On a sunny Sunday afternoon a crowd of over 2,600
people gathered at the Renaissance Concourse Hotel for a magnificent
interfaith program. It was SRO (standing room only) as a beaming
Father Moon in the company of several ministers from different Christian
denominations was warmly welcomed to the peachy state of Georgia.
Family renewal, racial reconciliation, and inter-religious
cooperation were the themes.
After a brief reception with hors d'oeuvres, the
master of ceremonies, Reverend Thomas Cutts, Regional Director of
the American Family Coalition, began the formal program at around
The Rev. Vernice Austin, Pastor of the Union City
United Methodist Church, Union
City, Georgia, offered the invocation.
Several choirs sang during the preliminary program
and banquet. The Top Garden Academy choir, from Bayou la Batre,
Alabama sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic and was directed by
the Rev. Joshua Cotter.
The Cathedral of Divine Love Choir filled the hall
with the Holy Spirit.
The Rev. Elay Kasongo led a Choir composed of black,
Asian singers from the Atlanta Family Church.
There were also performances by a group of Japanese
missionaries, the Southwest Congregational Church, the Welcome Grove
Baptist Church, the Quality Living Services, Light of the World
Ministries, and the Second Chance Gospel Ministry Choir from Mobile,
Alabama directed by Evangelist Loretta Handy who sang a stirring
Four preachers spoke before the keynote address
; Bishop Jonathan Greer, Pastor of the Cathedral of Divine Love
in Atlanta; the Rev. Connie Crawford Bansa, Pastor of the Church
of the Living God of Chicago, Illinois; the Rev. Michael Jenkins,
President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification;
and the Rev. Jesse Edwards, Pastor of a United Pentecostals Church
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Greer addressed the need for unity within the
body of Christ,
Rev. Bansa affirmed that "God has anointed the work of Father
Rev. Jenkins shared the spirit and activities of the American Clergy
Leadership Conference, and Rev. Edwards challenged everyone to look
beyond their racial and denominational differences to work together
to end racism and divorce.
Proclamations and congratulatory letters were received
Governor Mark Taylor, Mayor Bill Campbell of Atlanta, Mayor P. Hillard
East Point, Mayor Burns of Stone Mountain, and from the counties
Clayton and DeKaIb.
Rev. Charles Sanders, Pastor of the Southwest Congregational
Church in Atlanta offered a prayer for unity.
State Senator Donzella James of the 35 Senate District
of Georgia, formerly and quite familiarly, welcomed Father and Mother
Moon to Atlanta.
Father Moon's keynote address began with impromptu
remarks that lasted about an hour. He then read spiritedly from
his text, inserting a few remarks here and there as Mr. Peter Kim
gave simultaneous translation. Dr. Charles Carpenter, the Director
of Pastoral Care at the Southern Regional Hospital in Atlanta, remarked
that the speech was so fascinating that it felt like the two hours
were only about forty minutes.
It was a deeply profound message. At one point,
he asked which was more important "love", "life",
or "lineage" ? The audience answered "love",
but Father Moon stated that lineage has the most value. He spoke
about the Heart of God, and God's longing for grandchildren. He
was drenched with sweat by the end.
Following the speech, Father and Mother Moon were
presented with a beautiful bouquet by Rev. Grafton Pressley and
his wife, Carol Pressley. He is the retired Senior Pastor at the
Decatur First United Methodist Church, and one time supervisor over
the entire North Georgia district.
Mr. Yong Sam Yang was presented an award for his
work with young people, and for his facilitating racial reconciliation
between the Korean and African American communities. Dr. Al Stewart
the Founder and President of the Institute of the Christian World
presented the award.
Plaques congratulating and saluting Father Moon
and the tour were presented by two national Korean community leaders,
Mr. Kyung Hwan Kim, the President of the Atlanta Korean Association,
and Mr. Jun Shik Ru, the Vice President of the Korean Commercial
Association of America.
Freedom, Faith and Family Awards were presented
to five community leaders. The first was a posthumous award to the
Rev. Dr. Hosea Williams for his risking his life in the Civil Rights
Movement and for his continued work with the Hosea Feed the Hungry
Program. The award was presented by Bishop Man Ho Kim, Southeast
Regional Director of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification,
and received by Mr. Cedrick Shelton, Executive Director of the Jericho
Road Project in Atlanta.
Mr. Jim Conway, the past President of the General
Ray Davis Chapter of the Korean War Veterans received an award on
behalf of Korean War Veterans. The award was presented by Dr. Chang
Shik Yang, the North American Continental Director of the Family
Federation for World Peace and Unification.
Mr. Ed McAteer, the Founder and National President
of the Religious Roundtable, received an award for bringing moral
values to public policy and for promoting Christian and Jewish cooperation.
It was his organization that galvanized the religious community
around then-Governor Ronald Reagan as candidate for U.S. President.
Mr. McAteer was also instrumental in the founding of the Moral Majority.
He was presented his award by State Senator Donzella James.
Dr. Harris Travis and his wife, Mrs. Georgia Travis,
received recognition for their 37 years of marriage and their ministry
to young people and to couples.
He is the Senior Pastor of the historic Zion Baptist Church in Marietta,
State Representative Henrietta Turnquest, the Governor's Floor Leader,
presented the award to the Dr. and Mrs. Travis.
Several other presentations were also made in appreciation
to Father and Mother Moon.
Father Moon himself then presented gold watches
to Bishop Willie Malcom, Rev.
Charles Carpenter, State Senator Donzella James, Rev. Charles Sanders,
A drawing for four more gold watches was then held.
Dr. Charles Carpenter, the Director of Pastoral Care at the Southern
Hospital, concluded the program by reading some passages from another
Moon's sermons, "In Search of the Origins of the Universe."