Unification News for March 2004
by Pastor Carl V. Rawls
On Saturday, March 6th, the ACLC Selma Chapter of Alabama hosted its first Interfaith Prayer Breakfast. Pastor Carl V. Rawls, ACLC National Executive Board Committee Member and president of the Selma Chapter, emceed the event.
Pastor Rawls began his opening remarks echoing the words of Paul in II Corinthians 11:22….. "Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I." On that spiritual note, he said "Good morning, family." Pastor Rawls stated that this morning we are standing together as one. Standing before God in this gathering as one for we all are brothers and sisters…all from the seed of Abraham. Therefore, we ought to love each other as family. After introducing our National ACLC Co-Convenor, Rev. Michael Jenkins, our Regional Director, Bishop Weon Kim and Vice Regional Director FFWPU, Rev. Terry Yamane, we were ready to begin the program.
Prayer was offered by Rev. Earl Witherspoon, Sr., associate minister of Hopewell Baptist Church-Beloit and Selma Chapter ACLC member. Afterwards, we enjoyed a hearty breakfast and exhilarating fellowship as we moved throughout the room meeting and greeting our brothers and sisters – Christians and Muslims joining together in the spirit of peace. One of our sisters, a Japanese Missionary, captured the essence of the moment when she remarked, "I feel good." Amen.
Minister Danette Bonner, a very gifted and talented vocalist, opened the next segment of the program with an uplifting rendition of "We Have Come into This House, Gathered in His Name to Worship Him." After which, Minister Bonner shared with us what peace means to her. Using the word peace as an acronym, she explained it as follows: P – Power, as in what a mighty God we serve; E – Endurance; A – Assessment of goals linking families, schools and religions; C – Community, everyone is involved spirituality, physically and emotionally; and E – Effort to endeavor to do better and achieve the empire of success….one body, with many members.
Next Vice Regional Director, Rev. Terry Yamane, gave an inspiring testimony regarding the first and fourth pilgrimages to the Holy Land. Rev. Yamane described her experience on the first pilgrimage to Rome and Israel as not just a site seeing trip. Growing up Catholic, she had an attachment with Rome. However, her most tearful and ultimate experience of the pilgrimage in March 2003 was the signing of the Jerusalem Declaration with Jews, Muslims and Christians.
She saw Imams and Jerusalem Rabbis embracing the Christians ministers in a deep embrace - an embrace of the sons of Abraham. We are witnessing history. This is not something that ACLC is just doing; this is God’s work. When she traveled to Israel in December 2003, Rev. Yamane saw the building of the foundation laid in March. The rally in Jerusalem Independence Park of over 20,000 people changed the world.
Sis. Marilyn Rawls, wife of Pastor Carl Rawls, gave her heartfelt testimony regarding the fourth pilgrimage. She testified that God sent her to Jerusalem to not only march side by side with her husband to usher in the Kingdom of God, but to receive a personal blessing as well…. a miraculous healing in Bethlehem. In August 2003, Sis. Rawls was diagnosed with having a mass on her liver. In December 2003 at the Church of Nativity, Pastor Rawls received an overflowing, outpouring anointing of oil. One of the lamps at the Church of the Nativity suddenly began leaking its oil all over Rev. Rawls. At first he was wiping his hair and worried about his suit and then suddenly the he felt the power of the Holy Spirit. He gathered the clergy together for prayer. When Sister Marilyn took the hand of Rev. Rawls that was covered with oil it suddenly changed everything. She felt an unusual feeling inside. She knew it was healing. It was under this anointing of God that Sis. Rawls was healed. The mass is no longer on, around, or anywhere else on her liver. The doctors confirmed it. Hallelujah! She testified that God confirmed in her spirit that Israel would also be healed.
Next we heard testimony from Rev. Nathaniel Holloway as a new member of the ACLC Selma Chapter. Rev. Holloway believes in having vision for without vision our people shall perish. When Pastor Rawls began to talk with him about ACLC, he talked vision. Rev. Holloway stated emphatically "ACLC has a vision." The vision motivated him, gave him direction and focused him on what we are suppose to be doing. Recounting the story Babel found in the Book of Genesis where the people came together to build a tower whose top may reach unto heaven. Rev. Holloway noted that when people begin to work together, it would bring God down. Even more so, when working together for something positive. Nothing moves God more than vision… more than people speaking the same thing and ACLC is speaking the same thing - LOVE. He concluded his remarks by saying ACLC is a blessing to him.
The highlight of the Prayer Breakfast was the message delivered by our national leader, Rev. Michael Jenkins. Rev. Jenkins, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, delivered a powerful and soul-stirring message entitled, "From Passion to Compassion." In this dynamic message, Rev. Jenkins told us there are no barriers in God’s truth; and there are no barriers that can stop God’s love from flowing. The Bible tells us very clearly, that Jesus loved those that weren’t saved. In fact, the ones who were actually against the Kingdom is where he went and ministered. He asked if we administered the love of God beyond our boundaries, our denominations, our religion, and our faith.
From Passion to Compassion! Rev. Jenkins said he’s told by the saints and prophets of this age that we’re living in the time of reconciliation - the Kingdom is at hand. We must have courage to stand up for what is right. The passion tells us that we must walk the way of truth. We must sacrifice. We cannot play about what is right and wrong. But the compassion is that when we’re standing on truth; when we know we’re being healed by walking the way of the Kingdom, we should not turn around and then judge our brothers. We should turn around and sacrifice for them. We should live in such a way that our light shines with joy. Rev. Jenkins testified to Father Moon. People struggle with Rev. Moon – the messiah. What if Jesus anointed him? Jesus said that "I am in the Father and the Father in me and I am in You !" . Rev. Moon received this anointing. Rev. Moon said I’m anointed and he said you must become messiahs. You must become in the Father and the Father in you.
Rev. Jenkins also testified to overcoming obstacles and the removal of barriers as they endeavored to fulfill the mission of the pilgrimages to the Holy Land. From marching to the Western Wall, into Gaza, to the rally in Independence Park – the foundation for these marches were made possible by the victorious battles of the believers with Dr. King marching over the Edmund Pettus bridge. When Rev. Rawls marched us over the bridge on September 1st it opened the way for us to march to the holy sites and on to Gaza. Receiving a standing ovation, Rev. Jenkins concluded his message and we all joined in singing with a unified spirit; Peace, Shalom, Salaam Aleikum.
Rev. Jenkins message laid the foundation and prepared our hearts for the viewing of the video: "The Path to Peace." Some were moved to shed tears of passion and compassion. Others shouted words of praise. It was very inspiring.
The Prayer Breakfast concluded with the presentation of Ambassador for Peace Awards to Alabama State Representative and Selma Chapter ACLC member, Imam Yusuf Salaam, and Sis. Marilyn Rawls. Our hearts were then blessed as our Japanese Missionary sisters ministered to us in song. Singing with the voice of angels, we were moved by the joy and love that flowed with each melody. We are most thankful to our Regional Director, Bishop Weon Kim for his leadership and vision; and for supporting Selma’s efforts as well as the efforts of other ACLC members around the state, around the region, and nationally. We thank our Vice Regional Director FFWPU, Rev. Yamane for her support. Now, on to Capitol Hill and Jerusalem, Israel.
After the Prayer Breakfast, Rev. Jenkins, Bishop Kim and Rev. Yamane (not pictured) visited Pastor Rawls’ church – Hopewell Baptist Church. For seven years, there was a picture of a cross on the church sign. In March 2003, Hopewell traded its cross for a crown. Pastor Rawls has since had the signs redone – removing the cross and replacing it with a crown. Before departing, Rev. Jenkins offered prayer for God’s blessings upon Hopewell; that the saints in the spirit world guide us and help us usher in the Kingdom of God. Amen.
Download entire page and pages related to it in ZIP format
Table of Contents