Walter Kim became the president of the National Association of Evangelicals in January 2020. He previously served as a pastor at Boston’s historic Park Street Church and at churches in Vancouver, Canada and Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as a campus chaplain at Yale University. He preaches, writes and engages in collaborative leadership to connect the Bible to the intellectual and cultural issues of the day. He regularly teaches in conferences and classrooms; addresses faith concerns with elected officials and public institutions; and provides theological and cultural commentary to leading news outlets. He serves on the boards of Christianity Today and World Relief and consults with a wide range of organizations. Kim received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, his M.Div. from Regent College in Vancouver, and his B.A. from Northwestern University.
“This is not Charlottesville” was the refrain that I heard many times. Our neighbors sought to assure us of this. We had moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, just days after white supremacists’ Unite the Right Rallies shattered the town’s charm. As blatant outside emissaries of racial hatred, they were vehemently opposed by people of faith and of goodwill.
On the other hand, I recall a ride with an African American taxi driver who grew up in Charlottesville. He recalled, without venom or vengeance, countless episodes of racism. The cruelty he suffered and the consequent disparities of life are part of growing up black in Charlottesville.