The Words of the Francis Family

Family Church National Cathedral Hosts Inaugural Gala

Randy Francis
January 19, 2009

On January 19, 2009, on the eve of the inauguration of President Barak Obama, the American Clergy Leadership Conference summoned the power of the Holy Spirit through prayer and praise in the nation’s capital in a special gala to commemorate what would have been the 80th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The gala was promoted as a national event, and some participants flew in from places around the country such as Seattle, Chicago, and Ohio.

The weather was frigid, and the traffic reports were bleak, but there was no loss of love and hope as two buses from Chicago rolled up to the Washington Family Church National Cathedral on 16th Street, NW. They were carrying Dr. Willie Wilson’s orchestra and guests from Chicago. As the program kicked off with 300-plus participants, one of the organizers stated, “We are 28 blocks from the White House. Let’s make a joyful noise unto the Lord so as all the residents of Washington, D.C., may hear His call to peace.”

Minister Cassandra McDonald from Ohio sang us into dinner with the Lord’s Prayer. One student from Armenia commented, “In my country, we never hear someone singing a prayer for grace over the meal. It’s usually a simple formality, but this was powerful and professional.” We received a lot of comments like that throughout the night.

During the dinner, we enjoyed videos highlighting Global Peace Festival events in 2008, Dr. King’s life, and a sermon given at a church by President-Elect Obama. After the videos, Rev. Michael Jenkins, Pastor Jessie Edwards and Bishop Jim Swilley each spoke. Next, the Rev. Vandy Kennedy, Pastor of Walker Mill Baptist Church in District Heights, Maryland, led the group in a prayer for the nation. This was followed by a performance by Dr. Willie Wilson’s 18-piece orchestra,.

After the performance, Dr. Wilson spoke about keeping hope alive by keeping your eyes on the Lord. As a world-famous philanthropist, musician and author, Dr. Wilson has been inspiring young men and women to strive for the highest goals even if they are knocked down over and over in the process. “Look at what Barak Obama has achieved. He is realizing one of the dreams that Dr. King had of being judged not be the color of skin but by the content of his character,” Dr. Wilson said.

Each of the speakers and especially the headliner, Dr. Willie Wilson, and his orchestra brought a sense of perfection that has not been seen except on professional stages. “My favorite part was the way Dr. Wilson delivered a message to the youth to never ever give up your dreams. Those dreams, he said, are what will carry you to all the places that God has planned for you. When he said that I felt it was Dr. King talking right there with us,” said a young Christian basketball star from the town of Greenbelt, Maryland.

The music was great, the food delicious, and the spirit of hope springing eternal as people from all over America were pouring into Washington, D.C., to witness history. A world-traveling evangelist from Ohio, Sister Celina Pegues, stated, “I felt good tonight because any time we can join together across all our differences, it shows there is hope for creating a world of peace. I just wish I knew the wonderful magnitude this event was going to be because I could have brought more people with me from all around the world. The more we are together, the more we understand each other; then, if we really love God, we can get along with anyone, going beyond the differences of culture, race and religion.”

Pastor C. T. Baker from Chicago has been supporting Dr. Wilson’s ministry for 25 years. His International Ministry Community Alliance goes to perform in different churches nearly every Sunday, also making a special financial offering to that specific community’s work. When asked what his passion in ministry is, Rev. Baker said, “Families are my passion.” He said, “I believe it is the role of the families to bring about a world of peace. Politicians can provide schools, help create jobs and build the infrastructure or whatever, but I am a firm believer that charity and peace begin at home and then spread. Parents need to raise their children to respect and see eye to eye with all creeds and colors.”

Gregory Moore, a 26-year-old singer with Dr. Wilson’s orchestra, testified: “We came 11 hours from Chicago; we go all throughout the world, but this has a special excitement to it.” When asked about the possibility of seeing a world of peace, he said, “It has to come through the family. It starts there and expands to all aspects of life. I am still single, but I am looking for God’s direction toward creating an ideal family.”

As we concluded, Dr. Wilson asked the young people gathered to “be strong in your dreams.” He concluded: “One of the most important things I attribute my success to is that I have read the Bible every night before I sleep for the last 40 years. When you go home, think about it and try it; if you miss a day, start again. Before long, you will see God fulfilling your dreams for you, just like for Dr. King and President Obama.”

Written by Rev. Randall Francis, district director for of the Mid-Atlantic District, which includes Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. 

Table of Contents

Tparents Home

Moon Family Page

Unification Library