On January 13th, 2017, on national and state-designated Korean American Day, Del. Mark Keam (D-Vienna) paid tribute to Reverend Won Sang Lee of Korean Central Presbyterian Church by moving for the Virginia House of Delegates to adjourn the day’s session in the honor and memory of the revered late minister.
Keam chose the occasion of the 114th anniversary of the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to the United States to commemorate Lee’s life and leadership within the metropolitan area’s substantial Korean American community, the third largest concentration of Koreans and Korean Americans in the country.
Reverend Won Sang Lee was a constituent of Del. Keam, and the senior pastor emeritus of KCPC, the largest Korean American church in Virginia and one of the largest in the east coast, where he served from 1977 to 2003. Lee founded and was the international director of SEED International focused on sending missionaries abroad, and founded prayer mission organization Prassion. In 2002, he became the first Korean pastor to give an opening prayer for the U.S. House of Representatives. His dedication to being a consummate learner led him to earn his Ph.D. at the University of Wales post-retirement at the age of 72.
Korean American Day has officially been recognized by the U.S. government since 2003, and by the Commonwealth of Virginia since 2007.
Lee passed away on Dec. 5, 2016. He was 79.