Unification News for April 2001

March 21 - Detroit, Michigan

Detroit was a good old-fashioned fight. Rev. Plummer, who has a small TV show and a few other ministers really challenged our ministers in Detroit. They claimed that everyone had been bought off and that Rev. Moon didn't have any real support there. This caused a headline in the Detroit Free Press entitled. "Baptist Ministers Upset by Rev. Moon's Visit". Rev. Plummer mistakenly accused the host minister of being unaware of Rev. Moon and that he was deceived. Rev. Jim Holley of Little Rock Baptist stood firm. He said he knew exactly who was coming and he didn't have the hang-ups that other narrow- minded people have. He would not cancel or change the event. This caused the media to look twice. Our media team led by Dr. Linda Boyd and Rev. Schanker sprung into action. Bishop Stallings did a counter blow interview that rocked Rev. Plummer's premise. The Pastors Are with Rev. Moon. Rev. Plummer claimed that he would stop all Christians from coming. The 120 ACLC ministers sprung into action. Rev. Wm. Revele stood very strong and helped organize the press conference. Rev. Edwards, Rev. Jenkins, Rev. Taylor, Rev. Obie Matthews of the prestigious Cornerstone Baptist Church and Rev. Tim Chambers. Every imaginable press outlet was there. The Detroit Free Press was firing away the questions.

Rev. Revele started off strong. He said that the reason he supports Rev. Moon is very simple. Rev. Moon's marriages have less than 5 % divorce rate. How can we, who have a 50% plus divorce rate say we have nothing to learn from Rev. Moon. Rev. Revele was very strong. Dr. Taylor said without question I support Rev. Moon because I've have critically reviewed the fruits of his ministry and they are good. The World Peace effort and a Religious Body at the UN. The marriage and family values movement and breaking down racial and denominational walls. These fruits are good.

The Little Rock Baptist Church was packed. The atmosphere was highly charged when we arrived at the church as three television trucks were out front. Dr. Edwards spoke, Father Moon is anointed of God and his vision is right. Bishop Stallings was so inspiring that people were jumping to their feet. Bishop Stallings did something that he was famous in a 60 Minutes show for. He jumped on top of the pews and started preaching from the pews. Dr. Taylor, who is a theologian and a thoughtful preacher, made the audience roar with laughter when, after the spirit filled inspiration of Bishop Stallings, he stated in a slow well reasoned scholarly tone. Don't expect me to do what Bishop Stallings just did !!

He then perfectly complimented the Pentecostal spirit of Rev. Edwards and the spirit filled righteousness of Bishop Stallings and gave his well-reasoned statement and powerful statement on why he supports, "WE WILL STAND". Major Christian Leaders were there. Father Sayres of St. Jude Cathedral Roman Catholic Church came upon the invitation of one of our CARP volunteers. He said that he came because he saw Father Lawrence Fares, who is renowned in Catholic circles, on the invitational committee. He was deeply inspired by Father's speech. When it came to the part on the love organs he laughed with great enthusiasm.

The next day, after all the persecution, the Detroit Free Press had a huge color picture of Father, it was very beautiful. The headline read, "Religious Leaders Call for Unity".

Before Father spoke another great woman minister took the podium. Her name is Rev. Mosey Lee Smith. She is the pastor of the famous Huggins Memorial African Methodist Episcopal church (AME) in Detroit. She is an extremely strong follower of True Parents. She got up earlier at the press conference and made it clear in no uncertain terms. "Rev. Moon has been treated the same way that Jesus was. He is absolutely beyond race, religion, and nationality. They tried to separate us. They are always trying to divide us from Godís prophets. Iím here to tell you that we will not separate from Father Moon. We Will Stand". That night She gave a fiery testimony. She said, "Iíve followed Rev. Moon for 20 years now. Iíve been lied on, talked about, cheated and mistreated but Iím not worried. This is the will of God. God has called Rev. Moon as his messenger to bring the truth. Iím so happy heís here tonight. Iím so happy to welcome him tonight. Glory to God."

When True Father spoke it was as if the whole church was transformed. The opening of his speech every night is so warm and personal that the audience quickly is transformed. Father delivers the key to the fall of man as a sexual sin each night. To my amazement Father called out to the Detroit clergy after his very specific explanation of the similarity of the love organs to the snake, "Is there anyone here that still believes that the fruit was a literal fruit?" Not one raised their hand! Then Father says, "If you believe that what I told you about the fall was the truth say Amen." The Clergy responded with great power, Amen!!! It was truly a great moment. The crime of the angel at the fall has been uncovered and the clergy know the truth.

From there Father explains the suffering course of Jesus. How he brought grace through the cross and now has promised to return. His return is now !! He sent Rev. Moon to America to carry out the will of God. To establish True Parents and to change the blood lineage. The congregation proclaimed Hallelujah.

Afterwards Father and Mother presented the Gold Watches to Rev. Revele who was absolutely steadfast in his righteousness. At the end Father and Mother shook hands with every minister that had come upon the stage. Then to everyoneís surprise he gave a bear hug to Rev. Mosey Lee Smith of the AME church. He lifted her completely up in the air! (She is quite thin) It was a special moment. The next morning at Hoon Dok Hae, to our surprise. the Detroit Free Press ran a beautiful article on the tour. A huge, almost half page picture of Father was published with the headline, "Religious leaders call for Unity."

Rev. Michael Jenkins

The half-way point of the "We Will Stand" tour was as tightly wound and highly charged as a solenoid, somehow befitting the magnetic spirit of the Motor City.

A crowd of 1500 packed Detroit's historic Little Rock Baptist Church as three television trucks stood in silent witness out front.

Unrelated, but noteworthy, across town at the Dr. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Imam W. Deen Mohammed, the most prominent African-American leader in mainline Islam, was speaking on the unity among faith groups as the key to doing God's work.

For Father Sun Myung Moon, this was his first visit to Detroit in 28 years, and fell on the exact anniversary of his last visit.

Controversy preceded the event and had started when a small "evangelical" TV show along with a few local ministers had publicly challenged the integrity and purpose of the tour. The claim was that everyone had been bought off. This brought the headline in the Detroit Free Press, "Baptist Ministers Upset by Rev. Moon's Visit".

Reverend Plummer, the TV evangelist, mistakenly accused the host minister, Reverend Jim Holley of being unaware of and deceived by Father Moon and the invitational committee of the interfaith crusade.

Reverend Jim Holley, Little Rock Baptist pastor, however, would have none of such nonsense. Reverend Holley had seen and been inspired by the fruits of Father Moon's ministry in Korea with the International Conferences of Clergy (ICC) over 10 years ago. He was so impressed with the children at Father Moon's "Little Angels School" that he has started a school himself.

He would not cancel or change the event. No sir.

This caused quite a media stir.

To add to the mixture, two Detroit preachers, the Reverend Frederick Sampson of Tabernacle Baptist Church and the Reverend Eddie Edwards came out stating that they were displeased by an invitation letter that had mistakenly listed them as co-sponsors of the event.

It was all good.

A Japanese women's choir under the guidance of Tokiko Richardson, opened the evening's program with delicate beauty and grace.

Reverend Revele of the Messiah Mission Baptist Church of northwest Detroit started the preaching off with good common sense.

"This disagreeing with folks' theology is not accomplishing anything. We have to find some middle ground."

"Father Moon's marriages have less than 5% divorce. How can we, who have a 50% plus divorce rate say we have nothing to learn from Father Moon?"

Bishop Augustus Stallings had the audience jumping to their feet. He did something that he was famous foróhe jumped on top of the pews and started preaching from there.

Dr. Hycel Taylor, an elder theologian and very thoughtful preacher, had everyone almost on the floor with laughter when he stated in a slow, scholarly tone: "Don't expect me to do what Bishop Stallings just did!"

Dr. Taylor then noted more of the fruits of Father Moon's ministry: "A supreme world peace effort, particularly the proposal of a religious body at the United Nations; a marriage and family values movement as well as sincere efforts at breaking down racial and denominational wallsóthese fruits are good."

Reverend Mosey Lee Smith, pastor of the Huggins Memorial African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church of Detroit gave a fiery testimony.

"I've followed Father Moon for 20 years now. I've been lied on, talked about, cheated and mistreated but I'm not worried. This is the will of God. God has called Father Moon as his messenger to bring the truth. I'm so happy he's here tonight. I'm so happy to welcome him tonight. Glory to God."

Father Moon's talk remained the same.

"The time has come for America to awaken once again."

"It's time for the country as a whole to create a new movement to build up true parents, true families, a true country and a true world centered on God."

Shouts of "Praise God!" and "Amen!" echoed throughout the Little Rock Baptist Church as again the message reached a diverse and receptive audience.

At the end, Father and Mother Moon shook hands with every minister that had come upon the stage and presented gold watches to several for their service to the community.

Reverend Mosey Lee Smith was one of those to receive a gold watch.

In gratitude and affection, she kissed the host. Then to everyone's delight and surprise (including Mother Moon), Father Moon gave her a big bear hug lifting her up completely into the air!

It was an unforgettable moment.

A conference is tentatively planned in May to continue the discussion and spirit of cooperation and respect. It will include faith leaders and other community pillars.

They will discuss problems plaguing the community and seek their solutions TOGETHER.

Regional report

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