On March 2nd, 2015, ministers and clergy of the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) gathered in Los Angeles, Detroit and New York to participate in the Foundation Day Blessing Ceremony officiated by True Parents. Many of the ministers and clergy offered testimonies about their experience at the Marriage Blessing Ceremony.
Los Angeles, CA
Two hundred people gathered in Los Angeles at the New Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church on the evening of March 2nd, 2015. It was a glorious “Halleluiah” experience, where marriages were healed and Blessed, and singles dedicated themselves to their future spouses.
Of the couples that received the Marriage Blessing, Rev. Cassandra Buchanan participated in the Foundation Day Blessing celebration in Los Angeles and testified;
I believe it was divine providence that the most high God established Father Moon and Mother Moon to not only speak about the heart of God, but to make it their lives’ mission to bring to this world exactly what the reflection of the True Family of the Kingdom of Heaven looks like! Last night, we experienced the Shekinah Glory of God because we as a people were in total surrender to His word and His presence!
Bishop J. L. Briggs and his wife were divorced but testified that it was Father Moon’s teaching of the Divine Principle that brought them back together again. They were Blessed in Marriage in the 2014 Foundation Day Blessing and helped organize the 2015 Foundation Day Blessing in Los Angeles.
Among the participants in Los Angeles were Rev. Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray, former pastor of the First A.M.E. Church of Los Angeles and current Chairman of Christian Ethics in the School of Religion at the University of Southern California. He participated with a photograph of his deceased wife, Mrs. Bernardine Murray. When Dr. Murray brought the Holy Wine up to his wife’s picture, there were tears in his eyes. There was an overwhelming sense of True Parents’ presence throughout the program. (Dr. Murray is one of the most prominent ministers in Los Angeles. He was taught the Divine Principle one-on-one by Rev. Tim Henning.)
Also in Los Angeles, Rev. Walter Millsap gave his testimony.
One Sunday morning I started looking for a song that Father Moon had written, which was; ‘Grace of the Holy Garden’. Only a man of God could have written that song. I started singing the song and I felt as though Father Moon was singing it with me. Our two voices became one. It moved me so much that I took it to church that morning and led our congregation in singing with me. Later that day I found out that Father Moon had passed that morning.
Pastor Millsap sang “Grace of the Holy Garden” during the Foundation Day Blessing Ceremony, and the presence of True Father flooded the room.
The ACLC ministers in the Los Angeles chapter had prepared for this Marriage Blessing Ceremony for one year. Dr. Nicholas Benson and his wife from the First Summit Evangelical Church were the officiators, and Bishop Jesse Edwards was the Master of Ceremonies.
Ministers that attended the Los Angeles program testified to True Father and True Mother. The men’s choir from the New Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church marched in singing “I Know I’ve Been Changed, the Angels in Heaven have Signed My Name.” As the video of the Foundation Day Blessing in Korea started playing and a picture of True Mother giving the Blessing came on the screen, Ministers Keith Williams and Magdalena Millsap started singing “The Spirit and the Bride Say Come”, a song from Revelations 22:17, in reference to the Second Coming. There was a strong sense that the Messiah had returned.
In Detroit, Rev. Bobby Speeks and Mrs. Jearline Speeks were among the five pastor couples who participated in the Foundation Day Blessing. Two weeks later, all five couples attended a one-day Divine Principle seminar taught by Bishop Jesse Edwards. After hearing the Divine Principle, Rev. Speeks was ecstatic, commenting, “My whole life has been changed.” In the photos at the top, Bishop Edwards is shown teaching “From the Fall to the Cross” to the five couples. In the group photo, the couples names from left to right are Rev. Eugene and Paula Smith, Rev. Bobby and Jearline Speeks, Rev. Willie and Pat Downer, Rev. Willie and Yvonne Pitts, Rev. Ricky and Donnie Barnes and Mr. William and Rosalind Fromius.
Imam Eluhi, also from Detroit, watched the live broadcast and commented, “I don’t know how Father and Mother Moon do it. They bring tens of thousands of young people together for marriage, and I can hardly convince one couple to get married.”
On a side note, Dr. David Ross of Detroit is helping the ACLC ministers in Washington, D.C. establish “Marriage Mentoring Ministries.” They held a one-day workshop on January 24 hosted by ACLC Co-chairman Bishop Vandy Kennedy. Future Marriage Blessings will be supported by a Lutheran Bishop, a Pentecostal pastor from Ghana, and another minister.
New York, NY
In New York, Archbishop Sulanch Lewis participated in the Foundation Day Blessing held at 4 West 43rd Street. During the ceremony and prayer, she felt True Father’s presence. She said, “After taking the Change of Blood Lineage Holy Wine and having my marriage Blessed by True Parents, I felt a lightness and joy in my spirit.”
In these three cities of America, ACLC ministers and their congregations joined True Father and True Mother by way of live broadcast. Two hundred people gathered in Los Angeles at the New Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church on the evening of March 2nd, 2015. It was a glorious “Halleluiah” experience, where marriages were healed and Blessed, and singles dedicated themselves to their future spouses. Five pastors joined the Blessing in Detroit, and Archbishop Sulanch Lewis participated in New York.
Based on the experiences in Los Angeles, Detroit and New York, the ACLC chapters of America are ready for a Marriage Blessing movement, as the lives of pastors are being changed nationwide. Helping these pastors Bless their own marriages and those of their congregations can directly support True Mother’s vision of Tribal Messiahship. With the concerted efforts of the American Clergy Leadership Conference, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, the Universal Peace Federation, and the Women’s Federation for World Peace, a Marriage Blessing movement can be created that will change the culture of America.