Articles From the November 1995 Unification News


Celebration of a Heavenly March into the Bright Future: Dr. David S. C. Kim's Eightieth Birthday

by Dr. Tyler Hendricks, UTS `78

It took eighty years for us to figure out how to make Dr. David S. C. Kim speechless. Mind you, it lasted only a few minutes, but he was definitely speechless.

The occasion was the celebration of Dr. Kim's eightieth birthday, a landmark in Korean family tradition. It took place on Wednesday, November 8, beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the dining room of the Unification Theological Seminary, protected from the cold day by beautiful new windows. The room was full of guests: fellow members of the Thirty Six Couples Blessing Col. and Mrs. Sang Kil Han, Rev. and Mrs. Byung Ho Kim, Mrs. Keum Soon Park and Mrs. Seang Ryun Chi Lee. Continental Director Joong Hyun Pak, Reverend Zin Moon Kim, representing Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, Reverend and Mrs. Do Hee Park, Rev. Chong Jik Woo of Washington, D.C., Mr. and Mrs. Peter Kim, Dr. and Mrs. Kyung Hee Chin, Dr. Anthony Guerra, Mr. and Mrs. Masahisa Kobayashi, Rev. and Mrs. Farley Jones, Dr. Shin Wook Kim (Lady Dr. Kim) and a host of others were there, including of course Dr. Theodore Shimmyo, President of the Seminary, and the entire UTS community. Many Regional Directors from around the country, who had attended a national conference the preceding day, also came: Rev. Kim of Boston, Rev. An of Atlanta, Rev. Lee of Minneapolis, Rev. You of Dallas, Rev. Shin of Denver and Rev. Kim of Seattle. A special guest flew in from California, Dr. and Mrs. Kim's son Hyun Soo Kim, representing the Kim family in California.

The bounty of food perhaps even surpassed the impact of the surfeit of loving faces. Each table was literally overflowing with Korean and Japanese dishes: kalbi, bul-gogi, chap-chae, sushi, miso, a concord grape purple and orange fruit cocktail, and many kinds of vegetables and banchan. Seminary chef Christopher Jordon truly outdid himself and just about everyone else in the country on this one. The colorful dishes and flowers sparkled in the bright light of the shining faces as everyone turned to welcome Dr. and Mrs. Kim into the hall. At that moment a stirring triumphal march filled the room and Dr. Kim, master of every moment when everyone else fails, was . . . truly . . . speechless. His wordless happiness made everyone else even more happy, and the cheering and applause continued as he and Mrs. Kim circled the table, shaking everyone's hands and greeting us all warmly.

Master of Ceremonies Gareth Davies then invited Mrs. Therese Stewart, Academic Dean (ret.) of the Seminary, to offer a heartfelt opening prayer. Following the prayer, Dr. Tyler Hendricks, Unification Church President, called for a toast:

Ladies and Gentlemen; Let us give a toast to a vigorous and victorious life; a life of proclamation and celebration; a life of optimistic, energetic investment for God and mankind; We raise our glasses in cheer, for Dr. David Sang Chul Kim!

Dr. and Mrs. Kim then ascended the stage to cut the wonderfully decorated, white three-part birthday cake, with a flourish. Mrs. Eui Hong Kang Kim, Dr. Kim's wife of fifty five years, and mother of their five children, wore a Korean haengbok, and was, as she always, a lovely woman who by her presence brought the holy spirit into the room. By now having recovered his composure, Dr. Kim caught the moment before anyone else to initiate the singing of a jubilant Happy Birthday to You!

The assembled celebrants immediately sat down to engage in the serious and somewhat daunting task of reducing the mountains of food upon the tables to more human proportions, and, while enjoyed enormously the challenging work, none were very successful. We took comfort in knowing that the scrupulous Mr. Jordan would transform the considerable leftovers into delicious entrees for the large student body for the next several days.

Following the meal and cake, Mrs. ___ ascended the stage, and offered two songs, and a third by popular demand. Her light soprano voice tripped across the Korean melodies like a bird across a babbling mountain stream, refreshing everyone with pure, embracing charm.

Three student choirs followed Mrs. Lee. One, the UTS Choir, second the Won Hwa Do Choir, made up of students who practice martial arts, and third the African Students Ensemble, made up of students from Africa, or whose spouses are African. The entertainment closed with a solo performance of Korean traditionals by Rev. Dong Suk Ku.

The first congratulatory address was presented by Continental Director Reverend Joong Hyun Pak. Reverend Pak reminisced about the impression made upon him by Dr. and Mrs. Kim in the early days of 1957 in Korea. Rev. Pak was in high school, a young missionary, and he recalled Dr. Kim's energetic and inspiring sermons, and Mrs. Kim sacrificial life. He lauded Dr. Kim's pioneer work in Oregon, mentioning that he had often traveled there when he was Northwest Regional Director, and had sensed the spiritual foundation of Dr. Kim's early days there.

Reverend Zin Moon Kim, Deputy Director of HSA-UWC International and Continental Director of South America, read a letter of congratulations from Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak, President of the Unification Church of Korea and Director of HSA-UWC International. He then gave a full bow of respect to Dr. Kim.

Dr. Theodore Shimmyo expressed his gratitude for Dr. Kim's pioneering work with the Seminary. He professed that he always was carefully studying Dr. Kim's leadership and that he learned much from it. He also praised Mrs. Kim as the great woman behind the great man. He also bowed to Dr. Kim representing the Seminary and its graduates.

This was followed by remarks from New Testament professor Dr. Richard Arthur. Dr. Arthur's remarks were light-hearted and made everyone laugh, as he said that he was given to expect to meet an elderly man, but instead met a vital, energetic person who lifted up everyone around him.

Rev. Byung Ho Kim, publisher of New York's Sae Gae Times newspaper, and fellow Thirty Six Couple, testified how much he loves and respects Dr. Kim. His words were deeply emotional, as he said, "There is no reason; I simply like him."

Finally Dr. Kim himself took the stage. He abandoned his prepared notes, as time was running short before 3 p.m. classes were to begin, and, he said, he always respects the Seminary's class schedule. His remarks drew upon the passage from Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 5 verses 16-18, "Rejoice always; Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks-for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." He gave glory to God for his years of freedom to serve Him. And he stressed very strongly the need for absolute obedience. [See text of speech.]

The speech was greeted with a standing ovation. Truly for a man of eighty to return to the founding principles of faith is a refreshing reminder that the spirit is ageless, and it will guide us into eternity.

Following the speech, Reverend Farley Jones, UTS `78 and President of the Family Federation for Unification and World Peace, presented a plaque and gift to Dr. Kim. He also offered a full bow, representing all the brothers and sisters in America to their "spiritual grandfather".

Rev. Do Hee Park, a member of the Seventy Two Couple Blessing, and Regional Director of New Jersey, led the assembly in a rousing cheer of four mansei's in respect to Dr. David S. C. Kim and the heritage he has created as one of the earliest and most-beloved disciples of our True Parents in America.

Dr. Kim's work continues apace, even in retirement from Seminary leadershiop. On the fortieth anniversary of the Unification Church, of which is the only surviving founding member other than Reverend Moon, he established the Marriage and Family Institute of America. Understanding that marriage and the family are the foundation for world peace and happiness, Dr. Kim is continually sharing his research into this field. He presents seminars in this subject frequently. He is an ex-officio member of the UTS Board of Directors, a charter member of the International Religious Foundation, VIce President of the Unification Thought Institute, a radio and television producer.

Dr. Kim also maintains his interest in publishing through his Rose of Sharon Press, and is President of the International One World Crusade, Inc. Dr. Kim has written several books, including Individual Preparation for His Coming Kingdom: Interpretation of the Principle; Victory Over Communism and the Role of Religion, and the three part Day of Hope In Review series. He is listed in Who's Who in American Education, Who's Who in Religion, and Who's Who in America, and has received the Citation of Meritorious Achievement in the Dictionary of International Biography, Cambridge, England.

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