Unification News for March 2001

Rev. Moon's 50 City Tour - Atlanta, GAŚMarch 4

On a sunny Sunday afternoon a crowd of over 2,600 people gathered at the Renaissance Concourse Hotel for a magnificent interfaith program. It was SRO (standing room only) as a beaming Father Moon in the company of several ministers from different Christian denominations was warmly welcomed to the peachy state of Georgia.

Family renewal, racial reconciliation, and inter-religious cooperation were the themes.

After a brief reception with hors d'oeuvres, the master of ceremonies, Reverend Thomas Cutts, Regional Director of the American Family Coalition, began the formal program at around 3:30 p.m.

The Rev. Vernice Austin, Pastor of the Union City United Methodist Church, Union City, Georgia, offered the invocation.

Several choirs sang during the preliminary program and banquet. The Top Garden Academy choir, from Bayou la Batre, Alabama sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic and was directed by the Rev. Joshua Cotter.

The Cathedral of Divine Love Choir filled the hall with the Holy Spirit.

The Rev. Elay Kasongo led a Choir composed of black, white, and Asian singers from the Atlanta Family Church. There were also performances by a group of Japanese missionaries, the Southwest Congregational Church, the Welcome Grove Baptist Church, the Quality Living Services, Light of the World Ministries, and the Second Chance Gospel Ministry Choir from Mobile, Alabama directed by Evangelist Loretta Handy who sang a stirring original song.

Four preachers spoke before the keynote address ; Bishop Jonathan Greer, Pastor of the Cathedral of Divine Love in Atlanta; the Rev. Connie Crawford Bansa, Pastor of the Church of the Living God of Chicago, Illinois; the Rev. Michael Jenkins, President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification; and the Rev. Jesse Edwards, Pastor of a United Pentecostals Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Greer addressed the need for unity within the body of Christ, Rev. Bansa affirmed that "God has anointed the work of Father Moon, Rev. Jenkins shared the spirit and activities of the American Clergy Leadership Conference, and Rev. Edwards challenged everyone to look beyond their racial and denominational differences to work together to end racism and divorce.

Proclamations and congratulatory letters were received from Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor, Mayor Bill Campbell of Atlanta, Mayor P. Hillard of East Point, Mayor Burns of Stone Mountain, and from the counties of Clayton and DeKaIb.

Rev. Charles Sanders, Pastor of the Southwest Congregational Church in Atlanta offered a prayer for unity.

State Senator Donzella James of the 35 Senate District of Georgia, formerly and quite familiarly, welcomed Father and Mother Moon to Atlanta.

Father Moon's keynote address began with impromptu remarks that lasted about an hour. He then read spiritedly from his text, inserting a few remarks here and there as Mr. Peter Kim gave simultaneous translation. Dr. Charles Carpenter, the Director of Pastoral Care at the Southern Regional Hospital in Atlanta, remarked that the speech was so fascinating that it felt like the two hours were only about forty minutes.

It was a deeply profound message. At one point, he asked which was more important "love", "life", or "lineage" ? The audience answered "love", but Father Moon stated that lineage has the most value. He spoke about the Heart of God, and God's longing for grandchildren. He was drenched with sweat by the end.

Following the speech, Father and Mother Moon were presented with a beautiful bouquet by Rev. Grafton Pressley and his wife, Carol Pressley. He is the retired Senior Pastor at the Decatur First United Methodist Church, and one time supervisor over the entire North Georgia district.

Mr. Yong Sam Yang was presented an award for his work with young people, and for his facilitating racial reconciliation between the Korean and African American communities. Dr. Al Stewart the Founder and President of the Institute of the Christian World presented the award.

Plaques congratulating and saluting Father Moon and the tour were presented by two national Korean community leaders, Mr. Kyung Hwan Kim, the President of the Atlanta Korean Association, and Mr. Jun Shik Ru, the Vice President of the Korean Commercial Association of America.

Freedom, Faith and Family Awards were presented to five community leaders. The first was a posthumous award to the Rev. Dr. Hosea Williams for his risking his life in the Civil Rights Movement and for his continued work with the Hosea Feed the Hungry Program. The award was presented by Bishop Man Ho Kim, Southeast Regional Director of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, and received by Mr. Cedrick Shelton, Executive Director of the Jericho Road Project in Atlanta.

Mr. Jim Conway, the past President of the General Ray Davis Chapter of the Korean War Veterans received an award on behalf of Korean War Veterans. The award was presented by Dr. Chang Shik Yang, the North American Continental Director of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.

Mr. Ed McAteer, the Founder and National President of the Religious Roundtable, received an award for bringing moral values to public policy and for promoting Christian and Jewish cooperation. It was his organization that galvanized the religious community around then-Governor Ronald Reagan as candidate for U.S. President. Mr. McAteer was also instrumental in the founding of the Moral Majority. He was presented his award by State Senator Donzella James.

Dr. Harris Travis and his wife, Mrs. Georgia Travis, received recognition for their 37 years of marriage and their ministry to young people and to couples. He is the Senior Pastor of the historic Zion Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia.

State Representative Henrietta Turnquest, the Governor's Floor Leader, presented the award to the Dr. and Mrs. Travis. Several other presentations were also made in appreciation to Father and Mother Moon.

Father Moon himself then presented gold watches to Bishop Willie Malcom, Rev. Charles Carpenter, State Senator Donzella James, Rev. Charles Sanders, and Bishop Jonathan. A drawing for four more gold watches was then held.

Dr. Charles Carpenter, the Director of Pastoral Care at the Southern Regional Hospital, concluded the program by reading some passages from another of Father Moon's sermons, "In Search of the Origins of the Universe."

ŚRegional report

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