Rev. Laokouxang (Kou) Seying, the Lutheran Foundation Professor of Urban and Cross-Cultural Ministry, associate dean for Urban and Cross-Cultural Ministry, and associate professor of Practical Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, entered eternal rest in Christ Jesus Nov. 23, 2019. He was 55 years old.
Visitation is set for 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 9907 Sappington Road, St. Louis, MO 63128.
Visitation also will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus at Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105, followed by a service at 9:30 a.m. Members of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod clergy are invited to vest in white stoles and be a part of the procession.
The service will be live streamed at csl.edu/live.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of our brother and colleague, Professor Kou Seying,” said Seminary President Dr. Dale A. Meyer. “Through his intense battle with cancer, he witnessed to us his confident trust in our Lord Jesus and thereby why he was so passionate about Jesus’ mission to all peoples. Of his many legacies, that passion to share Jesus will long live on campus and in all who graduate from our Seminary. In confidence of the resurrection and heavenly reunion, we extend our Christian sympathies to his wife Maykou and their children, Grace, Sarah, Seth and Malachi.”
Seying was the first ordained Hmong pastor in the LCMS. Over the course of his ministry, he served as a parish pastor, missionary-at-large, mission developer and professor.
Born in Laos, Seying and his family members were among the very first Christian converts in the country. Seeking refuge during the Vietnam War, his family left Laos when Seying was 12 years old. They resettled in Indianapolis through the co-sponsorship of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services and St. Peter Lutheran Church.
“We’ve been with the Lutheran church ever since,” said Seying in a 2017 Lutherans Engage article, speaking about the transition to America. “For us from a communal society, plucked out of that into new life in America, it was not easy, especially for my parents. But we were loved by the church, and that gave us new life and new identity.”
Seying attended Lutheran schools, earning a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon (1987), and a Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (CTSFW), Ind. (1991). He also studied systematic theology at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. (1995–98). Seying was in the process of pursuing his Ph.D. in missiology at CTSFW.
In 2004, Seying was called to serve the LCMS California-Nevada-Hawaii District (CNH) as a deployed mission developer/strategist of Joy of Harvest Ministries through St. Paul Lutheran Church in Merced, Calif., where he pastored the Hmong congregation. He also developed church plants at Greenhaven Lutheran Church in Sacramento, Calif., and Peace Lutheran Church in Fresno, Calif.
Besides serving in the LCMS CNH District for more than a decade, he served as pastor of Hmong Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minn. (1991–95). He also taught religion and theology at Concordia University, St. Paul, Minn., (1992–2004), and was the missionary-at-large for the LCMS Minnesota South District (1995–98). In 2015, he joined the faculty of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
Seying was involved in early discussions within the LCMS that led to pastoral training programs for immigrant and nontraditional students. He served on several Seminary committees including as chair of Multiethnic Symposium Committee and Cross-Cultural Certificate Program Development Committee.
In addition to writing devotional materials, mission articles and frequently giving presentations on missiology, Seying was the editor-in-chief for various major theological works in the Hmong language. His published works included “HMong Mission in LCMS” and “HMong Spiritism” in Missio Apostolica (now Lutheran Mission Matters) and “Diversity and Unity in a Multicultural Church: God’s Dream for the Twenty-First Century” in Concordia Journal.
A sought-after speaker, Seying preached July 23, 2019, during the 67th LCMS Convention, held in Tampa, Fla.
“To be joyfully Lutheran is … to expose the Gospel in its purity to a world that desperately needs to hear this good news of Jesus Christ,” Seying said.
He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Maykou (nee Kue); and four children, Grace, Sarah, Seth and Malachi.
On behalf of the family, Concordia Seminary will collect contributions toward education expenses for the Seyings’ children. Please make checks payable to “Concordia Seminary” with “Seying Memorial” noted on the memo line and mail them to the Seminary at 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105 or you can make your gift online at csl.edu/give and write “Seying Memorial” in the “Other” field. (Please note that such gifts are not tax deductible.)
About Concordia Seminary
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis provides Gospel-centered graduate-level theological education for pastors, missionaries, deaconesses, scholars and other leaders in the name of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). To learn more, visit csl.edu.