Unification News for June 2001
Our first True Family Values Revival was held Thursday and Friday, May 24-25 at Second Chance Full Gospel Church in Mobile. We concluded Saturday morning with a powerful prayer breakfast at Family Church of South Alabama. Second Chance is pastored by Rev. Eddie Handy and Evangelist Loretta Handy (nationally known gospel recording artist), who received the Blessing this past February. The revival speaker was Bishop Frank Kirkwood, pastor of New Covenant Outreach Ministries in Birmingham, and the recipient of the National Service Award from Alabama.
Both nights there were about 100 in attendance, including 20 pastors from various churches in Alabama and the Nation of Islam. With very little time to prepare, we met with our ACLC and ALC alumni ministers the week before and decided to step out on faith and do the revival. Everyone was totally inspired by Rev. Moon's vision of the coming Pentecost and Sister Handy volunteered her church for the 1st revival. Rev. Lim, the national messiah from Sri Lanka who is here with us during these revivals, participated in the planning meeting and in the revival. He is a great inspiration to everyone.
From the moment we began on Thursday night, the Holy Spirit came down. Sister Handy shouted, "It's revival time!" and this became our theme. We had a great revival band consisting of members from our church and Second Chance. The spirit was so high that the music continued all throughout the sermon to the end of the night. We began at 7:00 PM and concluded at about midnight! Even then, no one wanted to go home.
Dr. Harold Toliver, one of the original 120 ministers of ACLC, introduced the purpose of the revival, recognizing Rev. Moon for his 50-state tour and his extraordinary vision to unite and save America. He emphasized that we wanted to save marriages and families, restore our communities and renew our nation. True Parents were lifted up throughout the two nights. Dr. Toliver was voted out of his church in April because of his involvement with Rev. Moon, but he thanks God for freeing him from the Baptist Church. Now, he's getting filled with the Holy Ghost and his preaching is getting more powerful every day! Praise God!
Before the preaching, we had testimonies from Evangelist Virginia Trotter and Rev. Lim, who testified to the lifestyle of Rev. Moon. Bishop Kirkwood was on fire, preaching on the topic of saving our marriages and families. The pulpit was full of preachers and the musicians were behind him lifting up the spirit of God. At the conclusion, Bishop Kirkwood called many up to receive the healing of the Holy Spirit, including many of our sisters, who had never had this experience. They were passing out, slain in the spirit, hugging each other and crying tears of repentance and joy. Couples came up together to receive prayer and healing over their marriages. It was beautiful to see couples lying on the floor together, overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit.
I realized this revival is truly for us as well! It is for the healing and comforting of our brothers and sisters who have worked and sacrificed everything for Godís will for so many years, often without acknowledgment, without joy, and while struggling in their families. We can't resist the Holy Spirit; God wants to bless us through these revivals and heal our families so we can go on to victory. Hallelujah!
By the time midnight rolled around, everyone in that church was one. I made everyone to promise to come back the next night, because had a special Blessing for their marriages. We were planning to bless couples on Friday, after a True Family Values talk.
10 ministers went out to eat after the revival and didn't adjourn until after 2:00 AM. It's revival time!
Friday night was glorious and beautiful. The music was even more powerful than before. Dr. Toliver testified again to the revival, saying that he himself had had a breakthrough on the first night. Minister Timothy Mohammed of Nation of Islam gave an inspiring mini-sermon on the unity of God's people and his wife sang a beautiful uplifting song.
Before the main preaching by Bishop Kirkwood, we held the Holy Blessing ceremony. 9 Couples lined up in front of the pulpit, men dressed in tuxes and suits, women wearing beautiful veils. Rev. and Sister Handy stood at the pulpit to administer the Blessing. All three of their sons and their wives received the Blessing, as well as Minister Mohammed and his wife and another minister and his wife from Second Chance. The Handys had been looking forward to blessing their whole church since they received the Blessing in February.
Before the ceremony, I gave a True Family Values sermon on conjugal love, the most holy place and the change of blood lineage, explaining why we need to receive the Blessing. I told them that God and Jesus had called Rev. Moon as True Parents for this anointed ministry.
The couples took the Holy Wine, administered by the Hands, with my wife and I assisting them. As each couple drank, the ministers were praying over them and asking God and Jesus to forgive them and bless their marriage. Then the Hands sprinkled the holy water saying, "In the name of Jesus...". Couples could feel the Holy Spirit as they were sprinkled. many were shouting out during the ceremony. Finally, the Hands read the vows together and each couple said, "I do". When it was over, Sister Handy said, "you may now kiss your wife" and the whole church yelled "Hallelujah!"
Bishop Kirkwood, who is not yet blessed, was so inspired by the Blessing. He whispered, "You have to give this to me!" I told him we would bless he and his wife so they could bless their whole congregation. He said, "Amen". He went on to preach about true men and women of God, purity, fidelity, restoring the community and nation, etc. He was transformed through seeing the Blessing. His topic was, "Is there a Man in the House?", emphasizing the need for us to stand up and be godly men and lead our families.
Once again, the Holy Spirit came down and many received healing, including our Japanese sisters and my wife, who were in tears and in the spirit. I saw our sister's faces change, the stress and worry being lifted off of them. We sang, "Glory, glory, Hallelujah, as I lay my burden down!" I saw that God wants to take the burden off of us so we can be free to give his love and receive it.
It was over just before midnight, and we invited everyone to come to the prayer breakfast the following morning at 7:30 AM. The prayer breakfast was just a continuation of the revival, with about 60 people in attendance. we had great music and a wonderful buffet breakfast prepared by our sisters. we intended to have True Family Values lecture, but the Holy Spirit changed our course, and we had deep, often tearful testimonies from ministers and members until 10:00 am. Ministers were testifying about how they had been saved and called to preach, and everyone confirmed how God was working through Rev. Moon to unite the body of Christ through revival.
In the end, Sister Handy testified tearfully to the unselfish true love she has found in Rev. Moon's people. She couldn't see how anyone could persecute us. She said that she has never seen such love, that never asks for anything in return. One of our brothers has been donating his time to repair her church. She took up an offering for our prayer breakfast.
As a result, each minister is planning to do a revival in their churches. We will have a full schedule for the next couple of months, taking this revival team on the road.
Hallelujah, it's revival time! Thank you God, Jesus and True Parents!
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