Unification News for December 2001

True Mother 8 City North American Speaking Tour - Los Angeles, CA

by BillieAnn Sabo

True Mother’s Speaking Tour in Los Angeles was a wonderful success. All our families and full time members worked together in unity during the month of November to bring victory. We used a large signboard at our Regional HQ to make visible the number of day’s remaining until November 30th, our speech date in LA. We also posted daily community witnessing results, daily confirmation totals and a very large colorful signboard showing True Mother looking down at the banquet hall and only seeing two tables filled, the rest marked with question marks. Results and determination words were also emailed out daily to all our membership along with the confirmation totals to keep them going quickly. All these things helped us to make the victory.

Our events were held at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel, very close to LAX. It was a beautiful hotel and they were very accommodating to us. Our ILC VIP reception and registration began at 1:00pm – the conference started at 2:00pm. In attendance were 120 top clergy and other leadership.

Dr. Wiley Drake, Pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park gave the invocation. After Dr. Yang’s and John Gehring’s talks, we had three presentations given. Renewing the Nation was given by Rev. Dr. E.V. Hill, Pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church; Dr. Aslam Abdullah, spokesperson & publisher with the Islamic Center of Los Angeles, and Dr. Kene Holliday, Evangelist and television actor. Archbishop G. Augustus Stallings, Jr gave a powerful speech on the Significance of Marriage, Family and the Blessing.

The last hour of the conference featured Rev. Michael Jenkins introducing the ACLC, Rev. Tim Henning, VRD of Los Angeles showing a power point presentation on the Significance of Eternal Life and the Spirit World, and a brief introduction to the bridge crossing ceremony, by Mrs. Sheri Rueter, which would take place during the dinner banquet.

The ILC ended at 6:00pm and all participants joined the dinner banquet in the Marquis ballroom. The ballroom looked beautiful, decorated in Christmas colors and the large lit bridge on the stage. Each round table had a circular mirror on the table and fresh flowers in each circle. We had several sections set up for our guests. The front tables were reserved for VVIP and behind that were the tables for our ILC Ambassadors of Peace. Many churches had reserved and paid for tables of 10 prior to the event. The balance was used for our choir and other paid guests.

The banquet hall quickly filled. Registration opened at 5:30pm and by 6:00pm, it was 95% full. Delicious prime rib of beef dinners were served at 6:30pm. By 7:00pm, every seat in the ballroom was filled. There was not one empty seat! Headquarters sent us 1200 speech books and there were no leftover books—not one. We had to prepare 200 extra lunch box dinners for our members and overflow guests. All our members had to "Stand in Oneness" against the wall—there was no leftover space.

We had many VIP join this dinner banquet, including: Imam Ashraf Carrimm, Imam/Director, Islamic Center of South Bay; Dr. Wiley Drake, Pastor/Radio Ministry, First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park; Dr. Jerome Fisher, Pastor, Little Zion MBC of Compton; Ms. Norma Foster, President, United Nations Association of Los Angeles; Rev. Dr. E.V. Hill, Pastor, Mt. Zion Baptist Church; Rev. Dr. Benjamin Hardwick, Pastor, Praises of Zion Baptist Church; President, Western Baptist State Convention of California; Honorable Jay Imperial, Mayor, Mayor of Rosemead; Rev. Leonard Jackson, Associate Minister, First AME in Los Angeles; Ms. Nancy O’Meara, President, Foundation for Religious Freedom; Rev. Dr. Roy Pettit, Pastor, Miracle Center Apostolic Community Church; Ms. Cheryl Landon, Producer/Actress, Daughter of the late Michael Landon; Rev. Lester Mosley, Pastor, Tabernacle Baptist Church; President, Southern California Chapter of the American Bible Society; Ms. Victoria Wilson-Darrah, Author/world speaker, Servant Warriors Publishing Co; Mr. Tony Muhammad, Regional Minister, Nation of Islam – Los Angeles; Mr. George Liu, President, International Martial Arts Medical University; Dr. William Anderson, Chairman, Gold Coast Republican Assembly; Rev. Aaron Lee, Bishop, Blessed Martin Church of Christ; Dr. J.J. Love, Bishop, Universal Mission for all People; Ms. Eleanor Montano, Commissioner, LA County Commission on Human Relations; and Dr. Jong Whan Cha, President & Chairman, Korean American Educational Research Center.

The dinner program was opened by 40 choir members of Rev. Dr. Apelu Poe’s Samoan Congregational Church, dressed in their traditional native attire. We also had our own choir during the evening called "Origin". This professional choir was recently formed under the guidance of Music Direction, Mr. Rick Joswick. The other singers are Mrs. Miyuki Harley, Mrs. Mary Ellen Legay, Mr. Tony Parham and Mr. John Holmes. This was their first professional group performance together and they did an outstanding job.

During dinner, the Interfaith Bridge Crossing ceremony took place. First to cross the bridge was Dr. Wiley Drake (white) and Rev. Dr. E.V. Hill (black). It was an incredible encounter. Dr. E.V. Hill was named by Time Magazine as one of the 7 most outstanding preachers in the country. We have been witnessing to him for over two years. He has always been pleasant, but has kept his distance. Even for Father’s 50-State Speaking Tour, we could not get him to attend. He was contacted two years ago by the Los Angeles Kodan Leader, Mrs. Naoko Hiraki, who never gave up. She continued to visit his church week after week with determination. Finally, a break through came and he agreed to attend the ILC and also the dinner banquet. He stayed from start to finish. He gave the 10-minute reading on Renewing the Nation during the ILC and the John the Baptist speech during the banquet. He also brought his wife. After the dinner banquet, he strongly testified to the other ministers about True Mother and his determination to work closer with us.

After True Mother’s keynote speech, Ms. Cheryl Landon, Producer/Actress/Speaker and daughter of the late Michael Landon, presented the flower bouquet to Mother. Award plaques and proclamations, as follows, were then presented to Mother:

A Peace Award, presented by Rev. Lester Mosley, Dr. Roy Pettit, Dr. Raymon Harris and Rev. Joe Waller. An ACLC Award, presented by Dr. Theresa Carmenatti, and Dr. Kene Holliday

Some of the proclamations & letters were as follows: proclamation, City of Los Angeles, James K. Hahn, Mayor; proclamation, California State Assembly, Marco Antonio Firebaugh, Member of the Assembly; letter, State Capitol, Governor Gray Davis; letter, City of Rosemead, Jay T. Imperial, Mayor; and a plaque, County of Los Angeles, Don Knabe, Supervisor 4th District.

We prepared nine Peace Ambassadors to receive the framed certificates on stage from True Mother. They were:

Dr. Wiley Drake, Pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park; Dr. Frank Flores, Pastor of the Church of Christ in Torrance; Rev. Dr. E.V. Hill, pastor of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church; Ms. Cheryl Landon, producer, actress, speaker, daughter of the late Michael Landon; Rev. Minh Q. Nguyen, Evangelist for the Church of Gospel Ministry, interpreter for President Nguyen Van Theiu of Vietnam and General Westmoreland, and an activist for Interfaith Unity; Ms. Nancy O’Meara, President of the Foundation for Religious Freedom; Rev. Dr. Apelu Poe, pastor of the Samoan Congregational Church; Ms. Myoung Hee Rhee, President of the Inter-Cultural Coalition; and Mr. Marcos Vega, founder and director of Project JADE (Youth at Risk).

It was an incredibly inspiring day and evening. We made many strong prayer conditions in the days prior to the speech event. Our Regional Director, Rev. Baek Joong Ku, held 3 special prayers to call down all the blessed ancestors of our members who offered financial donations. We could feel many angels were present during the speech event, and many high level clergy who previously were distance from us, attended this time and have turned around. Our members received much energy from November 30th and are totally determined to keep the "I CAN DO—NEVER GIVE UP" spirit that has always united Los Angeles together. We have a wonderful foundation now for the 144,000 clergy couple blessing in April and we are already laying our plans. We have recently been able to make contact with the Crystal Cathedral—They have asked us to hold a bridge crossing ceremony there in January.

Following the dinner banquet, we held a Victory Celebration in a different ballroom where 300 members joined. True Father (via cable) and True Mother seemed very happy and joyful. Father sang 3 songs. Our 2nd generation children offered songs as did some home members. The next morning, we held 5:00am pledge in the same ballroom, also attended by 300 parents and children. Mother emphasized the importance that we all start studying the Korean language now! Mother was very happy that the LA event made victory, as were we. Through True Mother’s speech, all guests and members really felt the True Parents love, love for the world and embracing of all people.

We are grateful that Los Angeles was the 5th city of the tour and thank God & True Parents. Los Angeles is the City of Angels, and many angels are really with us, working with us, pushing us to work quickly and make the final victory.

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