Articles From the October 1995 Unification News
by Bruce Sutchar-Elk Grove, IL
It was well past midnight as we filed out of True Parents' suite and walked into the quiet late summer's night of downtown Chicago. What had just transpired was an amazing experience for one and all, as True Father had invited many of the ministers and friends up to his suite following his highly successful speech in Chicago on Sept. 12. Many of us had never witnessed such an experience. We all knew that Father had been suffering from the effects of flu and fever, and Rev. Pak had informed us that Father would probably not even meet the members after his speech. However, his fever actually broke during his speech, and he offered an open invitation for all of our CAUSA and ICC guests to join him in his suite following the event.
All in all, over 50 guests took the elevator up to the Governor's Suite on the 40th floor of the Marriott Hotel on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. The guests included Rev. and Mrs. Amos Waller, who had arranged with the mayor's office of the city of Chicago to provide True Father with a police escort from O'Hare Airport to the hotel. Rev. Waller had been so inspired by Father's vision of the Holy Blessing that he opened the doors of his church to all of the ministers in Chicago. As a result, 42 couples were blessed in Rev. Waller's Mercy Seat Missionary Baptist Church on Thursday, Aug. 24. Now the newly blessed couple, Rev. and Mrs. Amos Waller, were meeting True Father for the first time. But Rev. Waller also shared with us that back in 1981, during the time of Father's court case, he had had a dream. In that dream, he was standing on a stage in front of an auditorium filled with people, and he was shaking hands with Rev. Moon. Now, on this very night, that 15-year-old dream had become a reality.
Also in the room was Rev. A.I. Dunlap. Rev. Dunlap had given the opening remarks during the program, and the result was that each of the 2000 guests in the room were standing on their feet applauding. For Rev. Dunlap, Father was the one man in America who was bringing all races together, the one man in America who was actually carrying out Dr. Martin Luther King's dream. We have been having a joint service with Rev. Dunlap in his Mt. Olive A.M.E. Church on the south side of Chicago for the past 11 years. On True Parents' Birthday in 1993, Rev. Dunlap came to New York to present Father with a beautiful trophy on behalf of American Christianity for his successful speaking tour across the United States. And Rev. Dunlap had also participated in the Holy Wedding Ceremony in Rev. Waller's church. Rev. Dunlap has become a major spokesman for our church in Chicago. He had been interviewed by CBS radio and the local Christian television station. He has met the head of NBC television in Chicago and the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune in order to inform them about our True Parents' ecumenical activities. And most importantly, Rev. Dunlap was one of five ministers who went to jail in order to defend Father's name in Chicago (nothing new for Rev. Dunlap who had been imprisoned 39 prior times for his work in the civil rights movement).
And the list would go on and on from 83-years-young Rev. M.E. Sardon, Major General Ted W. Sorensen (who sat on the floor right in front of True Parents), Dr. and Mrs. Jakie Roberts (also recently blessed), Rev. Tom Lee, a CAUSA graduate who is now Mayor Daley's special assistant and who had come to the event to read the mayor's greetings to True Father. Also present were many of Chicago's most outstanding Hispanic leaders, including Rev. and Mrs. Jose Lozano, Dr. and Mrs. Guillermo Bauta, Dr. and Mrs. Guillermo Mendez, and Dr. and Mrs. Amado Egues, who together had presented plaques to Father at the end of his speech, honoring him for his successful South American tour and the victorious Blessing of 360,000 Couples throughout the world.
And Father in his most loving way taught these ministers and guests for over two hours following his public speech. He transformed his 40th floor suite into the Belvedere Training Center. He loved them, he appreciated them and he implored them from the bottom of his soul to live a Principled lifestyle. He explained the Holy Blessing and he taught the Divine Principle directly to each of the guests. At one point, as Father explained the true meaning of the Holy Blessing as the world's only salvation and solution from the AIDS epidemic, Col. Han was forced to translate through his tears. At another point, we thanked Father for everything, in an attempt to let him go to bed and rest, but he just continued to teach us until well past midnight. In such a small room, you could feel the love and the truth coming out from every pore of Father's body.
Our event had been a success. Under the guidance and leadership of our regional director, Rev. Jong Bok Hong, our membership and leadership had come together in heart and spirit to work as one body toward the goal of bringing a successful event for our True Parents. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that over 2000 people were in attendance. People were standing three deep along the back and side walls and an adjacent room with a closed circuit television was filled to capacity. Along with the letter of greeting from the mayor, there were proclamations from the governor of Illinois and the city of Chicago, letters of greeting from the state treasurer and the U.S. congressional majority whip. Father Lawrence Fares, a Catholic priest from Detroit, had flown into Chicago to offer the invocation and a number of choirs along with the Rev. Walter Butts had filled the hall with the sweet spirit of gospel music.
But it was Father's gifts which left the most lasting impression. Whether it was his teaching of True Love and True Family shared with the guests or the more intimate talk given upstairs, everyone who came left with a lasting impression of the True Love of God. And we left with a much deeper sense of True Parents' desperate effort to save mankind.
The next morning the headline in the Chicago Sun-Times read: "Reverend Moon Answer his Critics." The incredibly positive full-page article showed a beautiful picture of Father smiling broadly at Dr. Morton Kaplan, who had just hugged Father following his brilliant introductory remarks. And the caption below read: "The entire world did everything it could to put an end to me, yet I did not die, and today I am firmly standing on the top of the world."
Following the event, I had a discussion with the religion editor of one of the most influential national daily newspapers in America. The editor remarked to me that he has been studying Father's life. He then noted that after 40 years of struggling against so many forces that have opposed him, he realizes that Rev. Moon is continuing to succeed ever more and more. The editor then related that he is seriously examining and wondering theologically: What if? What if Rev. Moon is the Messiah?
Yes: what if?
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