Articles from the August 1997 Unification News

Rev. Sharpton Blesses as "The Prince of Peace"

Rev. Juanita Pierre-Louis,-NYC

The Grand Ballroom of the historic New Yorker Hotel became the house of harmony and Holy Blessing on July 24, l997, at 8:00 pm. Rev. and Mrs. Al Sharpton were inaugurated as Co-Chairs of the Coalition for Harmony and made altar calls to ministers and elders from around the country to rededicate their families and marriages to God.

Reverend Sharpton, father, husband, mayoral candidate and President of the National Action Network became Co-chairman of the Coalition for Harmony. The Coalition for Harmony was founded by Rev. Joong Hyun Pak and Rev. Simon T. Levine in 1990. This coalition was formed to address a racially intense situation in Brooklyn, New York during the Korean store boycott. Many people misunderstood Rev. Sharptons' leadership at this time. Rev. Pak, 1st Co-chair said that under Rev. Sharptons advice and prayerful watch, the boycott came to a peaceful end. Amidst the climate of racial injustice and tension the Coalition for Harmony was a force to create unity and resolve conflicts through the spirit and heart of true love and family values.

Respecting differences in belief and opinion, the Coalition for Harmony advances the theme of working together to achieve common objectives and provides a forum for God-centered solutions based on a multi-racial, multi-cultural foundation.

At this inauguration, The Rev. Simon T. Levine, Award for Harmony was given to Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Mt. Vernon, N.Y. and former Secretary General to the National Baptist Conference, Father Arthur Minichello, St. Dominic Roman Catholic Church, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and Father Oswaldo Cardenias, St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Sunset, Brooklyn, NY. One of the recipients of the award, recalled Rev. Sharpton's part in the Korean Store boycott and heralded him "The Prince of Peace".

Reverend Simon T. Levine was the founder and pastor of the church of The Open Door A.M.E. Rev. Levine passed into his eternal life on January 27th, l996. In honor of a distinguished man or woman of service to God and His or Her church, the award is presented to an individual for outstanding devotion and service to the community.

True Family Values Ministry Presentation

After the inauguration of Rev. Sharpton and Mrs. Kathy Jordan Sharpton as Co-Chairs of The Coalition for Harmony, Dr. Tyler Hendricks, President of The True Family Value Ministry of America, gave an eye opening and very informative presentation on True family values.

The True Family Values Ministry seeks to empower families of the world by renewing marriage and family life thorough God's gracious love, education and reaffirmation of the sanctity of marriage.

The ministry is dedicated to bringing families to God, helping one another fulfill our God-given potential, and making our families those in which God's love can dwell anew.

Dr. Hendricks pointed out that more and more objective scientific research points to the fact that the host of ills that beset our society-crime, drugs, poverty, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.-are rooted in the breakdown of the family. Only by strengthening our families can we hope to have a prosperous, safe and , and healthy society. But how do we strengthen the family? Through the father - mother relationship centered on God, children learn the essence of love. As they grow and develop centered on this essence, they themselves become aware of a God-centered love, which they can learn to give. In The world there are so many variations of family life, that some communities depend heavily upon the extended family ,especially grandparents ,to raise children, where the nuclear family (father & mother) is not intact.

But at this time The True Family Value Ministry is celebrating marriage, by helping couples to rededicate their life to God. so that their families can be stronger, their communities safer and our world a better place to live for all. Dr. Hendricks received a round of applause.

The Charge

Mr. Allan Inman and Rev. Juanita Pierre-Louis , Master and Mistress of Ceremony then gave an arousing introduction too Rev. Al Sharpton as he entered the stage. The crowd stood enthusiastically and applauded Rev Sharpton as he mounted the podium.

The Reverend began immediately to challenge and charge the enthusiastic audience with the order of the night, to rededicate their marriage and family to God, and recognizing the messenger.

Rev. Sharpton spoke candidly about the Million Man March, he stated that there are those who would not support the Million Man March because they didn't like Minister Farrakan. But we never know who God will choose as His messenger. It is the Message that counts.

And to the accusations about his affiliation with Rev. Sun Myung Moon and the True Family Value Ministry, he decreed that, the world needs the message of true families. I don't care if it comes from Rev. Moon, Rev. Sun or Rev. midnight. This is the message God is sending us today".

The African-American Family

Rev. Sharpton said that the white Christians had sought to destroy the black people by tearing apart their marriages and families, because they knew that if you destroy marriage and family, you destroy the life of the people. Therefore, we must restore, rebuild, and strengthen the marriages and families of Black America and that's why he's working with the True family value ministry.

He masterfully linked the cause of family values with the cause of social justice, saying that true family life leads to mutual respect, fairness, and justice . The Reverend said that if men have the support of their wives and wives the support of their husbands, they can take on the difficulties of society. He doesn't need approval from Mayor Giuliani, he said, because he has the complete love and approval of his wife. When he leaves home in the morning. There was laughter and approval for the audience. He reiterated that for all these reasons, he has rededicated his marriage, plus, he added, Kathy(his wife) wanted to do it.

With these and other soul stirring words, Rev. Al and Mrs. Kathy Sharpton , newly appointed co-chairs of the Coalition for Harmony and Advisors to the True Family Value Ministry inspired fifty prominent clergy and elders to come forward and rededicate their marriages.

It was an eternal moment of God's love when the Paks and Sharptons stood in front of the stage, and between forty and fifty couples from an audience of 250 (many of whom were clergy who have already received the blessing) stood up and made their way to the front. Then all received Rev. Sharpton's Holy wine Ceremony prayer, then the sprinkling, Blessing vows and Blessing prayer from Rev. Pak.

The evening was celebrative, festive, and Blessed!

Rev. Juanita Pierre-Louis is the Asst. Director of the True Family Value Ministry of Harlem.

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