A History of the Unification Church in Canada: 1965-1991

by Franco Famularo

Chapter Three - Struggling To Expand [Part 4]

Canadian Leadership -- Rev. Moon's Second Visit to Canada -- Interim Leadership of Alan Wilding Katharine Bell Reassumes Responsibility -- Initial Phase of Centralization

E. Initial Phase of Centralization

By the end of 1973, five and half years after Linna and Marie had initiated missionary activity in Toronto, Unification Church core membership in Canada consisted of the following:

1) Katharine Bell
2) Marvi Ranniste
3) Anne Ranniste (in Vancouver)
4) Jim Buchanan
5) Sheila Cummings
6) Bruce Casino (in USA)
7) Robert Duffy (in USA)
8) David Decker
9) Wayne Lamond
10) Jack Simmon
11) Alan Wilding (in Montreal)
12) Regan Sano

A number of members, such as Grace Ross and Edward Alleyne, had been transferred to the United States, while several who had joined earlier were no longer involved.64

The Canadian Unification Church was by no means a movement of national prominence. It was a small obscure community engaged in a variety of sporadic efforts to find new recruits. But it had connections to a fast growing international movement, which by then had its center of operations in the United States. This was because Rev. Moon was by then living and directing most of the movement's resources into the United States. Proximity to the United States had both positive and negative effects on the growth and development of the church in Canada. On the positive side, Rev. Moon's occasional direct involvement with the church in Canada provided the members with a greater sense of enthusiasm. They also could benefit from the wider range of activities available in the United States. On the negative side, although uncomplimentary media reports did not really begin till 1974 and 1975 in a concerted manner, the extent of negative publicity had a significant effect on the small group in Canada. Increased negative publicity eventually led to increased centralization of the church.

Due to increased outreach activities membership doubled in 1974. A continued presence at the University of Toronto main campus, through the setting up of a book table, provided access to the student population. Furthermore, the introduction of fundraising as the main income source brought greater mobility and also flexibility. For instance, the members were no longer restricted to approaching people after their work hours.

On January 6, a nationwide 40-day prayer condition began. Such prayer conditions were focused on finding new recruits and also served to bring a greater sense of solidarity among the members of the community. Besides the regular outreach programs, such as open house and workshops, David Decker initiated Victory Over Communism activities at the University of Toronto in early 1974. At the same time, Wayne Lamond contacted Christian groups.65 But it was clearly understood by then that the location of the church center was not helpful to outreach activities.

1. Purchase of First Building as Headquarters

Through successful fundraising efforts and especially through the introduction of a new item called a granarium, which was a dried flower arrangement encased in glass, enough funds were raised to make a down-payment on a house. After spending some time searching for new quarters, an older three storey house at 588 Spadina Avenue in Toronto was purchased in May, 1974. The site stood across the street from the University of Toronto campus and its proximity to the central part of Toronto provided a better venue for potential recruits. Thus, on June 1, 1974, the Canadian Unification Church established its national headquarters at the new location and the members became occupied with renovating the house.

Outreach activities became more intense and successful from that time on. Also some members who joined in the United States came to Canada. One example was the case of Paul Resnyak. Upon returning from the 100-Day Training in New York, Bruce Casino invited Paul to become part of the Canadian church. Resnyak would remain with the Canadian Unification Church for several years, before returning to the United States.

Because of Rev. Moon's presence in the United States, members who were working closely with him would visit Canada from time to time. One such visitor was Shin Wook Kim, an early member from Korea, who visited both Toronto and Montreal in June 1974. She provided the members with spiritual guidance and also shared stories from the early days of the church in Korea. Until that time exposure to the roots of the Korean movement was very limited.

2. Korean Members in Canada

The first Korean Unification members to establish residence in Canada were Choon Keun Chang and his wife Won Chil who arrived in December 1972 and settled in Toronto. Choon Keun had joined as a teenager in 1956 when his entire family had become involved with the Unification Church, while Won Chil had joined in 1969. They both had participated in the Mass Wedding of 777 Couples in 1970 in Korea. As an elder couple of the church they would introduce many elements of Korean culture and Church tradition that until then were unknown to the Canadians.66 Initially they worked in the background of the Canadian church. For example when members started fundraising with granariums in April 1974, Won Chil Chang, helped by making the dried flower arrangements while the Canadian members would solicit funds.

Another Korean couple, Sung San Lee and his wife Soon Up, arrived in mid-1974. During Katharine Bell's 1972 stay in Korea, she had met Sung San Lee, who had asked her to sponsor his entry into Canada.67 As members of the 430 Couple Blessing in 1968, they were viewed as elders and thus exercised considerable influence over the Canadian members during their stay.

According to Katharine, relations between the Canadian members and the Koreans were rather good initially, but became especially strained with Sung San Lee after a short time. In her view, Lee grew increasingly impatient with the way Unificationist activities were being conducted in Canada. Furthermore, he not only expressed his views to the existing membership, but according to Katharine, he presumably communicated his displeasure with the way the Canadian Unification Church was being led to Rev. Moon, which might have eventually led to a change of leadership in Canada.68 Lee had intended to stay only temporarily in Canada, hoping to emigrate to the United States, but eventually remained till early 1978. He helped develop the Korean congregation in Toronto, as well as the further development of the International Federation for Victory over Communism.

During the early years the Korean members in Canada played more of an advisory role and eventually developed their own activities within the Korean community. It would be quite a few years before they would actually have direct responsibility within the Canadian church. However, the relationship between the Canadian and Korean members was significant in that, among other things, they had a direct linguistic connection to Rev. Moon and other leading elders of the International Unification Church.

3. Participation in American Activities

Because of the proximity to some major American cities, Canadian members participated in some of the evangelistic campaigns which were conducted in the United States. As early as 1972 members had participated in Rev. Moon's seven-city tour. Then in early December 1973 all the Canadian members traveled to Detroit, Michigan, to help their American counterparts with the Day of Hope campaign. Rev. Moon was then in the midst of his twenty-one city tour of the United States. For the three days prior to Rev. Moon's talks on December 9 and 10, the Canadians assisted in all aspects of the effort.

Also in July 1974 the Toronto members traveled to Rochester, New York, to participate in the "Celebration of Life" Sun Myung Moon Christian Crusade. Colonel Bo Hi Pak, then Rev. Moon's translator and special assistant, was conducting a speaking tour of the United States at that time. Thus, the Toronto members were invited to help with outreach to the general public.

In preparation for Rev. Moon's speech at Madison Square Garden in New York on September 18, 1974, the Canadian members also contributed to its success. The Vancouver members, for example, while driving across Canada, held rallies in Calgary, Regina and Winnipeg to advertise the event. In Montreal and in Toronto, rallies were also held to publicize the Madison Square Garden speech. Close contacts were invited to attend, and on September 15, the entire Canadian membership with their guests traveled to New York City, to participate in the final days of the Madison Square Garden campaign.

On September 18, all Canadian Unificationists participated in the Madison Square Garden Rally where Rev. Moon spoke to a crowd of 25,000 people on the "New Future of Christianity". After the speech the Canadians helped their American counterparts take down posters which had advertised the event throughout New York City and on September 19, all Canadian members attended Rev. Moon's speech at Tarrytown.69

4. One World Crusade

Upon returning to Canada on September 20, it was decided to totally reorganize the Canadian Unification Church. Thus, on September 29, at a meeting of the center directors it was decided to form a One World Crusade (OWC) Team which consisted of the following five members: Anne Ranniste (leading), Jim Buchanan, David Decker, Paul Resnyak, and Russell Anderson. The OWC had earlier been formed in the United States. As a mobile missionary team it had assisted the development of activities in each American state and contributed toward the invitation of the general public to Rev. Moon's speeches throughout all fifty American states. Later, in 1975, an International OWC Team, formed of Unificationists from diverse countries, traveled to the Orient to assist in Rev. Moon's tour of Korea and Japan. A similar pattern of establishing mobile evangelical teams was used in Europe since the early 1970s.

The five member Canadian OWC, traveled to Vancouver, Montreal, and then back to Toronto, assisting the church centers in their outreach and fundraising activities. This served to generate a sense of enthusiasm among the local church centers and the plan was for the mobile team to remain in each city for three weeks.

As part of this reshuffling, Sheila Cummings became director of the Vancouver church center while Alan Wilding and Katharine Bell remained in Montreal and Toronto, respectively. The OWC continued its witnessing activities through the month of October while raising funds to support their efforts with granariums.

After spending several weeks in western Canada, the OWC arrived in Montreal on October 21. With their assistance a workshop for potential new recruits was held on the weekend of 26-27 October at Camp Marcil, in St. Beatrice, just outside of Montreal. Besides the participation of the members, three guests attended. Workshops were also held at Camp Richel Daka, outside of Toronto. Furthermore, in October 1974, the national movement expanded once more as Bruce Casino departed to pioneer the first mission in Ottawa. But, there were other forces at work in the background of the Canadian church that probably led to a shift in direction.

5. Changes

During the autumn of 1974 there existed a good deal of tension between those members in Toronto who had by then aligned themselves with Sung San Lee and those who had remained loyal to Katharine. In Katharine's words, "The church center was split and there was a real power struggle taking place."70 A prayer condition for reconciliation was initiated among the elder members, but before long things would take a new turn as Rev. Moon would assign new leadership.

By the time Katharine was informed of the leadership change, a little more than six years had passed since Linna Miller Rapkins and Marie Leckrone Ang had founded the mission in Toronto. By then membership in Canada had grown to approximately twenty-five active members.71 Of course, not everyone who had joined remained, but there now existed a body of believers who together would help spread the Unificationist message throughout the land.

Toward the end of October 1974, Katharine Bell was informed that she would soon be replaced as national director of the Canadian Unification Church by Robert Duffy. Therefore, after having served as director since July 1970 through an important and formative pioneer phase of Unificationism in Canada, she would be moving on. Her pioneering days were not over, however, for after a short stay in the United States, Katharine would become the first Unificationist missionary to Ethiopia in 1975.72

With the departure of Katharine Bell also came the end of an era: the pioneer stage of the Unification Church in Canada. Since the seeds had been sown in the mid-1960s numerous attempts had been made by the small group to reach the people of a sophisticated and modern industrialized nation with a message from the distant land of Korea. The founding members in Canada had adapted a world-view they found so vital and important; they had devoted nearly all their energies to its propagation. The people of Canada, nonetheless, were not responding as quickly as they had hoped.

Nevertheless, the young adherents did not lose hope. They continued with their intense efforts, not only to survive, but to ultimately grow as a church movement and spread the unique revelation they believed all Canadians should hear.

With the arrival of Robert Duffy, who had been exposed to the international Unificationist membership in the United States, as well as the variegated approaches toward the public, a new era would begin. Moreover, during his time in the United States Duffy had not only had the opportunity to be in Rev. Moon's presence, but had also become familiar with the leadership styles of his American, Korean, Japanese and European counterparts. For reasons which will further be explored, a more centralized era for the Unification Church in Canada soon began.


1. Interview with Katharine Bell Erickson. January 16, 1994.

2. Katharine Bell. "Letters and Reports - Toronto." NAF. December 1968. p. 22-23.

3. Marvi Ranniste. "Report from Toronto." NAF. November, 1970. p. 5.

4. The word "condition(s)" refers to a consistent effort to pray or fast over a period of time. For example a daily 21 minute prayer for 7 days or a 3 day fast for a particular purpose.

5. Interview with Robert Duffy. January 17, 1994.

6. "Report from Toronto." NAF. February - March 1971. p. 7.

7. "Report from Toronto." NAF. July-August 1971. p. 8.

8. NAF. January, 1972. pp. 1-6. (Report by Jack Korthuis and letter by Katherine Bell.) Also see WTW. January, 1972. pp. 37-41. Letter by Karen Dyck.

9. Sun Myung Moon. Master Speaks. December 22, 1971. pp. 4-5.

10. Sun Myung Moon. "Questions and Answers." Master Speaks. HSA-UWC. December 12, 1971. p. 4.

11. Alan Wilding. Diary.

12. Interview with Alan Wilding and Robert Duffy. September, 1986.

13. Karen Dyck. "Master's visit to Canada." WTW. January, 1972. p. 38-39.

14. Interview with Alan Wilding and Robert Duffy. September, 1986.

15. Sun Myung Moon. Perfection and Gratitude. October 3, 1976. pp. 10-11.

16. Interview with Katharine Bell Erickson. January 16, 1994.

17. Karen Dyck. WTW. January, 1972. p. 38-39.

18. Sun Myung Moon. "The Formula For God's Providence. Master Speaks. December 14, 1971. p. 6.

19. Interview with Robert Duffy. January 17, 1994. (Note: There did exist other versions of the Divine Principle in English written by Miss Young Oon Kim, Mr. David S.C. Kim and Mr. Sang Ik Choi, however.)

20. The Adam, Eve, Archangel typology is found in the Divine Principle. The basic points are that Adam, Eve and the Archangel were created by God but that the intended relationship between them was not fulfilled and therefore must be restored. The typology also applies to the relationship between nation states. In the 20th century the nations of Korea, Japan and the United States were in the position of Adam, Eve and Archangel respectively. England was the intended Eve nations when Reverend Moon began his ministry in 1945 but could not take that role for numerous reasons.

21.. Moon, Sun Myung. Master Speaks. December 22, 1971. pp. 4-5. (Note that the translator Mrs. Won Pok Choi, is translating in the third person for Reverend Moon whom she refers to as Master.)

22. Franco Famularo. Chronology of the Unification Movement in Canada: 1965-1991. Unpublished chronology of events. (hereafter Chronology). March 1972.

23. Ibid. April 1972.

24. Interview with Alan Wilding. January 15, 1994.

25. Ibid.

26. Chronology. April 1972.

27. Karen Dyck. "Report from Toronto." NAF. June, 1972. p. 15.

28. Ibid.

29. Interview with Alan Wilding. January 15, 1994.

30. Karen Dyck. "Report from Toronto." NAF. May, 1972. p. 10.

31. Karen Dyck. NAF. June, 1972. p. 15.

32. NAF. June 1972.

33. Ibid.

34. Alan Wilding. "Letter July 3, 1972." WTW. July, 1972. p. 100-101.

35. Alan Wilding. "Letter July 3, 1972." WTW. July, 1972. p. 100-101. and Karen Dyck. "Letter July 16, 1972. WTW. August, 1972. p. 123.

36. Alan Wilding. WTW. July, 1972. p. 101.

37. Chronology. August 1972.

38. Karen Dyck. "Overseas Reports - Canadian Family." WTW. September 1972. p. 41.

39. Ibid. p. 40.

40. Alan Wilding. "Canadian Report." WTW. August 1972. p. 52.

41. Interview with Alan Wilding. January 15, 1994.

42. Interview with Robert Duffy. January 18, 1994.

43. Neil Salonen. "Looking Ahead". New Hope News. December 23, 1974. (According to Salonen membership had grown in the U.S. from some 300 to 3000 members during the 1972-1974 period.) As quoted in A History of the UC in America. p. 213.

44. Paul Werner. Personal Testimony of Rev. Paul Werner - May 1985. 1985. Unpublished. pp. 98-108.

45. See for example unpublished histories of each European Unification Church. Compiled in 1989.

46. Chronology. 1972. (Also see Guest Book stored in Unification Church of Canada archives.)

47. Sun Myung Moon. Master Speaks. "To the 100 Day Trainees-AFTER LECTURE." May 26, 1973. p. 1.

48. Ibid.

49. Ibid.

50. Articles of Incorporation of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity in Ontario. Filed May 9, 1973. (The following is only a small segment of the entire document.)

Letters Patent
A. To further the work of God and to promote the teachings of the Old and New Testaments and the divine principles advocated by the Corporation.
B. To acquire by purchase, gift, bequest or otherwise and to hold, lease, rent, mortgage, or convey such property, real or personal as may be necessary to carry out all or any of the objects of the Corporation; and
C. To organize, build, own, lease, rent, maintain or otherwise operate churches, religious retreats, hospitals, rest homes, missions, homes for the aged and infirm, orphanages and other religious and benevolent enterprises, in accordance with the laws of the country and locality in which they shall be situated or conducted;
PROVIDED, however, that it shall not be lawful for the corporation hereby incorporated directly or indirectly to transact or undertake any business within the meaning of The Loan And Trust Corporations Act;...
1. The name of this association shall be The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity
It shall also be known as The Unified Family and The Unification Church.
2. Head Office of the Association in the city of Toronto, in the municipality of metropolitan Toronto, in the province of Ontario and at a place therein where the affairs of the association are from time to time carried on.
3. The corporate seal of the association will be in the form impressed here on.
4. The membership in this corporation shall be limited to persons who are fully undertaking the financial responsibilities in carrying out the functions of this association and or are performing such other functions in connection therewith as is approved by the board of directors.
5. Application for membership shall be made in the manner prescribed by the board of directors.
6. All applications for membership to the association and expulsion of a member for the good of the association shall be handled by the board of directors with the member being permitted to show cause why it is unfair to expel him or her, if he or she so desires.
7. Any member found taking undue advantage of the workings of the association shall be cited before the board of directors.

51. "Articles of Incorporation of The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity in Ontario." Filed May 9, 1973 in Toronto.

52. Chronology. June 1973.

53. Alan Wilding. Diary.

54. Interview with Wayne Lamond. September, 1986.

55. Interview with Robert Duffy. January 17, 1994.

56. Chronology. August-September, 1973.

57. Interview with Wayne Lamond. September, 1986.

58. Alan Wilding. Diary.

59. Ibid.

60. Ibid.

61. Ibid.

62. Ibid.

63. Interview with Wayne Lamond. September, 1986.

64. Alan Wilding. Diary.

65. Interview with Wayne Lamond. September, 1986.

66. Interview with Choon Keun and Won Chil Chang. February 25, 1994.

67. Lee went by the name Sung Soo Lee while in Canada. He later changed his name to Sung San Lee.

68. Interview with Katharine Bell. January 16, 1994.

69. Alan Wilding. Diary. (Also Interview with Wayne Lamond. September, 1986.

70. Interview with Katharine Bell Erickson. January 16, 1994.

71. According to a membership list for December 31, 1974 there were 26 active members and 12 associate members. The list did not include those people who had joined in Canada and were either temporarily or permanently in the United States.

72. Interview with Katharine Bell Erickson. January 16, 1994. (Note: Missionaries were sent to 80 countries in 1975. Three missionaries were sent to each country and each missionary was a national of either Japan, the United States or Germany. This international trio represented the three continents of Asia, North America and Europe. There were a few exceptions however, as Katharine, a Canadian, went to Ethiopia along with her Japanese and German counterparts.)

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