The Words of the Park Family

The First American Christian Ministers' Conference on Unificationism -- Rev. Moon and Korea in the Providence of God -- Advanced Interdenominational Conferences for Clergy

Hyo Hyun Park
April 10-19, 1985
Korea and Japan

Participants gather on the steps of the Little Angels Performing Arts Center in Seoul prior to the farewell banquet.

On April 10-19, sixty-four ministers from 23 denominations in the United States attended an advanced seminar on Unificationism in Korea and Japan, sponsored by the Interdenominational Conferences for Clergy (ICC). The ministers, who came from 25 states in the union, had all previously either seen videotapes on the Principle or attended ICC or CAUSA conferences. The seminar was organized under the auspices of Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, president and chairman of the board of the International Religious Foundation, of which ICC is a project.

The clergymen arrived in Korea on the evening of April 9 and attended the opening session of the conference on the following morning. Rev. Kwak and Rev. Jae Suk Lee, president of the Unification Church of Korea, were unable to attend the opening session, but opening addresses were read on their behalf. Rev. Kyu Whan Chang, president of the Korean Presbyterian General Conference, also offered welcoming remarks.

Church Elders Share Experiences of Early Days

On the afternoon of April 10, Rev. Jae Suk Lee spoke on the history of the Unification Church, and Rev. Michael Jenkins taught the first two chapters of the Principle. Group discussions followed, and after dinner, several films on Korea were shown.

On April 11, Rev. Levy Daugherty and Rev. Kevin McCarthy offered Principle lectures on the mission of Jesus and predestination. Following them, a few elder Korean Unification Church members who had had deep personal experiences with Father in the earliest days of his ministry shared several very special talks. Mrs. In Joo Kim gave a moving testimony of her experiences with Father in North Korea after he started teaching there in 1946. The ministers were particularly moved by her description of a vision she had after listening to one of Father's lectures. She had gone into a back room and prayed and prayed to find out where the returned Lord was to be found. Jesus appeared before her, put his hand on her head and prayed for her. When she came out of her vision, she was grasping someone's garments; Jesus was gone, but the person in front of lit r was Rev. Moon.

Mr. Chung Hwa Park testified in the afternoon about his experiences with Father in Hungnam prison in North Korea. Mrs. Hyun Shil Kang, the first member to join in South Korea, later shared about Father's early days in Pusan.

Through these talks by elder members, conference participants could better understand the very difficult circumstances under which the Unification movement began and how desperately God worked to bring the truth to light. The ministers were moved by the faith and devotion these early members exemplified in overcoming many years of extraordinary hardship.

In the evening of April 11, Rev. Thomas McDevitt presided over the First Supra-denominational Korean-American Seminar for Ministers. One minister from each nation reported on interfaith activities in his country. In addition, Rev. Chul Soo Park, secretary-general of the Korean Supra-denominational Christian Association, explained the history of the Korean supra-denominational movement and its prospects for the future.

At the "Rock of Tears" Rev. Velma L. Pratt testifies about her dream of Father in 1963.

One Minister's Dream

On April 12, the group took a day-trip to Pusan where they visited the museum that stands on the site of the first Unification Church building -- the hut of mud and cardboard Father constructed when he arrived in the city as a refugee. They climbed the mountain above this site to the "Rock of Tears," the holy ground where Father had prayed earnestly for the salvation of the world.

When they arrived at the rock, one of the participants, Rev. Velma Pratt from Chicago, tearfully testified about a dream she had had 24 years ago. In her dream she met Jesus, who guided her to an Oriental man in a mud hut. Jesus disappeared and the Oriental man bowed three times and told her to "please take anything you want." She had never forgotten this dream. She had told the conference organizers earlier that she realized the Oriental man in her dream was, in fact, Rev. Moon. At the rock she declared that the picture of the mud house in the museum was the same as the hut in her dream. Many ministers and members burst into tears when they heard this.

After visiting the holy ground, participants toured the Tong II Industrial Company, where they inspected the production of machines.

The next day everyone left for the DMZ, the four-kilometer-wide buffer zone that separates North and South Korea, and saw the tunnels constructed by the North Korean army for the purpose of invading the South. Many ministers later commented that they could actually "see and feel" communism at work here and vowed to strive even harder for greater understanding of this evil among all God-loving people.

The same evening, Dr. Choong Shik Chang, president of Dankook University, gave a special greeting and testimony about his experiences at a recent ICUS conference and the day he met Rev. Moon in Danbury prison. Rev. Kwak then narrated a slide presentation on the worldwide projects of the Unification movement.

At a question-and-answer session with Rev. Kwak and the four Principle lecturers, participants asked, among other questions, who the Messiah was. Father's own response to this, according to Rev. Kwak, is that identifying the Messiah "is not a matter of proclamation but one of recognition." Rev. Kwak also told the ministers, "I am sure that if you pray deeply you will get the answer."

Worship Service Brings Tears of Joy

On Sunday morning the American ministers brought a revival of their own to the Chungpadong headquarters church, where approximately 530 Unification Church members gathered to greet and worship with them. Rev. Jae Suk Lee and Rev. Landrum Shields each gave a sermon. For the Korean members, who have experienced tremendous oppression for thirty years from all areas of Korean society, and particularly from other Christians, this united worship service of Eastern and Western Christians was almost unbelievable. Many cried uncontrollable tears of joy. "It was like Jacob and Esau meeting," said one member at this joyous occasion. "The Holy Spirit really came down."

After the service, participants visited the old headquarters church and took photos of Father's room and the room in which True Parents' Holy Blessing took place in 1960. In the afternoon, some of the group went shopping and sightseeing while others attended a service at the Full Gospel Church on Yoido Island, the world's largest church.

On April 15, the participants' last evening in Korea, a banquet was held at the beautiful Little Angels School, where six of the ministers gave moving testimonies about all the things they had experienced so far.

Rev. Lee, the president of the Korean Unification Church, presented everyone with gifts of ginseng tea. Together the participants stood up and gave a deep bow of thanks, saying in Korean "Kamsa hamnida."

Japan Greets the Ministers

The next day the clergymen left for Tokyo, Japan, where they were warmly greeted by Unification Church members there. During their three-day stay in Japan, they heard talks about the history of the Unification movement in Japan and its present activities, including CARP and IFVOC work.

The ministers were dazzled by multi-media presentations on some of the projects of the Unification movement, which included not only ICUS, IRF, and IRFF, but also the highway project, Happy World Company, a computer company, and much more. Many of the ministers expressed surprise at the breadth and diversity of the movement.

Besides some sightseeing, the ministers attended an afternoon workshop sponsored by the Japanese Supra- denominational Christian Association, during which both Japanese and American clergy discussed ecumenical activities.

Seminar participants were also the guests of honor at a rock concert given by Unification Church members, with hundreds of young people in attendance.

Ministers Share Revelations

At a final banquet in Tokyo several ministers disclosed that they had had revelations concerning Father and the Principle.

Rev. Richard L. Finney of Houston, Texas, said that some contents of Principle had been revealed to him before he ever heard the teachings of Rev. Moon. He said he had shown the three- part Principle videotape series in his church and his congregation had doubled in membership.

Rev. William Piner from Dayton, Ohio, testified that Martin Luther King Jr. had appeared to him and told him that if he were alive on earth he would be working with the Unification movement. He urged Rev. Piner to join and to tell other ministers about the movement.

In fact, throughout the seminar, many ministers had revelations regarding the truth of the Principle and the role of Rev. Moon and the Unification movement in God's providence.

The final banquet in Japan was a truly heartwarming affair in which the ministers -- many now good friends -- not only stood up and gave testimonies about their experiences, but even sang songs for each other.

On April 19, participants of the first advanced ICC seminar on Unificationism left for the United States and their home cities. Before leaving, many expressed their deep gratitude for the love they felt from Unification Church members, and their determination to invest more in ecumenical work to bring about world peace and freedom.

Ministers after a trip to the DMZ and a visit to a North Korean tunnel. Behind the rest area and restaurant are monuments to the war heroes of many nations.

Welcoming Address
Rev. Kyu Whan Chang
President, Korean Presbyterian General Conference

Distinguished members of the clergy, ladies and gentlemen,

May I extend my heartfelt greetings to all of you for having traveled so far to attend this conference. I feel all the more honored to have the opportunity to deliver these welcoming remarks on behalf of the Korean churches.

As well as being a month of joy and hope, April is also the month marking the arrival of the first American Protestant missionaries to Korea, Rev. H.G. Underwood and Rev. H.D. Appenzeller. In view of this, your visit in April has a special significance.

The Unification Church is a new religious movement which was founded in Korea in 1954 by Rev. Sun Myung Moon and is a most active and creative religious movement. I believe that God is working with the Unification Church, which has expanded its missionary activity to cover the whole world since its foundation thirty years ago. In Korea the Unification movement is still being persecuted by many mainstream churches and labeled a heretical and not truly Christian movement. However, I think that the movement is definitely Christian, and the reason for such persecution can be attributed to the conservative nature of the Korean churches.

The Unification movement is, in fact, more full of life and inspiration than any other religious organization. Whereas most churches today arc gradually losing their Christian spirit, and faith is on the decline, the mission work of the Unification Church is successfully developing, having already spread to 130 countries. Furthermore, the fact that the church is being accepted in Europe and America, which may be called the main base of Christianity, can only be explained by the fact that God has granted the church His special blessing and support.

Amid the present stagnation of modern-day churches, Rev. Moon has received through God's revelation a deeper understanding of the Bible and, based on these new insights, he is modernizing, reforming, and reviving churches in every corner of the world. At a time when many churches are engrossed in expanding their own membership, he is devoting himself for the benefit of the people of the world, beyond the development of his own movement.

This new movement is successfully creating harmony and unity between denominations which have traditionally been antagonistic despite their belief in the same God, and religions which have even instigated wars over their conflicting beliefs.

In the case of Korea, where Christian denominations often compete against each other tooth and nail, Rev. Moon has actively propagated and supported the supra-denominational movement for the last 19 years. We know that Rev. Moon has devoted even more of his energies to these supra- denominational activities than to his own movement. He once said that he would be ashamed to advocate missionary activities simply for the sake of expanding his own church. This statement certainly provides food for deep reflection on the part of those churches which are working only to expand their own spheres of influence.

The phenomenal progress of the Unification movement is due not only to the new words of the Principle but also to the outstanding leadership and deep faith of Rev. Moon.

I sincerely hope that your visit to Korea will give you the chance to conduct more in-depth research as well as provide you with a more profound understanding of these points.

Thank you very much.

Prayer at the "Rock of Tears" in Pusan.

Comments from Participants

These remarks and others were written by participants of the ICC Conference in Korea and brought to Father in Danbury.

Dr. Charles P. Johnson
Martinsville, Virginia

I feel that we have been summoned here from our various divinely appointed stations in life, not in search of truth, but to see the truths we have received become more evident by the events that have transpired on these sacred grounds. I feel like Paul who walked down the Damascus road thinking that everything was OK. I now feel that I must answer the sacred voice that continues to bleat in my breast like a little lamb, "Son, go work in my fields today." I feel as though my soul has been touched, and I must ask the solemn question, "What will thou have me to do?"

Although I am a person of many talents -- an author, preacher, pastor, teacher and professional counselor -- I am still forced to ask, "What will thou have me to do?"

* * *

Rev. John W. Ringold
Salisbury, Maryland

I was led to CAUSA and the Unification movement by the Spirit of God after more than three years of deep personal and emotional poverty -- while the Spirit explained that all this was for my spiritual development. During this time God reaffirmed that He had called and appointed me to divine apostleship and has chosen me to be an apostle of Jesus Christ to Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and beyond.

The Holy Spirit instructed me to write to Rev. Moon in prison, which I did. Further, the Spirit directed me to spend 30 days with Rev. Moon in Korea and receive from Rev. Moon all that God has instructed and commissioned me to do.

I am now awaiting the opportunity to be obedient to God and the Holy Spirit. God testified through one of my parishioners that I had gone on to perfection in love and commitment to God's will.

It is essential that I meet and spend time with Rev. Moon for further spiritual development and fulfillment of the commission entrusted to me. I feel this commission is tied to Rev. Moon's mission from God.

* * *

Rev. Mose Pleasure, Jr.
Group Leader
Memphis, Tennessee

Bravo! Tremendous! Incomparable! Soul-rending!

I sincerely and humbly thank you and the Unification Church for this opportunity to get close to your heart. This trip has evaporated my skepticism. I am now prepared to accept you as one whose religious genius is inspired and directed by God.

I am forced to utilize the Beelzebub controversy in Matthew 12:22-30 to defend you. There, Jesus says to his detractors that Satan cannot oppose himself; therefore, wherever he is being conquered and evicted it is by the power of God.

God bless you, God keep you, and give you length of days to bring in the Kingdom.

* * *

Rev. Bennie Reeves
Group Leader
Jackson, Mississippi

I believe this conference has been one of the most enlightening experiences I have ever had. After observing the community living patterns in Pusan and around the countryside of Seoul and other places, I now appreciate and understand many of the motives behind such Unification Church practices as close harmonious living, and sharing with one another.

Unificationists are making tremendous personal sacrifices to share with the world the true spirit of Christ. Thank you, Rev. Moon, for starting such a movement. I thank God for His having revealed the Principle to you.

* * *

Rev. James A. Sanders
Chicago, Illinois

I would personally like to say that I thank the one and only almighty God that He enabled Rev. Moon to assume his mission. I also thank God that Rev. Moon accepted God's call and allowed God to prepare him to be used as a messianic extension of Jesus' mission in the world today. Jesus said that if any man would follow after him, he should first deny himself and pick up his cross and follow him. I feel this is what Rev. Moon has done.

I also want Rev. Moon to know that God has sent some very dedicated and devoted disciples to follow him to assist in building God's Kingdom on earth.

* * *

Rev. Charles Williams
Church of God in Christ
Romulus, Michigan

I wish to express my profound sorrow and grief because of your persecution and oppression. I wish you could be here in person. Your pain is also my pain; your joy is my joy. It is my belief that wherever you are, God is with you, guiding your heart toward us. So, as Jesus endured and overcame all obstacles, I have no doubt that you too will victoriously overcome. My greatest day will be when I meet you personally. My prayers are for your speedy release so you can complete God's purpose for you.

* * *

Rev. Floyd Taylor
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

First, I thank God for you, Rev. Moon. Second, I thank you for opening my eyes to many things I didn't understand.

In attending the conference I have learned so much that I can take back to my home state. I want to spread the word about God's great love and that He has sent someone who cares. I hope I will be able to meet you in person. I pray for you and your movement daily, and I also study the Principle of the Unification Church. May God bless you.

I didn't know there was so much love in the world until I started attending these conferences. I plan to keep on attending them and contribute whatever I can to promote this cause.

* * *

Rev. William Ephriam
Church of God
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Since the time of the Senate hearing I have known in my heart who Rev. Moon is. Even as I write this note my heart is full. Just one look at Rev. Moon under those conditions revealed to me that he is the Messiah. I feel even closer when I say he is my spiritual father. I love him.

I would like to go back to Korea for an extended session on the course of Moses and Jesus. One hour is not enough. I would also like to preach in Korea.

* * *

Rev. Lee Cantu
Austin, Texas

I believe this teaching will bring the whole world together in Christian unification. I would like to work in bringing more Mexican-Americans into this movement so that more Roman Catholics are involved. As an associate member of the Unification Church, I would like to assume a greater role in helping to bring about this unity with Roman Catholics.

I feel Rev. Moon's presence around me all the time in my work. When I ask something in his name I usually get it.

Thank you, God. Thank you, Rev. Moon.

* * *

Mrs. Maria Louisa Cantu
Austin, Texas

My greetings to you with heartfelt feelings. You are very near to me at all times. Every time I pray I can feel you nearby. Your spiritual presence is not only here in this conference, but also in my home and on the altar at our healing center in Austin, Texas.

Your picture is on our altar and we tell our Mexican-American friends about your wonderful mission with the Unification Church. As I touched your picture at the church in Pusan, I felt a heartbeat on it. My husband told me about your suffering for the world. May God bless you and guide us to a peaceful world. I pray that your work and prayers will guide all our spiritual and other endeavors.

May God grant my husband and me a personal visit with you soon. We will always pray for you.

* * *

Rev. George Ackley
Gig Harbor, Washington

This conference has been a trip into the spirit world of Jesus Christ. It has opened my eyes, my mind, and my heart to understand the mission and work of the Unification Church.

The heart and concern of Rev. Moon for the unity of Christians is the only hope for uniting us in the work of God. Rev. Moon's concern about Christian ministers, whether we are well-known or unknown, popular or unpopular, large or small, has caused tears to flow from my eyes -- and appreciation and love from my heart to Rev. Moon and all the Unification Church members. My life is enriched and I feel as if I were in a dream, experiencing such wonderful things!

* * *

Dr. Curtis Johnson
Bronx, New York

"God so loved the world He gave His only begotten son."

Your message is loud and clear. God will see to it that it is fulfilled by your disciples.

I have been moved and I see the light. You will not suffer alone -- we will all endure with you.

* * *

Rev. Donald Olson
Miami, Florida

The experience of this conference has been a spiritual gift, a revelation, and an opportunity which has left many of us uncomfortable as well as exhilarated. There is now an inner need to respond to the vision that has been shared. I struggle with how I may define my role and what form it should take. A joyful insight is that Unificationism transcends the Unification Church -- and includes me. 

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