The Good Difference

October 2011 - Cover Story
by Sally Taylor

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October 2011 - Cover Story

Miyoung Paik knows how it feels to be labeled “different.” The youngest of seven children, she grew up in Seoul, Korea. During early childhood, she developed a degenerative bone condition that required an operation and a six-month stay in a full-body cast. The treatment enabled her to walk again but left her diminutive and slightly deformed.
“I hated elementary school,” Miyoung says. “Children can be very harsh. They called me names. But I loved going to church. That saved me. I had lots of friends there.” Almost a half century later, Paik, 53, is still surrounded by church friends, although not in her native Korea but in Lexington, S.C. The shy little girl has blossomed into a self-assured woman, the Reverend Doctor Miyoung Paik (pronounced me-young pak). When addressing the congregation of the Lexington United Methodist Church, where she has served as associate pastor for 13 years, the petite Paik uses a step stool to see over the pulpit. But what she lacks in size, she makes up for in her enthusiasm to introduce her flock to different approaches to worship, often with an artist’s eye. Paik is not only an ordained Methodist minister but a trained artist who began developing her talent early in life.

Why did Christ die for you?

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