RIP David Suh, World YMCA President 1994-1998

Date: 28 February 2022

The worldwide YMCA Movement learned with great sadness that Dr. David Kwang-sun Suh, former President of the World Alliance of YMCAs (1994-1998), passed away in Seoul, South Korea, on February 26, 2022.

“Our sincere condolences to the family of Dr Suh, the Korean YMCA and the Asia Pacific Alliance of YMCAs”, said World YMCA Secretary General Carlos Sanvee. “The world Movement has lost a great leader, and a real champion of social justice. May his soul Rest In Peace.”

Dr. Suh was born in 1931 in Kanggye, which is now in North Korea. He graduated from the Union Theological Seminary in the USA, and taught at Ewha Womans University, a Christian university, in South Korea, where he became Professor Emeritus of Theology.

Dr. Suh served the YMCA movement worldwide. Just after the 1991 YMCA World Council in Seoul, he was appointed as chair of the drafting committee for the YMCA mission statement, ‘Challenge 21’. That statement was later completed during his presidency, and adopted at the 14th World Council held in Germany in 1998. The committee worked hard for eight years. It was formed by members from all six continents, young and old, male and female, lay and ordained, Protestant and Catholic, all speaking many different types of English. Dr. Suh and his committee members lived in the fervent hope embodied in the mission of the YMCA movement.

Dr. Suh’s father was a pastor, who was killed during the Korean War in 1950. Dr. Suh never ceased to pray for peace and reunification on the Korean peninsula.


Photo caption:
Dr. David Suh speaking on “A Clarion Call for God’s Revolution: Ecumenical Leadership for Social Transformation in Today’s Context”, at the Conference on Contemporary Christian Leadership held by the Asia Pacific Alliance of YMCAs in 2016.