Unification News for April 2001
March 28 - St. Louis, Missouri
The city of the Gateway Arch rolled out the welcome mat for the "We Will Stand" national interfaith tour.
The appearance before more than 900 people at the Regal Riverfront Hotel in Saint Louis was the 31st day in the 31st state of his 51-day, national tour. The theme remained constant: "Rebuild the family, restore the community and renew the nation."
The keynote speaker was Father Sun Myung Moon.
A local Christian radio show provided some controversy and excitement prior to the event. Reverend Michael Jenkins, president of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) was interviewed on the show and was heard to affirm the salvific power that comes through the blood on the cross.
But he was also challenging and asked: "Why is it that when a born-again man and a born-again woman give birth to children they are born in sin?"
"Christian pastors are coming together because they feel that the spirit of Jesus Christ has anointed Father and Mother Moon. Jesus said, Greater works will you do than I have done. It's because of the transfer of that anointing by Jesus to Father Moon that this work goes on."
Every day on the radio they were calling for "Christians" to unite together in protest and to try to cancel the event. Calls went to the hotel and the media.
The spirit of faith, hope, and love prevailed.
Reverend Bradford of the Shiloh African Methodist Episcopal Church who was on the invitational committee stood strong despite some of the calls he received.
He told one concerned caller and brother: "I don't know you, and all I do know is that now you're trying to advise me how to run my church, but you never even took the time to come and visit my church. "
Reverend Bradford had walked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and had been through church bombings and burnings, but he was still alarmed by the viciousness of these verbal attacks.
A special police escort was given to the keynote speaker and the other ministers accompanying him supported by overhead helicopter.
The program that night was truly one of great inspiration born through challenge.
Bishop Erma Canada was the pre-program emcee.
There was a choir of over 100 members from her church and Archbishop West's church that rocked the house.
Dr. Hycel Taylor expressed in his message to the assembled that the ideal family that Father Moon espouses is the model and hope for our nation and communities.
"Father Moon, like Jesus, doesn't need anyone to validate him. He is a prophet in his own right. We can feel the spirit of the Lord is upon him."
Dr. Taylor said he had looked at the fruits of the ministry and found that the fruits were good.
"The first fruit is that of world peace. Father Moon is effectively calling religious leaders together from all the world religions to form an advisory council for world leaders.
"The second fruit is the blessing of marriage and the strengthening of the family. The marriage movement and the rededication of marriage initiated by Father and Mother Moon have had enormous impact on strengthening families throughout America.
"The third fruit is that of breaking down the racial and denominational walls. Father Moon's support of the Million Family March and his efforts to bring denominations together are having an effective impact on all of Christendom."
Imam Donald Muhammad, leader of a local Nation of Islam Mosque and one of several hundred area clergy supporting the conference said:
"If America would hear and welcome the message of Reverend Moon, this nation would be able to have salvation."
Father Moon spoke for about two hours in Korean with Mr. Peter Kim giving translation to his impromptu and prepared remarks.
"The family unit is at the core of a healthy community and nation," he said. He and his wife have 12 children and more than 40 grandchildren.
When he asked who was seeing him for the first time, almost everyone raised their hands.
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