Theological Seminary). His family consists of a wife and son. He is currently living in Seoul.
Pastor Daniel Elliott (엘리엇) grew up in a Christian home. He was saved when he was five years old and surrendered to full-time missions work at the age of 8. He graduated from Baptist Bible College in the Spring of 1996. In 1997 God brought Lydia Baker into his life. They were married in August 1998. Lydia is a MK (missionary’s kid). She grew up in England ministering with her parents, Dwane and Janice Baker. Lydia was saved when she was five years old and surrendered to full – time missions work when she was ten. Pastor Elliott has served churches in the United States, Mongolia, India, Pakistan, and now in Korea. He has six children: Eliza, Esther, Elijah, Ethan, Evan, and Ezra. After a short battle with cancer, Esther passed away on April 2nd, 2010. He is currently serving as the furlough relief pastor for Pastor Oetman.
Pastor Ernie Imsand (임샌드) born in Mobile, Alabama in 1979. Growing up, Ernie did not have much Christian influence in his life. Around the age of 12, he began searching to fill the void that every man has in his soul. This led him to abuse alcohol. Of course this brought much heartache into his life. At the young age of 17, he joined the US Army to become a “man”. He had hoped that a life in the military traveling abroad would fill the void in his soul. He continued to live a wretched life through his military years. His last year of military service was in South Korea near the DMZ. He then returned to Mobile, Alabama only to find that his “friends” had ventured from alcohol to illegal drugs. Ernie foolishly thought that by making money he could fill the void in his soul. He fell into the life of drug dealing and use. Praise God who is still in the business of saving sinners. Ernie found himself in the Texas jail cell wearing a nice orange prison jumpsuit. Two weeks later, the greatest day of Pastor Ernie’s life would take place. After hearing an announcement in the Texas jail for a church service that evening, he went to attend service in that jail. The only type of church service he had attended in his life were ritualistic where you sit kneel stand, etc. For the first time in his life, Ernie realized he was a wretched man who had lived an ungodly life and sinned against a Holy and righteous God. Missionary to the Prison, Robert Bottom preached Heaven sweet and Hell hot that day. On December 23, 2000, the void that Ernie was trying to fill his entire life was filled by the only One that can fill it, the Lord Jesus Christ, himself. Bro. Ernie immediately enrolled in the Prisoner’s Bible Institute offered by the Rock of Ages Prison ministry. Bro. Ernie would spend 10 to 12 hours per day in the precious Word of God washing and renewing his mind.
After being paroled a year later and returning to Mobile, Alabama, he quickly found Victory Baptist Church where he would be trained by seasoned Pastor Robert Reed in Victory Baptist Bible Institute. Pastor Reed mentored Ernie personally pouring many hours into his life. Ernie graduated from the Victory Baptist Bible Institute and was ordained in 2005. He arrived in South Korea as a missionary in 2006. From 2006 to 2007, Ernie was the associate Pastor at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Paju, South Korea. In 2007, Bro. Ernie returned to the US to marry his precious wife, Lydia McClendon. God even used the Korean people to introduce Ernie and Lydia to each other. Since 2007, God has blessed the Imsand family with 7 children, 6 by birth and 1 by adoption. After marriage, the Imsands based in China on the North Korean border from 2008 to 2012. This area has many North Korean refugees and hurting people. They would assist the persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ and the underground church until 2012. In 2012, their family would migrate to Vietnam to pursue freedom for their North Korean adult church member and their adopted daughter who is also from North Korea. Little did they know at the time, they would be in Vietnam for 2 years learning to bloom where they were planted. They quickly discovered a pocket of 50,000 South Koreans living in Hanoi, Vietnam and began to declare the glorious gospel of Christ among them. In 2014, by God’s grace, the Imsand family arrived back in South Korea and Bro. Ernie became the Missions Pastor at Seoul First Baptist Church. A year later, Bro. Ernie would become senior pastor at Grace Baptist Church. From 2015 to 2018, Bro. Ernie would labor among the Korean people and the US military stationed in South Korea. In 2018, as the military downsized and moved troops to different areas of Korea, God led Grace Baptist Church to merge with Yongsan Baptist Church. Bro. Ernie’s current focus is the distribution of gospel materials and the weekly prison ministry. Many hurting men in the Korean prison are waiting to hear the Gospel.
Pastor Lee Jong Il
Pastor Lee Jong Il comes to us from Pastor Lee was a lieutenant of Korea Army. He served during the Vietnam War in 1969 and participated in 26 different missions. In 1970, He accepted Christ as his personal Savior. During this time, he met Missionary Larry Ellis. Brother Ellis, who was sent out by Clarksville Bible Baptist Church, was instrumental in his life. He was called into the ministry and was ordained on June 27th, 1976. He has attended Korea Baptist University (한국침례신학대학) where he graduated with a Th.B. He has also attended the following schools:
Teays Valley Baptist College, Th.G
Kentucky Mountains Baptist College, M.A.
Luther Rice University & Seminary, M.M.
San Francisco Theological Seminary , 2 years
San Francisco Christian University & Seminary, Th.D
Pastor Lee Jong Il served as a professor at Korea Independent Baptist College for 7 years. He has also served as Pastor at two churches: Marysville Baptist Church in the United States and First Baptist Church in Sung Nam City, Korea. While in the United States, he served the Campus Ministry at the University of California, Berkeley Campus for three years. He is currently focused on evangelism and ministering to soldiers, both Korean and American, especially at K16 Army Base.
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine 2 Timothy 4:2
If you have questions for any of the leadership of Yongsan Baptist Church, please contact us.