Unification News for March 2001
Rev. Moon's 50 City Tour - Houston, Texas—March 6
The ministerial charisma and evangelical fire that have characterized his preaching for the past 55 years were still evident as Father Sun Myung Moon addressed the gathering at Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church on Tuesday, March 6, 2001.
The crowd of over 3,000 people was receptive and embracing as Father Moon stood in the pulpit and delivered his remarks regarding God's nature; humanity's condition resulting from the Fall of Adam and Eve; the lack of worthwhile leadership in professional clergy; and how the value of blood lineage exceeds the value of love and the value of life.
Getting to this moment, to this podium, at Pleasant Grove there had been at least one miracle in the process.
The congregation's pastor, the Reverend Charles Lewis (C. L.) Jackson, had agreed to host the event only 14 days earlier, on the night of February 20, 2001. That agreement had been obtained in response to a request by Reverend Curtis W. Walker of the Houston Family Federation for World Peace and Unification and the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC). The request occurred at an evening ceremony held in honor of Rev. Jackson's wife, Mrs. Betty Jackson, First Lady of Pleasant Grove M. B. C. as he and Rev. Walker stood side by side.
The Houston Family Federation community had scrambled to secure a mega-church for more than three weeks. A 600-seat sanctuary, the Depnest Evangelistic Baptist Church, had been obtained, and its head, Pastor Ernest Williams, had said, "Reverend Moon is more than welcome to hold his event here. My church is his church."
Despite this humble and precious offer, a larger venue was needed and was also sought. Rev. Curtis' wife, Lori, in a dream, had already seen Pastor C. L. Jackson's sanctuary as the place God had chosen for the "We Will Stand" engagement. That inspiration led to the "chance" audience with Reverend C.L. Jackson. His acceptance and permission came with no hesitation whatsoever.
During the ensuing two weeks, C. L. Jackson continuously promoted "We Will Stand" to the congregants of Pleasant Grove, as well as to radio listeners throughout the Houston metroplex. He stood firmly by his decision to be the host, and he defended Father Moon's right to believe and to teach whatever the Lord Jesus revealed to him to believe and to teach. Pastor Jackson's openness and his unwavering confidence were magnificent to behold
C. L. Jackson and his 5000-seat, domed sanctuary are known all over Texas, throughout the United States, and around the world.
Outbursts of "Hallelujah!" and "Praise God!" reached the ceiling as the atmosphere was charged by energetic Gospel renditions from Ronnie McGee and the Baton Rouge Metro Mass Choir; from Houston's own Ms. Betty Washington; from Barbara Mitchell and Robert C. Wright of God's Properly; and from the Pleasant Grove M. B. C. Mass Choir.
Through the Reverend Jesse Edwards and Archbishop George Stallings, God spoke mightily His crusade message, which set the tone for the keynote to come. The vitality crackled through these two spiritual giants as their words rained like brimstone to warm the hearts of all who sat beneath the sound of their voices.
The array of Texas' congregational and social leaders who put their labor and sweat behind this effort included Rev. Rufus Kyles (COGIC); Rev. Charles Keys (Baptist); Minister Robert Muhammad (Nation of Islam); Dr. Bobby E. Mills (Dept. of Health; ICC Alumnus); Rev. C. J. Phillips (St. Phillips M. B. C., Dallas); and many others.
In the end, more than 20 congregations representing 8 denominations came together to stand for faith and family.
Following Father Moon's keynote address, fire fell from Heaven as renowned Gospel artist Ms. Vickie Winans emblazoned our souls with her powerful and masterfully controlled singing voice.
This historically memorable event was concluded with an altar call by Auxiliary Bishop John Jackson. A mass of people came forward to pray that the Holy Spirit would, with authority, pour out upon America to anoint righteous leadership, to awaken our citizens, and to remove wickedness from our land.
Without a doubt, this is a new beginning, and the times of harvest and of jubilee have come upon us.
I spent three weeks helping in Houston for True Father's speech. I took all four of my kids with me. The two boys (17 and 16) joined up with the second generation bus team lead by D.J. Brewer, our regions own 47-year-old teenager. She has a second gen. school - Family Federation Academy - and she mobilized all 15 of these kids. They handed out flyers by the 10's of thousands, literally, and stuffed 3 or 4 thousand invitation letters to ministers all over Houston.
They visited churches all Sunday long in groups...my son proudly proclaimed that he sat through 10 hours of church one Sunday. And finally they made hundreds of phone calls to ministers to see that they got , and READ, the letters we had mailed out. My girls (15 and 9) helped in the center baby-sitting the 20 or more kids that came to the center so their parents could help with the speech in different ways. Rev. Mark Hernandez pulled the lions share of the weight. Doing graphics for the flyers, writing official letters and designing the programs as well as the jobs of finding a church, hotel, working with VIPs, inviting ministers, working with HQ and you-name-it.
Thank goodness Rev. John Jackson came down from Dallas to share the load with him. Also our regional director Rev. Jung and his family came...his older kids joined the rest of the second generation on the bus team. His wife was always taking our hands, sincerely loving us up while we took turns jumping from frying pan to fire and back again. There was a minister in Houston whom we expected would invite Father to use his church since he is a 120 minister who went to DC for the big inaugural conference and received the gold watch. He got cold feet so when I arrived from Oklahoma they were in the throws of looking for a new church.
One lovely minister offered without hesitation to invite Father to his church and his heart was beautiful and pure. He runs a homeless shelter and food kitchen for the poor and when we visited his church he was in the kitchen serving these lost souls himself. It seemed right to accept his offer even though the church wasn't perfect...a little small (around 500 to 700 seats) and a little run down. We tentatively accepted his generous offer but kept hoping for something really dignified and more befitting our Father. Through amazing miracles and the hard work of our Rev. Curtis Walker and his mile-a-minute wife, Lori, we got a beautiful church 11 days before TF's arrival.
Rev. Curtis and Lori were instrumental in the whole event. They, with their many past contacts and their good relationships among the clergy and civic leaders made some of the things we offered Father possible. And their ability to work hard with great faith was inspirational. Sometimes it was so intense. We were blessed to receive a CARP team of older second generation kids who joined up with our own younger bus team and were incredible, and a flock of J-missionary sisters who freed the English-speaking members to do visiting and phone calling by serving as servant of servants and keeping the place running physically.
Rev. Hernandez's lovely wife, Yuri, led the domestic team. With so few people doing so much, it's astounding that it came off well. TF seemed happy during his speech, but it is always a difficult job to cut through the spirit world every night in a new place. We didn't fill the place and I was so sad about this until I learned that Father had counted us a big success because of the heart of unity among us members and the good, open-minded ministers whom he met there. It was 1/2 to 3/4 full and, considering that the place holds 3500 comfortably and 5000 nicely packed, I think it was good.
The next day at Hoon Dok Hae True Father was beautiful. He was strong and healthy-looking. Speaking very deeply and lovingly to the 40 or so of us who were there. Now I am back in Oklahoma to help here to make Father's visit a joyful one. Arkansas and Louisiana need your prayers as they have so few members. Though Bruce Biggin has a good foundation in Arkansas, the 120 minister there also backed down in the face of negative press. Bruce got pneumonia as well but is now getting better. Please pray for these two states.
On the whole the press has been incredibly good. Nothing like the old days, thank God and TP's spiritual foundation. I'm off the Oklahoma City for the next 3 weeks so I'll be in touch after April 5. You can't imagine the miracles we have seen our beloved brother Jesus and spirit world perform. I urge everyone to offer help to your region or state to make a victory for this tour. The Christian ministers who respond are so kind and open. I know there is a lot of money involved and it seems as though some of these ministers are only there for that, but remember that every gold watch is one of Uncle Laban's goats and Esau will eventually be well and truly melted.
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