Rev. Pai Min-soo
September 2nd, 1897 – August 25th, 1968
Rev. Pai Min-Soo is a Korean Presbyterian Pastor who had fought for Korea’s independence during the Japanese occupation and spread the spirit of ‘Sam-ae (삼애)’, which means ‘three loves’ in Korean - known as the love to ‘God’, ‘labor’ and ‘farming’.
Rev. Pai Min-Soo was born in Cheongju, Chungbuk Province, Korea (then Chosun Dynasty) in 1897. When he was a student at Soongsil School in Pyongyang in 1915, he had established a secret society called ‘Chosun Nationalist Association’ for national independence against Japanese colonialism, according to his father’s will - ‘dedicate yourself to our country’s freedom’. Even when he was sentenced to prison due to the independence movements, he started a rural enlightenment campaign with a famous independence activist, Mr. Man-Sik Cho, and was ordained as a minister after graduating from Pyongyang Seminary. Having studied at the McCormick Seminary in the U.S., he became the first secretary of the Rural Affairs of the Chosun Presbyterian Church. In the U.S., he had continued independence movements against Japanese oppression with Dr. Syungman Rhee, who served as the first President of South Korea afterward.
When the Korean War broke out, Rev. Pai returned to Korea and strived for rural rehabilitation until his decease in 1968. For example, he established many organizations such as the Outreach for the United Christian (1951), the Institute for training Christian Farmers (1956), the ‘Sam-ae’ Farmers’ Technological Institute (1967), etc. In 1993, he was posthumously honored the Medal of Merit for National Foundation, the most prestigious civil decoration in Korea.
Bequeath the Spirit of Three Loves to the Global South beyond Korea
When Rev. Pai passed away, his family donated his property to Yonsei University to continue his legacy. Yonsei built a memorial church and arranged bi-annual memorial lectures to inherit Rev. Pai’s ‘Sam-se’ spirit. Also, Yonsei University has been granting Sam-se full-scholarship to many Master’s and Doctoral students. As for the Global Institute of Theology, 10 Sam-ae GIT Scholars are selected each year as ‘Pai Min-Soo Scholarship’ students in order to sustain and develop Rev. Pai’s ‘Sam-ae’ spirit in their own academic research.
The life of Rev. Pai would be an exemplary model for the future of the Global South, particularly for the farming villages of many developing countries. Rev. Pai loved God, loved farming villages, and loved labor. Through this ‘Sam-ae’ spirit, which means the spirit of those three kind of loves, he tried to build the kingdom of God and gain independence from Japanese imperialism by enlightening rural communities through Christian principles. His legacy still continues.