The Words of the Jenkins Family
Left to right: Rev. Michael Jenkins, Rev. A. I. Dunlap, Mrs. Waller, Dr. Amos Waller, and Dr. Jakie Roberts.
When Father first asked all 50 states to hold two-day CAUSA seminars, Rev. Su Won Chung, our regional coordinator, returned to Chicago and instructed us to hold two-day seminars twice each week. In the beginning it was hard to understand the importance of overnight seminars. Father explained that the ministers can have a truly fulfilling experience only by staying overnight with us. If the ministers go home at night after the first day of the seminar, they return to their own atmosphere and to the daily problems of their own church life. Often they don't make it back the next day. However, when the ministers remain overnight with us, they have just enough time to finally let go of their own responsibilities and become inspired by the atmosphere provided by CAUSA.
Rev. Chung also brought us the understanding that the two-day seminar has a symbolic meaning: It represents the unity of Abel and Cain. A one-day seminar is a symbolic representation of Cain alone, not coming together with Abel; but the two-day seminar signifies the unity of the two brothers.
Through such internal guidance it became much easier for us to commit ourselves to the seminars and to truly feel that we had been given this mandate by God.
First, however, we had to understand the essential purpose of the CAUSA Ministerial Alliance. Through discussion with Rev. Chung we realized that CMA was created to provide an atmosphere where all Christians can unite with Father's ideals for America. Its purpose is not only to create an anti-communist directive among Christians, but more importantly to create a foundation of unity between Christianity and the Unification movement, whereby we can all work together to solve the problems of communism, immorality, and the breakdown of the family.
We felt that CAUSA had to become a real revival movement that could spark a revolutionary spirit and a renewal of heart.
Most Christian ministers' daily lives and activities are focused on coming to that one special experience, through a sermon or through fellowship with other Christians, where the heart can take over and they can actually experience God. It is not a theological or educational process that can bring a person to that level of heart. Yet that kind of spiritual experience alone does not have the power to direct a person toward making a commitment to save America, or even to improve the community.
Therefore, it is necessary to teach the participants about the different aspects of Marxism and the threats that this ideology poses to freedom and belief in God around the world. CAUSA has to provide not only the fellowship that can inspire a revolution of heart, but the educational materials that can strengthen the participants' understanding of the challenges they face.
To fulfill the spiritual dimension, we initiated a gospel fellowship hour, or a fellowship evening. We always hold it right after dinner on the first evening of the seminar. We don't have a guest speaker give a talk on communism; rather, we invite a local pastor to preach. We don't ask him to preach specifically about freedom; we just ask him to pray and let God work to move the people toward the experience of unity. Our theme is simply achieving unity beyond the barriers of race, nation, culture, and religion.
Spiritual phenomena do occur during these fellowship services. In a very short period of time, all the participants' fears about Rev. Moon and their concerns about theology and denominational differences break down, and they begin to trust that the CAUSA movement really is of God. Somehow God consistently provides a mix of races and denominations in every seminar, and the participants can feel our most special power -- the spirit of the True Parents embracing people of all races and religions and enabling us to understand and love one another.
There have actually been meetings held by major ministers in Chicago to warn other clergy not to attend CAUSA. However, some of the ministers who went to those meetings never really spoke out, and were still wondering about Rev. Moon and about CAUSA. Through some of our friends, we were able to reach out and invite a number of them to come, and we even asked them to preach for us.
Many ministers are so strong in their faith and in their relationship with God that when they are allowed to preach, no matter where, they feel sure that God is going to speak through them. They feel that as long as they are preaching, they cannot be doing anything but the will of God.
In order to boost the ministers' confidence even more, we brought some of the finest gospel singers in Chicago to perform for us. One of our participants, Dr. Walter Butts, a minister as well as a professional gospel singer, knows many famous names in gospel. Through him we were able to have Albertina Walker, as well as Delois Barrett Campbell and the Barrett Sisters, sing at our fellowship hour. They are so well known in the black community in Chicago that if you have a program with them on it, people feel absolutely that God is going to be there.
Because of the caliber of the entertainers, our ministers in turn were able to approach some of the most famous ministers in Chicago. The first truly well-known minister who consented to come was Dr. Amos Waller. Dr. Waller has one of the largest Baptist churches on the west side of town, Mercy Seat Baptist Church, with a congregation of about 2500. He started out years and years ago from a storefront church and built his foundation from there.
When Dr. Waller came to preach, we had a wonderful evening. About 150 ministers, evangelists, and missionaries came out that night. And then the rumors began to spread around Chicago. Many people called Dr. Waller to warn him that he had been tricked, that he hadn't really known that Rev. Moon was behind CAUSA. Yet all the participants had experienced a very high spirit during that fellowship hour, and Dr. Waller had definitely felt the presence of God and Jesus Christ. No matter what anybody said, no one could convince him otherwise.
When we asked Dr. Waller to preach for us again, he said yes. That really created a controversy throughout Chicago! The other ministers knew that Dr. Waller couldn't possibly be deceived a second time. One of his friends even called him up and said, "Dr. Waller, have you gone crazy?" But he just became even stronger and more righteous. And his actions stimulated a great deal more interest and curiosity throughout the religious community than ever before.
We have begun to focus on having two especially large seminars each month. Most of the time we contact ministers through phone calling, but twice a month we send out a mailing. Throughout 1985 we sent out mailing after mailing to the churches in the suburbs. We felt that it was important to continue that effort because a few very good suburban preachers would come that way. But we discovered that most of the ministers weren't even reading our mailings. Some of the ministers who had not come to CAUSA for a long time told us that they had four or five of them sitting on their desk. They said the invitations looked like junk mail. When they opened them up they would just see long, detailed blocks of text about communist expansion, and they didn't want to read that.
Dr. Jakie Roberts, the co-chairman of CAUSA in our state, advised us that what we needed in order to reach the minority ministers was a simple leaflet with a schedule on the back, announcing just the basics: the fact that there would be lectures on freedom and the problem of communism, and who was going to be preaching that night. Such a flyer is much more in line with what the churches are used to dealing with when they announce their own revival meetings.
I really have to praise the brothers and sisters on the calling team, because they form the spiritually powerful connecting point between Father's desire and its actualization. They truly have "no concepts." If we don't have enough confirmations, they just keep calling, even until 1:00 a.m. Of course some ministers don't like being called that late, but knowing how serious we are, they don't really complain. Sometimes we can get 10 or 15 confirmations between 12:30 and 1:00 a.m.
We also enlisted some of our graduate ministers to call. Some members have called the same ministers many, many times and have developed good relationships with them. The graduate ministers are often very effective in helping these ministers to finally come. However, when they call new ministers outside of their own circle of friends, they often encounter difficulties. Sometimes they get attacked or are asked questions they can't deal with easily, so we decided it was best to let the members call the new ministers.
When we started out we found that providing transportation was critical. Our percentage of attendees would drop by as much as 75 percent if we didn't provide transportation. Over the last month this has completely changed. Now enough interest has been generated in CAUSA so that up to 60 or 70 percent of the participants drive to the seminar themselves.
Pastor Charlie Williams, Mrs. Mal Sook Lee, and Dr. Jakie Roberts with the dedicated calling team.
Because our aspirations for attendance at the CAUSA seminars were so high, we openly invited as many people as possible, at first. We found that some of the guests were not entirely qualified or serious enough to make a significant response to the program. Yet the moment we became in any way -- even the slightest bit -- selective about our guests, they began to feel disheartened. They would immediately feel a lack of love, and before we knew it, that feeling would spread right up to our most important ministers, the very leaders of CAUSA. Our attendance dropped drastically.
We quickly came to realize that without absolute, unconditional love, True Parents' spirit could never be with us. We went through many levels of struggle trying to love the humblest, simplest people. God is simply not selective in any way; He loves unconditionally. When we put ourselves in line with that unconditional heart, we can create a loving spirit and a good atmosphere. After realizing that, we supported and believed fully in all our guests, no matter who they were. Finally, a truly universal spirit of love and a sense of the presence of Jesus Christ began to develop around CAUSA.
Dr. A. I. Dunlap from the Mount Olive AME Church, one of the most well-known Methodist ministers in Chicago, showed up at a seminar all of a sudden. One of our members had been calling him repeatedly at both his home and his office for a full year. Finally he came to the conclusion that anybody calling him that many times has to have something important to offer, so he decided to come.
Dr. Dunlap became so enthusiastic about CAUSA that the following week he wanted to come again and emcee, and the week after that he wanted to preach. Later on he even organized a ceremony to present awards -- beautifully inscribed plaques -- to Father, myself, and Dr. Roberts, on behalf of the AME Ministerial Alliance. He did receive some persecution for doing that, but that didn't bother him. He's not afraid.
Dr. Dunlap had worked very strongly for the civil rights movement in Chicago in the past. Right after the first conference he said to me, "You know, I clearly understand why Rev. Moon went to prison. It's because he's trying to bring people together. He's trying to unite people of all races and religions. If there is unity, religious people can have tremendous power to make changes in our society. Some people don't want to see those kinds of changes. Whenever a man comes forward who tries to unify people, he threatens the status quo; so he gets persecuted. That's exactly what happened with Dr. Martin Luther King"
More and more the feeling is circulating among our participants that Rev. Moon is like Dr. King, that he is unifying people in the universal love of Christ.
One day one of our Japanese sisters became inspired at morning service and went out determined that, even though she was fundraising, she would find a minister for CAUSA. That night she went to an apartment building. The first door she knocked on was a minister's. He turned out to be very negative, but intuition told her to just keep going. Then a few doors down she met another minister, who felt a special power coming from her and welcomed her in. This minister, Bishop J. E. Watley, had been the assistant to the founder of the Church of God in Christ, and now holds a prominent position in that church. He told her that he had viewed all the Divine Principle tapes that Father had sent out. He said he thought Rev. Moon was a great man, and he was interested in finding out more about CAUSA. Two days later he came to a seminar and preached for us. He became very serious in supporting us. He called many of his colleagues, and many of them came.
Bishop Watley is very well known in international circles. He often goes to Washington DC and has connections with many Democrats. One night while he and I were sitting at dinner, he leaned over and said to me, "You know, I was in Ted Kennedy's office about a month ago, and the first thing he asked me was, 'What do you think of Rev. Moon?' I told him, 'I think Rev. Moon is one of the most significant religious leaders of our time." Imagine that! Even before Bishop Watley had ever met a member of the Unification Church, he testified to Ted Kennedy about Father's greatness.
Another very notable figure who came to CAUSA is Dr. W. N. Daniel. He is president of the Chicago police board and he is also on the board of several Chicago banks. Dr. Daniel had heard a lot about us because he had friends who had come to CAUSA. I knew all the time, however, that Dr. Daniel was receiving negative phone calls warning him not to attend. But finally Dr. Daniel came and preached for us one evening. We had a famous entertainer that night and the spirit really moved.
The seminar made such a strong impact on Dr. Daniel that the following day, a Saturday, he began to talk about CAUSA on his own radio show. He said that every minister should experience CAUSA for himself and pay no attention whatsoever to any kind of negativity. "If you really have any courage at all," he told them, "you should go and see what it's all about." Dr. Waller, who also has his own radio show, did the same thing on the same day. Two of the most famous ministers in Chicago were speaking about CAUSA over the radio on the very same Saturday!
The guests enjoy our lectures immensely. We changed the focus of the lectures somewhat to appeal more specifically to Christians. We emphasize the central historical role of Christianity and the fact that the Christian foundation in America must be strengthened and nurtured. Father's greatest concern is that Christian ministers can become united first; then through that unity we can reach out to every other faith.
We talk about Jesus a great deal in our seminars, and we feel it is important to show his position in the Unification movement and in CAUSA. I felt, and the ministers agreed, that we need to bring the awareness of Jesus forward so that new ministers who come can feel secure in having their own central figure there with us. There's absolutely no question in my mind that Jesus is working with CAUSA more than another other movement on earth. Where else would he be?
One young Spanish woman, a relative of one of the ministers who was at the seminar, had an experience in which she felt tremendous initial resistance to the fellowship. She felt a kind of pressure to receive God, or to open up to the spirit, which she could not accept. That night when she went to bed, however, she felt the presence of Jesus so strongly that it overwhelmed her, and she began to cry. The next day at lunchtime she stood up and testified in tears that she had accepted Jesus Christ into her heart. The ministers were overwhelmed! They could see that CAUSA is indeed bringing people to Jesus, and healing them. The story doesn't end there. Shortly after this young lady accepted Jesus, she joined our church. She's a very good member.
We are grateful that our relationship with Dr. Jakie Roberts throughout this entire time period has been so strong. He accepted True Parents about a year ago, and now he plays the role of a true John the Baptist.
We were very lucky that God helped us find him, because he has studied about every Christian denomination there is. He knows the founders and the histories of each denomination, so he can relate with anybody. When the new ministers experience difficulty, they can't easily come to me, at least partly because I am of a different race; but they can naturally go to Dr. Roberts.
Whenever we failed to serve even the simplest people with the greatest sincerity, their negativity would reach Dr. Roberts. In his John the Baptist position he was faced with innumerable problems. Sometimes he would have to struggle with doubts of his own as to whether we really did have God's love for people after all.
Yet somehow through our unity with him and his understanding of the Principle, Dr. Roberts could keep his faith. I'm profoundly grateful that he persevered. He absolutely defended our movement's sincerity, so the new ministers could feel confidence in us. A spirit of trust developed because Dr. Roberts would always be there for them. They knew that Dr. Roberts had his own church and yet was dedicated to CAUSA, and this gave them hope that they could do the same.
Another important aspect of our seminars is that we let one of the graduate ministers teach at each seminar. We usually ask them to teach the CAUSA Worldview lectures, which are mostly about Godism. On the first day of a two- day seminar, we set one of the ministers up in his hotel room with the lecture script and slide projector, and let him practice until he feels confident. By the next day he is ready to give the lecture. The ministers are always surprised at how easy it actually is, and we are always surprised at how quickly they can learn.
Clergymen are naturals when it comes to talking about God. Whenever the ministers themselves teach the Godism lectures, we get no questions about Godism; it seems perfectly clear to everyone! There is no fear connected to this strange new "ism" because the pastors themselves teach it so strongly. The feeling never arises that Unificationists are running the show.
On the second day of the two-day seminar Rev. Chung gives a short talk at lunchtime, and it usually makes a great impact. I think it's due to the ministers' fascination with Rev. Moon. As soon as Rev. Chung stands up, the participants are awed, feeling that something special is going to happen.
Rev. Chung always speaks about how communism is trying to set up a "kingdom of heaven" on earth without God, and how Christianity is the force that is supposed to bring about God's Kingdom. There are never any sour reactions against that point. He also speaks about the injustice of Father's court case. This generates a powerful feeling of sympathy that moves the participants to want to help out.
Once, when some of the other Korean regional directors came to visit one of our seminars, rumors flew all around that Rev. Moon was there. People have this unspoken fascination: "When is Rev. Moon coming?" At some of the bigger seminars we've had, with 400, 500, or 600 people, the ministers seem to be excited by the idea that "Rev. Moon must be coming to this one because it's so big."
Although we only have about 15 staff members, these larger seminars are not difficult to control at all because of the help we receive from graduate volunteers. We allow our graduates to come back if they bring new guests. We put stars on their name badges to identify them, and they feel so proud. For example, if the guests don't come down to meals or lectures, the graduate volunteers call every single room; and if that doesn't work, they start knocking on doors. They really know how to take care of that problem! We are deeply grateful for their support.
Our IW, Mrs. Mal Sook Lee, has also been very helpful. With a mother's heart, she has focused on loving the ministers by caring for their health. It has surely been a happy surprise for them to have a beautiful Oriental lady ask them if they are getting all the vitamins they need, and if they are drinking their ginseng tea!
We are also very thankful for the support of Joe Tully and the national CAUSA staff in helping us organize our seminars and continually encouraging us.
I want to emphasize again that following Father's direction absolutely, dedicating ourselves to that direction through unity with Rev. Chung, and having the support of a strong John the Baptist like Dr. Jakie Roberts have generated the spiritual power that created the experiences we have had in Chicago. And we're just going to continue on in the same spirit.