Official Obituary of

Dr. Young J Son

November 15, 1930 ~ February 12, 2024 (age 93) 93 Years Old

Dr. Young Son Obituary

Dr. Young J. Son, 93, husband, father, grandfather, man of faith and learning, missionary and pastor, mentor, and friend, passed away peacefully on February 12, 2024, in Pottstown, PA surrounded by the love of his family.
Bounding the globe, Young was driven by challenge and his devotion to God. Born in Japan and raised in South Korea, he rejoiced in starting the Students for Christ (SFC) movement as a youth. Later, impacted by war and a promise, he found refuge in the United States, “with $5 in my pocket!”.  He pursued his studies in linguistics at San Diego State later transferring to Geneva College. In 1962, he moved to Philadelphia, completed his graduate studies at Westminster Seminary and met his dear wife, Mary Lou, at Tenth Presbyterian Church. As a licentiate, he worked with inner-city youth in NYC and then, as an ordained pastor, served in parishes in White Lake, NY and New Castle, PA. He joined the staff at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) for seven years and from 1972 – 1977, served as the founder and director of Philadelphia House, working with international students.  
In 1977, he was called back to his maternal land to serve as a missionary with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC), first working in leper colonies and teaching in the seminaries of the Hap Dong and Ko Shin Presbyterian Churches.  In 1983, he founded The Missionary Training Institute (MTI), after sensing an interest and need for missionary service among Korean nationals. In order to train Korean missionaries to become part of the wider worldwide missionary community, he conceived a “three-legged” program: Bible doctrine and theology; linguistics and languages, focused on English; and cross-cultural training to learn practical skills to live abroad. He earned his ThD in Theology from Potchefstroom University of South Africa and in 1985 was joined by his wife to continue growing MTI and its mission until 2002. Today, MTI has trained thousands of Korean missionaries who now serve God in over 60 countries. Upon return to his beloved adopted land, Young was delighted by a final calling to the OP Presbytery of Bancroft, South Dakota where he served faithfully from 2005 - 2016.
Dr Young Jun Son is survived by his beloved wife, Mary Lou; his cherished children, Elizabeth, Sarah, David, Jennifer, Megan, and Andrew; his 6 adoring grandchildren, Ryan, Victoria, Shiloh, Shenandoah, Szeren, and Beatrix; his two sisters, Margaret and Aisha, his brother, John, and his nieces and nephews.
Esteemed Fathers, Brothers, and Sisters in the Lord,
On Monday, February 12, 2024, about 1:40 p.m. EST, the Lord took his servant the Rev. Dr. Young-Jun Son at the age of 93 years into his presence, where, with all the saints who have gone before, he now beholds the face of God in light and glory and rests from his labors. He was born on November 15, 1930, in Tokyo Japan, and grew up under Japanese occupation in South Korea. Saved by the Lord Jesus Christ at an early age, he was moved by the influence of Bruce Hunt and other early missionaries to Korea to serve the Lord. When Korean communists invaded South Korea in 1950, he was forcibly taken to the North, but by God's grace he managed to escape with his life. He studied at Seoul National University from 1951-1955. After meeting a U.S. doctor on a medical ship who sponsored him to come to America to finish school, He left Korea in 1955 with only a Bible and $5 in his pocket. He worked part-time jobs to support himself while studying at San Diego State University (1955-1957) and Geneva College from which he received a BA in 1959.  He received a diploma from Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1962, studied at Westminster Theological Seminary in 1963, and earned his ThM in 1983 and his ThD in 1984 from Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education in South Africa.
Dr. Son was ordained a minister of the gospel by the Presbytery of New York (RPCNA) on July 31, 1963, and served as Assistant Pastor and Inner-City Missionary of the RPCNA from 1963-1964 in the Bronx, New York. He married Mary Lou McCurdy from the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Blue Bell Pennsylvania, on April 17, 1964, and the Lord blessed them with four daughters and two sons. He pastored White Lake RPCNA, ran a summer camp for at-risk youth, and mentored young men in New York from 1964-1965 and then pastored the RPCNA in New Castle, Pennsylvania, from 1965-1967. He served on the staff of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship from 1967-1975. He transferred to The Orthodox Presbyterian Church and was received by the Presbytery of Philadelphia on November 16, 1968. Young and Mary Lou founded Philadelphia House in 1970, a ministry and home for international students, through which many heard the gospel. It is still serving international students in the Philadelphia area.
In 1977 the Committee on Foreign Missions called Dr. Son to serve as a missionary in South Korea. He served as Assistant Professor (1980-1982) and Associate Professor of Missions (1982-1986) at the General Assembly Theological Seminary in Seoul. He founded Missionary Training Institute (MTI) of the Presbyterian General Assembly, Seoul, Korea, in 1982 with a budget of $1,000 and served as Director until 1994. Courses began on a cold winter day at Pauline House in Suwon, South Korea in January 1983. Dr. Son said, ”We started with nothing...but the good hand of the Lord, who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, watches over us!” After two weeks, MTI ran out of money. Classes resumed in an empty classroom at Chongshin Seminary in Seoul. There was no heat or running water. Many of the students slept on pieces of Styrofoam. Many of MTI’s first missionaries were single women, who were competent and capable with strong language skills. In the first ten years, MTI was held in various seminaries and church buildings until 1993 when MTI purchased two floors in a new building in Seoul. MTI came under the oversight of The Orthodox Presbyterian Church in 1994. Dr. Son served as Director until 2000. Still today volunteers from the United States, Canada, and Australia help with language training and cross-cultural communication. MTl is always looking for willing servants to help in MTI’s intensive schedule of cross-cultural training in which English is spoken at all times by staff and students, which Dr. Son felt was essential for successful mission work around the world. Thousands of missionaries have participated at MTl and served Christ all over the world. He continued to lead MTl until 2003 when Youngshin and Mihyang Yoon began leading MTI. Mary Lou still teaches women in Korea each week by video conference call. In 2009 a new building in Yeosu, South Korea, was built specifically for the training of cross-cultural missionaries. Many veteran missionaries from MTI's early years still return to Korea to mentor younger missionary candidates. From 1985-1991 Dr. Son was Dean of the International Graduate School of Theology of the General Assembly Presbyterian Theological Seminary (HapDong) in Seoul. Dr. Son spent many years visiting missionaries around the world in need of support.
In 2005 Murdock Memorial Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Bancroft, South Dakota, called Dr. Son to be its pastor. He gave his heart to the congregation and the surrounding communities until he retired and was designated Pastor Emeritus of the Bancroft Church on October 1, 2016, because of his wife's need for more help due to the effects of Parkinson's disease, though his heart's desire was still with the saints in Bancroft. To the very end of his life here on earth, his fervent love for Christ and all his sheep, including the least of his brethren, and his undying love for the lost was always evident.
Give thanks to the Lord for his great grace, mercy, and love to his church in giving such a faithful and eminent servant of Christ and gifted minister of the gospel, who passionately preached Jesus Christ and him crucified throughout the world and was a Christ-like example of graciousness, kindness, humility, faith, and long-suffering, even when suffering affliction, facing opposition and persecution, and bearing the reproach of Christ. Pray that the Lord by his Spirit will comfort his family and all who love him with the words of the apostle Paul, “knowing that he who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Therefore, we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (II Corinthians 5:14-18).
Soli Deo Gloria!

Relatives and friends are invited to his Funeral Services on Saturday February 17, 2024 at 10 a.mat the Volpe Funeral Home, 707 W Germantown Pike, Norristown. Viewing will be held from 9 - 10 a.m at the funeral home. Burial will take place in Green Tree Cemetery, Oaks.  Service will be live streamed at

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February 17, 2024

9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Volpe Funeral Home
707 West Germantown Pike
Norristown, PA 19403

Funeral Service
February 17, 2024

10:00 AM
Volpe Funeral Home
707 West Germantown Pike
Norristown, PA 19403


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