STILL STANDING AND CRUSADING
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 megachurch 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
Metro Mass Choir; from Houston's own Ms. Betty Washington; from
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.