Hmong Peace AG | Pastor Peter Xiong and Sharon Yang
Years before Pastor Peter Xiong would step into the lead pastor role at Hmong Peace AG, he was a hard-working business owner of a real estate firm and mortgage company in the Twin Cities. Every day he managed piles of paperwork and oversaw a team of forty employees including agents and brokers.
One night while working from home his oldest daughter, then 5 years-old, asked him to play with her. He told her that he didn’t have time and that she should go upstairs and watch television. Instead, she went upstairs and used the home phone to call him on his business line with a single request. She asked if she could be his client so he could spend time with her.
The impact of the question was immediate. He purposed to keep his priorities in order: God first, then family, and finally work. He soon closed one of the two companies to free up more time for family. Like so many other lessons he learned as a businessman, that moment now resonates years later as the lead pastor of a growing church.
Peter came to know the Lord when he was thirteen and from a young age he always felt drawn toward the business world. He spent thirty years at First Hmong AG in St. Paul, being mentored by pastoral leadership and at different times serving as a deacon and treasurer.
God began to stir something in Peter’s heart, and in 2018 he closed his real estate business and enrolled in Bethel University to pursue a degree in Organizational Leadership. Later that same year the Hmong Fellowship asked him and his wife, Sharon, to “help out” at a church whose pastor had stepped down. Just two months later in December 2018, this unassuming businessman was invited to pastor Hmong Peace AG. After prayer and prompting from a vivid vision, he sensed God was asking him to step into his first pastoral assignment. He responded by saying, “Lord, I’ll do whatever you want me to do.”
Hmong Peace AG is one of nine churches in the Hmong Section of our district. They currently meet on Sunday afternoons at a Lutheran church in Shoreview. It’s a multi-generational congregation and Peter preaches in Hmong with detailed notes on the screen in English for the younger attendees.
They are also a missions-minded faith community. Remembering the days when pastors invested in him, Peter now offers a mentorship program every quarter. It’s open to anyone at Hmong Peace AG interested in leadership with an invite to other churches and business owners in the community.
Peter still keeps his real estate license current because he recognizes it’s a great opportunity to reach business owners for Christ. He urges fellow pastors to connect with professionals in their community saying, “They might not be looking for Jesus, but they’re looking for relationship.” It’s an encouraging word from someone who knows first-hand that reaching them is the Lord’s business