Petey Kim

By pastorbillwalden

My heart aches today. Many hearts ache today as we mourn the loss of our dear friend and brother, Petey Kim. Jen, you are in our prayers.

I nicknamed him Pedro.  I don’t think anyone else called him that, but I did.  I loved calling him Pedro.

When we worked together at Cornerstone, I could hear him whistling or singing from 100 yards away as he approached the upstairs office.  You always knew when Petey was coming.

I teased him mercilessly about being a Lakers’ fan.  (I am NOT a Lakers fan). We both loved the NBA, and went to one game together when he got free tickets to see his friend Luke Ridnour play in Sac.

We played a lot of worship together, with Jen joining us.  We even made a trip down to CC Montebello together.  We led three worship services on a Sunday, and I taught three times. We were exhausted.

He treated me with the utmost respect.  Even if/when he disagreed with me, he approached every discussion with extreme respect as he would offer an alternate idea.  I learned a lot from Petey about vision and faith.

In some ways, we were brothers, comrades, peers.  In other ways, it was like a father/son or mentor/mentee relationship.  We both acknowledged the strangeness of the relationship which morphed back and forth depending upon what was happening or who needed guidance or feedback.  I could go to him to share ideas and ask for guidance, and vice versa.  In all of that, even when he was speaking as a peer, he showed me the utmost respect as his pastor and elder.

Petey had passion for God and for people.  The scores of comments online only hours after his death attest to those facts.  He touched many lives, and the comments will keep pouring in.

Petey served at Cornerstone 5 plus years.  About three years into his time with us, I started leaning on him to realize that he had been called to lead a church someday.  He kicked and fought against that idea, stating that he was happy at Cornerstone….but, he FINALLY realized that I was right.  Plans were made, prayers were prayed, and steps of faith were taken.

Shortly before REFUGE church was launched, we met for one last talk.  We both expressed that neither one of us wanted to separate.  The relationship and friendship was too good.  We both shed some tears that night, as we both realized that it was God’s will for Petey to move on, and that it was the right thing to do.

Finally, if admiration can be mixed with envy in any kind of sanctified manner, then that is what I often experienced with Petey.

Sometimes, as we discussed issues, he would say the most godly thing.  His perspective and attitude was so far above mine sometimes.  In those moments, I felt that I was in the presence of a very holy man.  Not holiness that sprang forth from somberness, but from purity.

Petey was pure, and by just being himself, he showed me what a pure life was like.  His holiness would make me feel a bit convicted and yet very encouraged at the same time.  I felt that same strange mixture of emotions as I watched him love his wife, love his kids, love people, and love God.

Without trying to be inspiring, he was inspiring.  He was a good friend, and a comrade in ministry, and I miss him.

Like many people reading this, I feel like I have been kicked in the stomach.  There is a sadness that is felt in one’s bones.  But there is also joy, knowing that Petey finished his race on this Earth, and has entered into the joy of his Lord.

Pedro, if you can read this, or hear me…..I love you.  Jesus will take care of Jen and the kids and your mom, and the church…and we will help.

Enjoy being with Jesus.

Save me a seat near courtside.

37 Responses so far

thank you for sharing this…

My heart aches with yours. Many will experience what it means to hide in the shadow of HIs wings & exercise our faith & trust in God’s sovereignty.

What a wonderful depiction of Petey, Pastor! (We only called him Pedro when we were in Nepolian Dynamite mode 😉 but I loved hearing you call him that.)

I learned a lot from Petey (who didnt?). My bones are feeling that ache and yes, we will be here for Jen and the littles because they too are our family.

You are in my prayers as well, dear pastor. My heart is heavy because so many feel this loss-and yet, because so many feel this loss I rejoice that the Lord used Petey mightily! Thank you for all you poured into Petey during his time with us.

Comfort, blessings and hugs

I’ve always felt that Petey was (is) God’s angel and God’s gift to all of us. There are just not enough words to describe what each of us is feeling. However, he is with our God now and he is rejoicing. We should all rejoice in knowing that he was (and will forever be) a holy man and we were all richly blessed in God allowing us to each interact with him, befriend him, and to have him in our lives. God is good.

Blessed be the name of the Lord for the work in this joyful man’s life! My family mourns the loss of this dear man, as we were touched by him in his role as a youth pastor at Napa, as a friend, and as a shining example of a man filled with the love and joy of our Lord.

As Jesus said, ” I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, shall LIVE even if he dies,. And everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Thank you. we too feel the same about Petey. He was a pure soul.Abd be ran a great race. He lived for Jesus, loved his wife, his children and his congregation with all that he had. Beautiful example of a godly man


Thank you for sharing. I think back at many fond memories. A trip to Apple Hill, beach trips, being there in times of family crisis…and always his smile that shared his love with all who met him.

Thank you Bill. Our hearts are breaking. We are praying for Jen and there beautiful kids. Petey had a radiant smile and is home!! Praise the Lord.

We love Petey. Always a smile, always a joy to be around. We all will see Petey soon, he is worshipping Jesus face to face. We love you Jenn. You are in our hearts and our deep prayers. Much love. Eric and Lisa Perez

We will miss you much and we are praying for the family. I remember we would play basketball together and he would call me the mexican Jordan! Petey is eating a lot of food with Jesus, he loves food! Love Carlos and Kathy Mendoza

Joyful man went to be with the Lord. May God’s strength and power uphold Jen and their children. I will be praying for you all. Love Salina Aguirre

Many tears this morning.
My last memory of Petey is his face beaming telling me that his mom was OK after a recent health scare. So Petey!
Prayers for Jen & kids & the church family that love each other so deeply.

Maybe it was the Petey smile, or just his kind nature, but one Sunday morning on my way to Cornerstone, I was thinking about what a great guy Petey is, and how I wish I was a better Christian, more like Petey, I suppose I was holding Petey up on a pedestal.

That morning to my surprise, Petey was the speaker, and I was really surprised by some of the things he shared that morning, he talked about his weaknesses and his failures, his struggle with the flesh. Petey let me in on a secret that morning, the secret to the Petey smile, was Jesus; he didn’t pretend he was something he was not; he pointed us all to his Lord. Petey stepped off of the pedestal I placed him on that morning and pointed up to the Lord.

A line from the movie As Good as it Gets is: “You make me want to be a better man”. Petey you made me want to be a better Christian, to share that light, and to tell the world about our Lord. The grace of God you demonstrated in your life will not be soon forgotten; your smile still reflects the light of His presence.

We have been praying for Jen and the kids, but Pastor Bill we have been praying for you as well; I always thought of Petey as your Timothy, with you being the mentor and sending him out. It was always clear to me and others of the love and respect you had for each other – so glad to read what you wrote, and to know there was even more.

Beautiful Pastor! Thanks for sharing. :(…… Honored to have served with Petey in worship and on staff @ CCM. Such a joy to always be around. He and Jenn sang so beautifully together. Jesus be our comfort during this time!

Petey was such a humble man of God. We were tenderly blessed by his ministry in song and praise at our wedding just last August 2011. What a joyful family he and Jen make. Our prayers are with Jen and their family and we too rejoice that you are now in the presence of our Lord. What an everlasting blessing he gave us. Much Love!

I am also in shock for what happened and sad. Pastor Petey was truly a godly man. He must be just rejoicing in the Lord and trusting that He will watch over his beloved family. And so it will be. We will miss you Petey.

Coming from one who is not quite the religious type, but has massive respect for those who live out their faith truly and fully, I say this.

While I am not religious, I fully respect the amount of faith he had in God. He was genuinely the nicest person I have ever known, and lived out his Christian faith the way it is supposed to be lived out. If there was a better example of how Christians should act, I haven’t seen one. He was a great leader and a fantastic friend. He emanated light and love to the world in a way that was truly awe-inspiring, and if there is a heaven, I am positive that he is there. You will be missed, Petey. Much love to you and your family.
This one’s for you.

Thank you so much for writing this, Pastor Walden….I have never heard this side of Petey’s story of his post-CCM days. I am praying that Jen & family and the entire congregation at Refuge will be led and annointed during this time of suffering.

Thanks Bill, I don’t that anything can be added to what you shared. We here at CCM have been reminiscing all morning about Petey. Boy did he whistle, ESPECIALLY when it was eating time!!! I don’t anyone who disliked Petey, he was contagious, it was hard to be upset at him! Thank you Lord for allowing us the short time we had with your son Petey, we were all blessed as You are now with him in Your presence. ‘Til we see each other again, I love you my brother. Jen, please know that you are family and if there is anything that you or the kids need, we are here for you.

Thanks for posting this, Bill. I am in shock. We have lost a joy-filled man.

Thank you Pastor Bill for the beautiful memories of Petey. He has indeed made a lasting impact on a multitude of people. Our sons, Monica and I will always remember Petey and his love for the people. May God hold up Jen and the kids. Our hearts hurt with them and are with them. Jaime Arista

Pastor Bill, thank you for this beautiful post. When the news broke last night, I was in disbelief. My heart was/is shattered.

Petey and I spent some remarkable years here at CCM. He was always a joy to be with. It didn’t matter if we were serving in ministry together or just two dudes hanging out. We always had a great time. He was such a faithful friend.

Whenever you were hurting, Petey always had the comforting words of Christ, reminding you of the hope we have in Him. A few years ago during my darkest hour, I recall calling Petey in tears and his eternal perspective reminded me of God’s sovereignty.

Petey loved all and love was reciprocated to him by all. He was such a loving husband and father. He was surely a pure and holy reflection of our Lord.

Petey, I love you, bro and you will forever be in my heart. Jenn, you and the kids are dear to me and I love you all. I’m praying for you.

Petey was such a joy to be around.The excitement & joy he brought to all around will not soon be forgotten. We missed him when he left CC Montebello but we knew that we would see him again. We will miss him now that he has gone home to be with the Lord but once again, we know that we will see him again. It is said that the best thing a Christian man can do is to be remembered as a Godly Man. Brother Petey, you WILL be remembered as such a man.
May the Lord bless you Jenn & your children & remember that you are never alone for the Lord is your strength & your comforter.
Mario & Angie Ortiz

Petey was my youth pastor when I came to know the Lord in high school. I can look back and honestly say that no other person poured so much into my spirit as did Petey. I loved sitting under his teaching, his worship, and his laughter.

Petey and Jen are such a remarkable story of what God does in the lives of His faithful children. I’m so sorry Jen for your loss and for the loss of your little ones. You are in my prayers.

Thank you Petey for your faithfulness as our youth pastor several years ago and during your visits to CCM where you continued to bless me. I am eternally grateful for you..Can’t wait to see you again.

Petey always had such a love for the Lord, and such a hope in the Lord’s return. He was such an encouragement. Even though I haven’t been to Cornerstone in some time, I will never forget the joy he showed, in all things. I will never forget his smile, or his beautiful family. My heart grieves with the church…..Praying that the Lord will draw close to the family at this difficult time.
Very well written Bill. My prayers to you as well.

What a great tribute, Bill. What struck me most about Petey was his purity. I think he could be so open with everyone because he was so consistent and pure in every area of his life, he had no areas to hide or rope off.
I remember him visibly wincing when some of us talked about being into some kind of worldy things that weren’t exactly Jesus-glorifying…I just think he was so into Jesus that he cast off any hindrance and pursued purity.

Thank you all so much for your love and sharing.
What can adequately express what Petey meant to us?

Dave Bates….you understand.
Thank you for that.
You understand.

Thanks for the thoughts, Bill.

I have not seen Petey in a few years, yet even as I heard he was gone, I missed him. I don’t miss him like other people who have gone. I’ve lost family members but have not cried like I have over Petey.

He was genuine. Petey was one of only a couple of people who expressed genuine friendship toward me after I was ostracized by a local CC. That expression of genuine friendship was simple- “Hey, miss you. We should grab a burrito sometime.” We both knew we were too busy and it never happened. Yet that expression, coming from Petey, meant so much. He actually cared, and I knew that.

It’s not as though Petey and I had much of anything in common. But we both had Jesus. Petey’s joy made me want to know Jesus more. My wife and I agree that although we hardly knew him, yet his sincere kindness is irreplaceable in our lives. We cried together. I’m crying now. I can’t help but stop, appreciate and desire that humble purity in my own life. Mission accomplished, Petey. See you at the taco truck up there.

Our family knew Petey through Calvary Chapel Montebello. He was my daughters Youth Pastor and my husband served alongside him. Thank you for these beautiful thoughts.

At 55 years of age, I was called to be the youth pastor at Calvary Chapel Gilroy. I knew I was called, but felt out of place. Petey was one of the first people I met at the Calvary Chapel youth pastor conference. He was also one of the most memorable. His joyous demeanor and love for Jesus made me forget that I was “too old” for the job God had called me to do. I am grateful for the legacy that Petey left and feel blessed to have known him.

Pastor Bill, thank you for this heartfelt blessed reflection on the beautiful man Petey.

I hadn’t seen Petey for about a year before that about 4 years in montebello, until we cross paths again in June at the pastor conference seems as if It was yesterday. Petey and I shared some time together talking about all the awesome things the Lord was doing in our lives.
He shared how blessed he was with you as his pastor, your friendship and love and encouragement all the years and how you had encouraged him to step out and start the church in American Canyon. He spoke highly of you and said ” i thank God im very blessed”.
He shared how loved the people there and the opportunities that were opening up with the city to work with the youth.
Petey was excited now as a senior pastor, with the doors the Lord was opening and the opportunities to reach out to the youth and for anyone else for that matter. I was bless to hear him share about his lovely wife Jen and GROWING family and hear him give glory all to God for all that was happening in his life. Even now his legacy continues to give glory to God as a vessel for Our Lord Jesus, a husband, father, pastor,and good friend. We’ll miss him dearly. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your children Jen.

Petey Kim glowed with his family’s, friends’, and God’s Love.
He was so deeply and genuinely positive and inspiring.

With heartfelt love and prayers for Petey, Jenn, Josiah, Micah, Ethan, Bethany, Tim, Margaret, John, Nancy, Ron and all other family and friends.

I’m sorry that you lost your friend. He sounds like he would of been a privilege to know. Knowing that you will see him again offers comfort, but for now, it is a time to mourn.

Grace and peace…

My wife Terry and I were blessed to meet Petey and Jen @ Koinonia at a youth camp and reconnect at YP conference. They are precious people. He has that smile and tenderness and you can see Jesus in him. I say it in the present tense because Jesus is the God of the living and Petey is more alive now than ever. I liken it to the Old Testament where literal then is spiritual now. Enoch walked with God then he was not for God took him. Elijah got taken up in chariot of fire… I can see the chariot on the basketball court zooming by and Petey taken up to heaven and I know is singing praises to His Master, Saviour, Lord, King and Friend, Jesus Christ the Righteous. Playing basketball with Jesus where Petey can slam dunk! lol… We were blessed to be there at his memorial service and the double blessing was connecting with friends we hadn’t seen in a while and the Lord opening a channel for reconciliation and the triple blessing on the way home, worshipping with Petey and Jen with the CD that was handed out. Absolutely beautiful! Thank you Jen, Pastor Bill and everyone who put that together. Praying for you all! Asking the Lord to say hi to Petey for us since He can. Petey right there next to Him… smiling that big smile… God bless and keep you and make His to shine upon you and give you His peace alla Numbers 6:24-26. We love you…

I was very touched to read your blog about Petey Pastor Bill. I will miss Petey so much, he was a wonderful Youth Pastor to us all back in CCM. I will never forget that trip I had with him and Jen in Hungary, it was awesome! I have many memories with Petey and my heart is sadden to see him gone. I will miss him and especially that smile of his but I know he is all smiles now and forever up in heaven.
Please give my love to Jen and the kids….they are in my prayers.

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