40 Years in America
"Reverend Beatrice Clyburn"
The last thing in the world I was expecting to be called was "Reverend Clyburn," or "Reverend Beatrice" as Dr. Seuk calls me. I was raised Catholic (no "reverends" there!) and even at the Seminary, my focus was more on counseling. In early 1986, Dr. Seuk said that seminary graduates should become Campus Ministers. He was so serious to unite with Fatherís direction that I had to unite too. At the beginning of 1986, when I was doing my research into campus ministry, he would call me, asking about my findings. He would ask me to make reports all the time. I am grateful that he pushed me. That made me serious.
In September, I was accepted as an official Unification Campus Minister at Howard University. Actually, about the time I was going to apply, the Dean of the Chapel, Reverend Evans E. Crawford, came to our book table and asked why we didnít have a campus minister! I later had a few interviews with Dean Crawford. I should say we had heart-to-heart talks. He asked me millions of questions about my mission, Father, how I joined the church, why I wanted to be at Howard. I will not forget -- he will not either -- the day I was in his office, telling him in tears how God had given me the life mission to heal the heart of black people.
Thatís why he was sending me, a white person, to serve the Howard black community. Then he shared about his experience with Dr. Martin Luther King. That time, our hearts touched. It felt like we were father and daughter. I love him so much. I always bring him flowers to decorate his office and to bring to his wife. His secretaries are like my sisters. Last Tuesday, I brought them flowers. Margaret, one of them, grabbed me and gave me a big kiss!
One thing has moved me to shed many tears during the past year at Howard. I have gone to many celebrations, meetings and services at the chapel of the School of Divinity. I love hanging out there. It is so peaceful.
During one service, a young student sang, "His eyes are on the sparrow." She totally gave herself in her singing. I was overwhelmed with Godís love for all these people.
Most of them were ministers from other churches. I was overwhelmed by the fact that they too, just like me, had given their lives to God. They had struggled for many more years than I had under the heavy responsibility of bringing Godís children back to him. I felt their sincerity, their commitment, their sense of responsibility, their pained hearts and their love for God and Jesus Christ.
In November, I went to a conference at the School of Divinity. One professor, Dr. Felder, was speaking in front of a chapel packed with ministers. When I entered, I asked God where I should sit and I found myself next to two ladies. Afterward, the older one started to show me pictures of her children and grandchildren, talking as if she had known me for years. Then Dr. Felder came over and it turned out that this lady was his mother.
Then I knew God had a plan, but when Dr. Felder realized I was a Moonie, he expressed his negative feelings. Two years before, he had been invited to a conference in the Bahamas but had refused to go as he was convinced that Reverend Moon was enticing black ministers and brainwashing them.
The next Monday, I was in his office for two hours. He bombarded me with a hundred questions about Father, my commitment to the church and my mission at Howard. Then he changed completely. He invited me to come to his apartment with his secretaries and one of his classes for a Christmas party. He even drove me home that day. I was very moved by the change. This man has a national-level mission with his church and is also editor of the well-known Journal of Religious Studies.
The warmest event of the whole semester was the Christmas party that Dean Crawford put on for his whole department. Dean Crawford introduced me warmly, explaining how I was accepted into this position. He was so beautiful and embracing. It all felt like family. I was able to meet several other campus ministers there and the number one topic with everyone was Reverend Moon. Since I am accepted at Howard by the three deans, then people feel free to ask. They donít feel reluctant because I am one of them. I am grateful God could tell Dr. Seuk that this was my mission, against my own interpretation. I saw the incredible result right away. God wanted me there.
* This testimony originally appeared in Frontline Vol.5, No.1 (Spring 1988).
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