Unification News for May 2003

Cross to Crown Ceremony San Diego

by Mrs. Toshiko Modesitt & Mrs. Junko Hiroshima

Rev. Williams led the Sunday Service and the entire Cross to Crown Ceremony at the Greater Victory Baptist Church, San Diego. The Deacons prepared the cross and a beautiful crown, which they purchased themselves. The crown was to be placed upon the pulpit.

Rev. Williams sang "The Old Rugged Cross" before he began. His heartfelt song brought a beautiful spirit to over one hundred people in his congregation. Rev. Williams invited our San Diego Family Church pastor, Rev. Walter Frank, to the front even though it was there first time meeting.

Small crosses were made for the ceremony from palm leaves. These were at the front and everyone was invited to pick one up. At this point Rev. Williams talked on how the cross was not the symbol of Jesus victory but the symbol of rejection. ''The cross must be exchanged for a crown'', he said. He continued speaking about the history of the cross and how we should focus on being obedient to God. "We should be able to see God who is watching over the crucified Jesus", he said. He touched the congregation with his words. The amazing thing here is that Rev. Williams is very new to ACLC. He was brought into ACLC through one of our most positive San Diego pastors, Rev. Manley. Rev. Williams had been very moved through the one day seminar in April, especially through the Tear Down the Cross speech that AB Stallings gave.

At the end of the service Rev. Williams placed the cross in the center and placed a crown over the cross. He announced that anyone that wanted to exchange his or her palm cross for a crown badge to come forward.

Everyone lined up and one by one placed the palm leaf cross into a basket and picked up a crown badge in its place. All the while Rev. Williams kept singing "The Old Rugged Cross".

He made the announcement about his trip to Israel (he was the first to pay his $1,000 from our region) and Pastor Frank of the San Diego Family Church explained the meaning of the trip to everyone.

His congregation made an offering toward supporting that trip. There was a very good spirit after the service and everyone was happy.

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