Unification News for November 1998

TFV Seminars and International Night in Chicago

by Richard Lemont-Chicago, IL

Union MBC in Chicago is one of the oldest African-American congregations in Chicago and the pastor, Rev. Marvin Alexander, is one of the most powerful and respected preachers in the city. Rev. Alexander invited the True Family Values Ministry in Chicago to present a TFV Seminar at his church to his core lay leaders. Over 20 guests attended bright and early on a Saturday morning. These were the deacons and missionaries and Sunday School teachers that make a substantial success of any ministry.

We were blessed to have Rev. Steve Braxton deliver one session of the seminar. Rev. Braxton is a minister and is in charge of pastoral counseling at Progressive Community Church. Progressive has often been called 'The Mayor's Church' because Mayor Harold Washington attended services there while he was mayor of Chicago. It's Pastor, Rev. B. Herbert Martin, is a long time friend of TFV Ministry and an ICC graduate. Rev. Michael Jenkins from TFV Ministry gave a powerful presentation in the late morning portion of the Seminar. He prevailed upon Rev. Alexander to assist him in delivering the topics of "Jesus and the Holy Spirit" and "The Purpose of Marriage".

As Rev. Alexander and Rev. Braxton spoke we were able to see how the potential of TFV Ministry Seminars can be unlocked when the lectures are delivered by the capable Christian Ministers God brought to the TFV Seminars in Washington DC. It stops being teaching and becomes preaching. The cadence and delivery of a 'ministers voice' draws excited "Amen's" from the audience. The power of truth in the TFV Seminar combined with the touch of professional ministers is unstoppable.

The TFV staff from Chicago prepared coffee and doughnuts before the seminar and after a night of blitzing the night before the coffee especially was welcome as the staff set up the overhead projector and screen while guests were welcomed and workbooks and lecture manuals were distributed. We are all grateful for the planning and organization of Rev. Yukimi Lemont who organized the seminar. Rev. Hitoshi Onishi and Rev. Richard Lemont from Chicago TFVM and Japanese Missionaries Yasue Miyazaki, Hiromi Umino and Yuri Sakamoto worked hard to make the seminar a success. On this successful foundation Rev. Alexander invited Rev. Jenkins to preach at Union MBC where Rev. Jenkins was able to speak and introduce TFV Seminars to an audience of over 700. Rev. Alexander is scheduling another larger TFV Seminar at his church in the near future.

The enthusiastic report on the seminar in their church newsletter said that the "True Family Values seminar ... has encouraged many Pastors, ministers and church leaders to focus on organizing family ministries in their churches..." and that "A godly family provides the launching pad that will rocket our young people to high levels of success." TFV has invented a new kind of ministry, a family ministry.

This seminar was only one of the seminars TFV Ministry is promoting in the city of Chicago. Rev. Yukimi Lemont and Rev. Dwayne Luckett have both been organizing TFV Seminars for churches in Chicago with two different techniques. Yukimi has been inspired to by a vision of Jesus that guided her to teach the Christian Ministers to inherit and begin teaching the TFV seminars. "Make a tree of the TFV. Then the Tree of TFV will make the spirit of Christianity strong and united. TFV belongs to every denomination"

Rev. Luckett became so inspired by the potential of the TFV Seminars that, with the spiritual and financial support of Rev. Ki Hun Kim, he began organizing and giving TFV 1-day seminars to various congregations Chicago Family Church has been working with.

Rev. Luckett has organized seminars at a number of churches in Chicago and then started to give Saturday afternoon seminars at the Chicago Family Church. Our Tribal Messiahs each have Christian congregations that they visit and support. Many of them have been inviting these churches to hear a TFV Seminar at our church. Rev. Bennie Smothers, the pastor of New Holy Temple MBC sponsored the first seminar and was successful in inviting the ministers and their lay leaders to attend.

One TM, Mr. Akihiro Kudo, despite his limited English and together with Rev. Yukimi Lemont organized a TFV seminar at First Star MBC for Dr. David Cotter and his congregation. All done through the power of love. Afterwards Dr. Cotter asked Rev. Braxton and Rev. Lemont to organize another seminar for those members of his congregation who had not been able to attend and promised a feast for all who attended, their church usually retires downstairs to a potluck dinner prepared by the women in the church.

One TM couple, Bob and Jasmine LaRue have been attending and supporting Rev. Ernest Hamilton the Pastor of Greater Holy Temple COGIC and organized a TFV seminar there. Rev. Hamilton was inspired by the seminar and helped Rev. Jenkins give one session of the seminar. Afterwards he said that this was something he wants all of his ministers and leaders to hear. He said it was not just for the youth in the church but also for the married couples and parents.

One week later Rev. Hamilton stood in the pulpit at Bethel Deliverance COGIC and the pastor Rev. James Wilson, Jr. and a crowd of 100 as he delivered one session of another TFV Seminar. Rev. Braxton praised TFV as he explained how it had helped his ministry by taking him out of his own church and has him preaching before Baptist, COGIC and other denominations. After the seminar 10 couples rededicated their marriages in a Holy Communion of Marriage Blessing ceremony. God was working because after the seminar Rev. Wilson signed up to teach a TFV Seminar at another church.

7:00 am, Monday to Thursday, brothers and sisters in Chicago get in the van and quickly go out to the train stations for an hour of witnessing. They catch the commuters on their way to work or school and the businessmen and students take the flyers inviting them to an International Culture Program at 6pm Thursday evening.

During the day Tribal Messiahs come to the church center and pickup flyers before they go out for a days witnessing. Church missionaries go back out during the afternoon to nearby campuses or train stations before the regular evening program.

A regular evening program is held at the Ashland street church building with lecture and dinner on Tuesday and Wednesday but the backbone focus of the weeks witnessing is the Thursday night program.

A lady at the train station takes the flyer and asks "Do you have a different country each week? I was there last week but I'll be back; I love Japanese food." Yes ma'am that's right! Join us for a night of international cuisine, entertainment and culture! A different culture each week. A short lecture by Rev. Michael Jenkins introduces the guests to True Family Values and our workshop each weekend.

Japanese Night, Korean Night; Spanish Night; Thailand Night; Philippine Night; Russian Night; African Night and American Night. And then we start over with Japan Night again.

The Tribal Messiahs and departments and businesses all help out with preparation and cooking the meals. Rev. Jesse Avila from the Spanish Church supplied the Spanish night cooking with members and the missionaries from Peru supplying the entertainment.

On Korean Night the KEA pastor, Rev. Byung Chul Kim, emceed a program of songs and dances and costumes as the wives from the Korean community spent the week preparing the food.

The Moriya family provides Thai cooking and songs and entertainment and the next week the Philippine sisters from CARP get together with several TM wives and the mother of one sister to cook Philippine food and invite a number of important guests from the Philippine community. American members cook hamburgers and hot dogs on the barbecue as TM wives make potato salad and apple pie and Mrs. Kathleen Sometani leads a good old fashioned square dance.

The programs draw about 100 people or more with about 40 to 45 adult guests average attendance. Many of these guests return again and again for regular weekly programs or have started regularly attending Sunday Service with us.

But the big indicator is the number of guests that go on to attend a 2-day workshop at the Lake Geneva CARP workshop site. The Church and CARP and the Tribal Messiahs have been cooperating to make it a success. TM's drive guests to the workshop on weekends when church members are fundraising. Rev. Brian Winters from CARP and Rev. Michael Jenkins sharing lecturing duties with supplements as needed. TM attend and support the program with prayers and cooking and any way they can.

CARP and STF members witness downtown all week long under the leadership of Rev. Hiroshi Higashino and Rev. Shota Iwasaki and a full van goes up to the workshop each weekend, sometimes twice. One week was particularly full with 13 guests from the church of Rev. Bowers, a pastor who has worked with TFV for years. The same weekend CARP brought 23 Chinese students from local campuses.

The victories in Chicago could not have come without the support of Regional Director, Rev. Ki Hun Kim, and the entire church community of Tribal Messiahs, department leaders, businesses and CARP all working together for God.

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