Unification News for

January 1998


Chicago True Family Values Awards Banquet

by Richard Lemont-Chicago

The True Family Values Festival Second Annual Awards Banquet, Marriage Rededication & Awards Ceremony took place at the Martinique Restaurant in Chicago on December 27, 1997.

When Rev. Ki Hun Kim , Midwest Regional Director, and Rev. Joong Hyun Pak, the Continental Director arrived in Montevideo Uruguay on Dec. 30 they were invited to a private dinner with True Father. Rev. Pak and Rev. Kim showed Father the album of pictures taken at the event and reported details of the highly successful event. True Father excitedly turned the pages of photographs and smiled broadly as he listened intently to the victorious report.

"True Father was very inspired." Rev. Kim said. " Father said to make a videotape and give it to every region." So each Regional HQ can expect to receive a copy of the video recording the event and hopefully stage their own victorious events.

"There was a real family spirit." Rev. Kim added. "The main thing was that even guests were not like outsiders, they were our blessed family members. We blessed 700 at that time."

Overflow Crowd

Over 1000 ministers and lay leaders from a broad range of different denominations and churches in Chicago attended the banquet and awards ceremony. 20 bishops and 100 pastors attended bringing their assistant ministers and lay leaders with them.

Maria Helena Tonneyck, True Family Values Coordinator, said "It is amazing the quality of pastors that we could bring to this event. We could never do that 4 years ago. As True Father says the spirit world is coming down to help us. If we make the effort and commit ourselves to follow Father's direction we are able to bring this kind of victory. I worked with Rev. Barrett for 4 years, for Dr. Taylor I've been working with him for less than 6 months. So only through God's power we can continue and this kind of blessing can come."

Yukimi Lemont, Coordinator for True Family Values said, "On Dec. 5, Rev. Kim told me to help organize the banquet together with Rev. Jenkins and Maria Helena, to find the date, location and money. I was so lucky, when I called the Martinique Restaurant the owner himself answered and he gave us an incredible discount. Not only that, he personally took total responsibility until the end. When I asked him how he could do that he said "I am the owner! I can do anything here!' He said that he thought this group was very special."

True Family Ministries reserved a huge banquet hall with 70 tables besides the head table for the speakers and VIPs. Each table was set for 10 guests originally but it wasn't enough. Waiters were forced to add chairs to each table to seat 12 as more and more guests continued to arrive. Eventually an overflow room was setup and more excited guests crowded into their seats. Well over 1000 people attended.

Kathleen Sometani, WFWP Midwest Regional Chairwoman reported afterwards, "We were totally disorganized as far as seating was concerned, the ministers were expecting to sit at specific tables. At the end we were searching for seats even for some VIPs. When Rev. Chisum from The Gift of God Ministry came in and asked us how we were doing I told him 'We're not as well organized as your are.' He smiled and looked around and then leaned over and whispered 'Well, don’t tell anybody! They'd never know it. ' "

Attending Ministers

The event drew influential pastors and ministers clear across the denominational range. The head table seated a Catholic Monsignor, three bishops and Baptist, COGIC, Muslim, Pentecostal and Unificationist representatives as well as the featured speakers and Rev. Ki Hun Kim and Rev. Joong Hyun Pak.

Rev. Melvin T. Jones is the pastor of the 2000 member Union Missionary Baptist Church in Lansing, Michigan as well as serving as MBC district president in Michigan. He sent 1 bus to RFK Stadium before flying in and taking a seat at the head table. "He was smiling all the time. " said Rev. Hitoshi Onishi, former city leader in Lansing Michigan. Rev. Onishi has worked with Rev. Jones since 1985. " He went to ICC in Korea, Mother's UN speech and many other events. He was happy to see many Christian leaders."

Awards Ceremony

The True Family Values Awards went to strong ministers who reflected the passage from Joshua 1:9 inscribed on their plaques below the brilliantly colored emblem of The True Family Values Ministry; "Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest."

Pastor Michael Eaddy received the TFV 1997 Public Leadership Award. Pastor T.L. Barrett, Jr. from Life Center COGIC received the TFV 1997 National Leadership Award. Rev. Dr. Amos Waller from Mercy Seat BC was awarded the TFV Leadership Award. Rev. Thomas Jackson, Jr. from New Original COGIC received the TFV Award for Outstanding Vision, Faith and Commitment. Rev. Connie and Dr. Emmanuel Bansa won the TFV Outstanding Pastor Couple of the Year Award.

All of these pastors worked tirelessly for the TFV Marriage Rededication Ceremonies in Chicago. They all brought their congregations to attend RFK Blessing '97. They were well deserving of their recognition.

Speeches, Blessing

The guests were treated to two powerful speeches by 2 great men of God. The first Guest speaker was Dr. Hycel Taylor, a former President of Operation PUSH and pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Evanston Illinois. He is a close friend of Jesse Jackson and well known to many of the ministers who attended. His speech supported TFV in it's quest to strengthen the family and stop family breakdown and acknowledged Dr. Moon's work in this regard. Everybody was very excited.

The second Guest Speaker was Continental Director Joong Hyun Pak. Rev. Pak moved people deeply when he announced that we can only enter heaven as a couple. He concluded by announcing the 360 Million blessing to enthusiastic applause.

Finally, we concluded with a Rededication of marriage ceremony. 700 people received the blessing as our ushers moved through the crowded aisles with their wine and holy water. Each guest had a copy of the 4 vows printed on the back cover of the banquet program. These men and women of God could feel God was working and heeded His call.

Secrets of Success

How was the True Family Values Ministry able to bring this kind of success in Chicago?

Yukimi Lemont, coordinator for True Family Values Ministry said that "The reason for our victory was that Rev. Kim brought unity between all the tribal messiahs centered on the department leaders and Rev. Kim and Rev. Jenkins and Rev. Vincenz. Also, the tribal messiahs visited churches. Each tribal messiah has at least 1 church which they visit each Sunday and mobilized to Washington DC for RFK Stadium. After RFK Blessing '97 I felt bad because the stadium wasn't packed and I repented. All pastors and ministers are True Parent's spiritual children. I told Rev. Kim we can invite 1200 people. Yet 1 week before the event we only had 700 confirmations. I heard a voice, God said 'Bring 1,000. If you bring 1000 ministers big blessing will come to Chicago. Call the pastors and ministers. As many as you call, they will come' "

Kathleen Sometani, WFWP Midwest Regional Chairwoman said "Clearly the networking was important. People who went to the Blessing brought people to the Awards Banquet. People were getting inspired. Rev. Charles Horn brought 20 people to RFK and 30 to the banquet. I saw that a lot, people bringing new people. I saw a nice blend of old friends and new people."

Rev. Hitoshi Onishi added "Rev. James W. Hampton from Zion Healing Temple Cogic came with 40 members of his congregation, he was very happy."

Mrs. Sometani concluded "For a lot of our guests it's very wonderful that in our community they interact with us in WFWP, True Family Values ...we get them from all sides. One TFV awardee was originally a WFWP guest. We had connections with a lot of churches for a long time. The big point was the tribal Messiahs visiting churches and worshipping with them. Rev. Kim really insisted we open up the churches by fellowshipping. Many congregations were very moved. Yukimi Lemont and Maria Helena Tonneyck made the first contact but it took all of us working together. Our congregation going out won the hearts of the minister and the congregations They are happy to see us worshipping with them"

Rev. Lloyd Hudson, state leader for Illinois said "It was historical because we were able to raise a donation at the end." Rev. Leroy Elliott, a popular Chicago Radio Ministry pastor and pastor at New Greater St. John MBC gave the Benediction and started a collection of a love offering. Over $4000 was collected. "Some new ministers and our old ministers were able to make offerings of $50 and up. One minister who is fairly new to us even donated $150. Based on that kind of victory we can see more and more ministers showing gratitude for the events we put on and True Father's vision." Rev. Hudson added.

Bearing Fruit

Events such as this bring many kinds of blessing. Through serving and working with Christian leaders such as these Rev. Ki Hun Kim, Midwest Regional Director has been invited to join the Board for the Coalition of Religious Leaders in Illinois. This prestigious position puts him on the Board alongside Francis George, Archbishop for the Archdiocese of Chicago and bishops from other mainstream denominations and leaders of important religious organizations in the Midwest. The Coalition has asked Rev. Kim to read a passage from the Bible on January 11, 1998 at a Commemorative Salute program honoring the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Archbishop of Chicago, Bishop Louis Henry Ford and Bishop Shepard Little. The Coalition will host many religious, civic and political leaders in honoring the accomplishments and service to humanity of these men.

Also, for the second year in a row Rev. Kim has received an invitation from Richard M. Daily, Mayor of Chicago to attend the Mayor's program honoring Dr. Martin Luther King on Jan. 15, 1998. Last year Rev. Kim was 1 of 3 ministers asked to pray on this solemn occasion. His prayer brought loud applause and congratulations on his heartistic understanding of this man of God. In ways such as this we can reach those religious leaders that God has prepared to receive His Blessing.

Captions for photos for Chicago TFV Awards Banquet Dec, 27, 1997

Photo 1

An overflow crowd attended TFV Awards Banquet in Chicago

Photo 2

same as photo 1; right side wide view of room

An overflow crowd attended TFV Awards Banquet in Chicago

Photo 3

Love offering is taken as collection plate is passed at TFV Banquet.

Photo 4

Left to right; Rev. Joong Hyun Pak; Mrs. Pak; Mr. Chuck Bowen, Special Assistant to Mayor Richard M. Daley; Rev. Mike Jenkins, TFV; Rev. Dr. Amos Waller; Rev and Mrs. Ki Hun Kim.

Photo 5

Rev. Joong Hyun Pak brought applause with his announcement of the 360 Million blessing.

Photo 6

Rev. Pak stands with Rev. Thomas Jackson, Jr. the President of South Shore Ministerial Association as he receives TFV Leadership Award.

Photo 7

Guest speaker Dr. Hycel Taylor, Pastor of 2nd Baptist Church and former President of Operation PUSH.

Photo 8

Ministers and congregation take part in Marriage Rededication Ceremony. 700 were blessed.

Photo 9

Ministers and congregation take part in Marriage Rededication Ceremony. 700 were blessed.

Photo 10

1800 ministers and church members from Chicago traveled to RFK Blessing '97. 30 buses from Chicago filled Hyatt Regency in Washington DC. Here Chicago ministers fill banquet room the night before RFK Blessing.

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