Articles From the September 1995 Unification News


In Memoriam Joachim Bernhard Baum

September 2, 1951 - August 14, 1995

Joachim Baum ascended August 14, 1995. His passing resulted from complications of heart disease which manifested suddenly. The following is a compilation of Joachim's history and testimonies shared at his Seung Hwa.

Joachim Bernhard Baum was born September 2, 1951 in Frankfurt, Germany, where his father and two brothers still live.

In his youth, Joachim was active in his Roman Catholic church. He and Werner Seubert, who later introduced Joachim to the Unification Church, became school and church friends in 1965. They began working together with the Catholic youth group in the church in 1968 and have remained friends for the past thirty years.

Around September, 1970, Werner first learned about the Unification Church, and began studying Divine Principle. He introduced Joachim a few months later, and Joachim became a member, moving into a Frankfurt Church center at the beginning of November, 1970, when he was 19 years old. As Werner related at Joachim's Seung Hwa Ceremony, he and Joachim sort of "midwived" each other into the Church, Werner introducing Joachim to the lectures and Joachim persuading Werner to move into the Church center.

During Joachim's first three years in the Unification Church, he worked in Germany sharing the Divine Principle with others. He became a center director for Heidelburg, and Werner was in his center.

One strong impression about Joachim remains in Werner's mind and heart. He said that after Joachim joined the Unification Church, he made a one year condition to read two chapters of the Divine Principle every day. After seven months of faithfully reading every day, he missed one day. Joachim determined to begin the entire condition again, and started over. So, in all, he read two chapters of the Divine Principle every day for one year and seven months.

Werner says, "Joachim is so determined and strong- willed. At that time, no one made one year conditions, only 40 days or less. So people knew about Joachim's condition and would ask him, `Are you still doing your condition?' And of course he was, because when Joachim said he was going to do something, he would do it." Werner says that Joachim was always very concerned on a heart-to-heart level about others. His great determination and strong-will is matched by his pure and sincere heart.

Joachim was invited to come to the United States as one of the first Europeans to participate in the One World Crusades. He came to America at the beginning of January, 1973, joining Dr. Edwin Ang's bus team as an assistant and traveling state to state, working with True Father's speaking tours. When the teams were later assigned to states, Joachim became a state leader in the New England region.

When Mobile Fundraising Teams were organized in the United States in 1973 under Neil Salonen, Joachim was asked to be an MFT captain. Joachim was Jack Ryan's first fundraising captain after Jack joined the Church. Jack remembers Joachim speeding towards a movie theater late one Sunday evening where he was taking the team for some relaxation. They were running late, so Joachim phoned the theater and said, "Hold the movie until we get there!"

During the Yankee Stadium and Washington Monument campaigns of 1976, Lisa Lay worked with Joachim in the kitchen, where they cooked round- the-clock to feed about 2,000 people per day for over 6 months. They began in the Headquarters building at 43rd St. and moved the kitchen to the newly-purchased World Mission Center on 34th St. The kitchen was very dirty and they had to clean it, move everything from 43rd St. to the World Mission Center, and continue to feed the brothers and sisters. Lisa says, "I can still remember his white apron and flip- flops. He felt like my big brother. He made you feel like he was your protector, that you were safe when he was around."

Eventually, Joachim moved to Colorado, where he worked with Philip Burley as his assistant and fundraising captain. He also gave lectures in the Church and on university campuses that time. Sometimes brothers and sisters introduced Joachim affectionately as Dr. Baum because he looked so much like a university professor and had such a tone of authority with his German accent! He gave presentations on the spiritual world and spiritual phenomena.

From Colorado Joachim went to San Francisco to continue his education. He graduated summa cum laude from San Francisco State College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History. Then he finished a Master of Arts degree in Western European History from San Francisco State University. During his years of study, Joachim worked in sales and, at night as a security guard in order to finance his education.

Joachim was Blessed in the 8,000 couple Blessing in Korea, October 14, 1982, to Robin Whidbee. They have four children: David, seven years old, Yuri, four, Joshua, three, and a daughter, Samantha, who went to spirit world shortly after her birth.

In June, 1991, Joachim graduated from Unification Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity degree. Joachim served as a project coordinator for the Religious Youth Service program held in San Francisco in August, 1990. There were two projects: the first with the Native American Association and the second with Habitat for Humanity in Oakland. Joachim helped set up and coordinate the projects, in which approximately 40 young people participated. The past few years he was enrolled in the Master of Education program at Queens College.

In February, 1992, Joachim traveled to the Black Sea region of the former Soviet Union to help staff workshops that were held for thousands of university and high school students. He was a group leader for teachers and students from Bishkek, Kyrgistan and from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, two Central Asian republics, assisting the missionaries to Tashkent, Chris and Christine Hempowicz.

Though Joachim had previously taught Principle extensively, he enthusiastically listened to Chris' lectures. When he told Christine how excited he was about the lectures, saying, "Chris really knows what to say to reach their hearts," Chistine realized with amazement what a humble man Joachim was. Rather than demanding a position for himself, he simply gave his best to whatever job was given him and supported those around him.

Joachim continued to keep in contact with students he met in the workshops and one year later, traveled again to the former Soviet Union, going directly to Tashkent to assist the Hempowiczes for 40 days. Joachim served as the main lecturer for various workshops in Uzbekistan. Many of the students he taught are participating in the 360,000 couple Blessing.

As an additional note, during this 40 days in the CIS, he traveled with a missionary who had been newly-assigned to the Central Asian republic of Turkmenistan. After an arduous journey, they met officials in the Turkmenistan Ministry of Education and invited them to seminars in Uzbekistan. They returned a few weeks later with a delegation of ministry officials, teachers and students, together on the train. Joachim was so personally committed to these people! He was like a big papa, making sure that they had comfortable accommodations after their difficult journey.

The past few years, Joachim worked as a substitute teacher while working towards his Master's degree in education. He became very concerned about the education of American youth, specifically about the students' moral education. He tried to guide them, and witnessed strongly about the importance of marriage and fidelity. Joachim felt that he could really share about God's heart through history and this was his goal: to teach high school History courses.

Joachim also worked for United Vision. Barry Geller, who worked with Joachim in retail sales, shared about Joachim's love for his family at the Seung Hwa. He said that Joachim kept a picture of his family with him while working, and even left the picture when Barry was working alone! His family was his inspiration, and he would often testify to his customers that his own children used and enjoyed the products. Barry also talked about the discussions he had with Joachim, which sometimes became arguments. Joachim could passionately plead his point!

Robin Baum shared deeply from her heart with the brothers and sisters who gathered at the Seung Hwa Ceremony to honor Joachim. She talked about his love for his family, and his absolute dedication to be a faithful husband. She reminded us, "Don't go a day without kissing your spouse good-bye when he goes out the door. Don't forget to say how much you love and appreciate him." Robin pledged her determination to raise their children to love God and True Parents and to serve God's providence to the best of her ability.

If you know Joachim and would like to share a part of his history with Robin and their children, you can write to her c/o World CARP, 4 W. 43rd St., NY, NY 10036.


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