Sammy Joo seeks to equip next generation leaders among Asian communities and connect Asian American churches to fulfill the Great Commission.

Great Commission catalysts stand ready to serve North Carolina Baptist churches, pastors and associational mission strategists. They assist in developing strategies to impact communities with the gospel, identify unreached people groups and places for gospel engagement, and help churches and associations mobilize N.C. Baptists to engage the nations.

There are three statewide catalysts who work with strategic ethnic churches across North Carolina. They assist pastors, churches and associations with missions mobilization, ministry strategy development and catalyzing new work for greater kingdom impact. They help resource ethnic churches with effective ministry tools to advance their Great Commission focus.

Sammy Joo serves as the statewide Asian catalyst. Joo’s desire is to equip next generation leaders among Asian communities and connect Asian American churches to fulfill the Great Commission.

Previously, Joo served Korean churches in South Korea and multiethnic churches in the United States as a worship leader, youth pastor and college pastor. He also served in international student ministry in the Triangle area and on the convention’s Collegiate Partnership Team from 2007-2016.

Joo is a graduate of Handong Global University in Pohang, South Korea; Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.; and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.

We asked the three statewide catalysts to tell us about their work and a little bit about themselves. Here’s what Joo shared.

Tell us a bit about your background and family.

I was born and grew up in South Korea. God saved and called me as a missionary in 2000. I am married to Debbie Kim, and we have four children (Gracie, Enoch, Noah and Joy).

When did you join the N.C. Baptist team?

I joined in 2007.

If you could sum up your role in a mission statement, what would it be?

It is to help Asian churches to be on mission together for God’s kingdom.

What excites you about your role? What makes you hopeful?

I am excited to work with Asian brothers and sisters to grow in Christ and to make Him known among all nations. I am hopeful for the great impact Asian churches will make in North Carolina and the 10/40 window.

What are the greatest needs among the churches and people you work with?

Many Asian churches need to multiply the next generation of leaders to continue and develop ministries among Asians. Younger generations that primarily speak English have trouble understanding sermons and discipleship resources in the first generation’s [native] language. That can lead to a generational division in the church. There are some ways to develop next generation leaders:

  • Identify a bilingual leader in the church who can bridge two generations.
  • Equip the leader to disciple English speaking second-generation leaders.
  • Provide missions opportunities through which both generations can serve together.
  • Multiply small groups for English speaking groups to meet and grow together regularly.

What is something unique about your area of ministry? How does it help N.C. Baptists be on mission together?

Asian churches are not only ethnically diverse but also linguistically diverse. Asian churches have connections to the 10/40 window, where the most unreached with the gospel or unengaged people groups are. Equipping and sending Asian believers with the gospel of Christ is one of the most strategic ways to evangelize people groups in the world.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I used to play electric guitar in a Christian heavy metal band.

To connect with Joo or other Great Commission catalysts, visit