Stephen Nghiem, a pastor at the Vietnamese Christian Community Church, was born in Hanoi, Vietnam in 1951. After moving to South Vietnam at age three, Nghiem spent his early life in Saigon, where he graduated from college with a degree in economic laws. In 1978, he and his family left Vietnam by boat, spent nine months in a Malaysian refugee camp, and were then sponsored by a United Methodist church to resettle in Shannon, Illinois. From Shannon, Nghiem moved to Portland, where he went back to college. He studied at Clackamas Community College before transferring to Portland Community College and then to Portland State University. While working for Wacker Siltronics, Nghiem studied at seminary bible college and eventually received a Master’s Degree in Divinity. Nghiem has been a full-time pastor at the Vietnamese Christian Community Church since 2006.

In Nghiem’s second interview, he focuses on his experiences living through the year 2020. 2020 has been a monumental year for the United States, which has been reflected in the spread of COVID-19, and the protests that began after the death of George Floyd. These historic events have impacted Nghiem and his work as a pastor, as well as the community he serves. Because of COVID-19, he and his congregation can no longer meet in person, so Nghiem has had to find creative ways to maintain a sense of community for his church. Nghiem goes on to discuss how many of his church members have been economically affected by the BLM protests in downtown Portland. However, Nghiem also stresses why he believes it is important for the Black Community to seek social justice. He follows by discussing his unique position as a pastor which allows him to address both the younger and older generations of Vietnamese Americans. Stephen ends this interview by discussing how his volunteer work for the American Veterans of the Vietnam War has changed since the beginning of the quarantine, as well as discussing the future of his church.