In 2006, Christian and Erin Lee met each other at the English ministry of Jeil Sungdo Presbyterian Church (known as “JSEM”) in Seoul. Although they both lived in New York and had mutual friends, they never met before. Within the year, they fell in love and got engaged. Right before they were engaged, Christian received a prophetic vision via his college mentor. In it he was surrounded by a group of pastors being ordained as a pastor. This was peculiar to him because becoming a pastor was not part of his plans. But within a few months, according to the vision he received Christian was asked to step up and serve as a pastor by Jeil Sungdo Presbyterian Church.

In April 2008 Christian began serving as the lead pastor of JSEM on a part-time basis with no seminary degree, no ordination, no experience, and no pay. The church’s fire for Jesus grew in that first year but the attendance shrank. In April 2009 Pastor Christian sensed the Lord giving the ministry a new name: “New Philadelphia Church.” This name comes from Isaiah 43:19 (“Behold, I am doing a new thing.”) and Rev 3:8 (which was written to the church of Philadelphia). After New Philly was established, the church experienced more outpourings of the Spirit, signs and wonders, and steady growth. Eventually Pastor Christian became the full-time lead pastor, along with his wife Erin.

Pastors Christian and Erin believe that God has given New Philly a mandate to plant churches in mega-metropolises, especially in Asia and Australia. Over the years New Philly has become a multi-site church with several locations. Currently (Oct 2013), the combined attendance at our four locations is about 400 on a typical Sunday. Multitudes more listen via our podcast. Pastor Christian’s ministry approach is not programs or gimmicks. His focus has always been on prayer, discipleship, authoritative preaching, and embracing the outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s fire.

Brief Outline

New Philadelphia is a member of KAICAM (Korean Association of Independent Churches and Missions). We were formerly the “EM” (English-speaking Ministry) of Jeil Sungdo Presbyterian Church (Seoul, Korea) known as “JSEM.” A brief history of the church is summarized below.

In 1970, Pastor Hwang and his wife founded Jeil Sungdo Presbyterian.
  • 1970 – Jeil Sungdo Presbyterian Church is founded by Pastor Jin Soo Hwang and his wife Kyung Ja Kim
  • 2001 – Pastor David Hwang starts up an English ministry of Jeil Sungdo (originally called “FCPC EM” later to be affectionately known as “JSEM”)
  • April 6, 2006 – JSEM experiences its first outpouring of God’s Spirit and fire through an itinerant preacher from LA named James Rhee
  • April 19, 2006 – Pastor David gets married, begins preparing to step down so he can begin a new church plant called Jubilee
  • May 2006 – Pastor Sam Eapen takes over as the interim lead pastor, later to become permanent
  • Sept 1, 2006 – James Rhee returns as a retreat speaker and JSEM experiences its second outpouring
  • Sept 22, 2006 – Friday Fire prayer meetings begin
  • Sept 24, 2006 – Pastor David plants Jubilee Church and JSEM marks a fresh beginning as various leaders depart to help Jubilee
  • Dec 2007 – Pastor Sam gets engaged and is led to move to Chicago
  • Apr 2008 – A lay leader named Christian Lee steps up as the new lead pastor, as Pastor Sam moves to America
  • July 26, 2008 – Pastor Christian gets married to Erin Lee
  • Mar 2009 – Yonsei’s Int’l Christian Fellowship is entrusted to Pastor Erin and she renames it “Emmaus”
  • Apr 2009 – JSEM is established as “New Philadelphia Church”
  • Apr 2010 – New Philadelphia establishes its first church plant in Itaewon
  • Apr 2011 – New Philadelphia establishes a house of prayer ministry called Kingdom First Prayer Tabernacle
  • Apr 2012 – New Philadelphia establishes its second church plant in the city of Busan
  • Apr 2014 – New Philadelphia establishes its third church plant in the city of Sydney, Australia.
  • Sep 2014 – New Philadelphia Hillside splits into NP Hongdae and NP Sillim; NP Hongdae being the main campus. NP Sillim is considered our fourth church plant.
  • Feb 2015 – New Philadelphia officially becomes a member of KAICAM.
  • Apr 2015 – New Philadelphia Hongdae and Central Office move in to Antioch Center 1.0.
  • Aug 2015 – New Philadelphia Hongdae has a community mitosis, establishing Hongdae-Alpha and Hongdae-Omega; Hongdae-Omega is considered our fifth church plant.
  • Apr 2016 – New Philadelphia establishes its sixth church plant in the city of Melbourne, Australia.

Pastor David Hwang from Philadelphia led with passion as the lead pastor of JSEM from 2001-2006. He is now the head pastor of Jubilee Church in Seoul.

Brian Kim and Daniel from a CCM group called “KRY-Gen” led worship at JSEM from 2004-2008.

Pastor Sam Eapen from India led with abundant love as the lead pastor of JSEM from 2006-2008. As of May 2010, he is the English ministry pastor at Hanmee Presbyterian Church near Chicago, IL.

Three generations of JSEM pastors (May 2008).

Our college ministry before it was called Emmaus (Nov 2008).

Pastors Christian and Erin Lee have been the lead pastors of New Philadelphia since 2008.

K1 Prayer Tabernacle, New Philly’s house of prayer ministry that goes on during the middle of the week.

Worship at Hillside (Sept 2013).

New Philly Itaewon (March 2013).

New Philly Seaside, our Busan church plant (June 2013).

New Philly’s college ministry, Emmaus (April 2013).