Footsteps of My Faith – Part 2
By Chung Su-won
In North Korea, True Father had especially sought out the spirit-led Christian churches, some of which had been very powerfully prepared to prepare the way for the Lord at the Second Advent. The story of Kim Seong-do, the Holy Lord Church that she established, and the persecution they received, is quite well known to our members. Rev. Chung Su-won, who wrote this testimony, was the grandson of Kim Seong-do and, together with his wife, blessed as one of the 36 Couples. He tells the story in his own words with details you may not have previously known.
Connection with spirit-led groups
At that time there was a minister in Korea by the name of Rev. Young Do Lee, who was the leader of another spiritual group that was being persecuted by the Christian churches. [Editor’s note: Rev. Lee had received similar revelations concerning the coming Lord as Kim Seung-do had, and his church was in the Adam’s position among the spiritual groups in Korea, prepared to receive Father at that time.] He was receiving medical treatment from a spiritual leader named Rev. Baek Nam-ju. He had a revelation that Rev. Baek should find the spiritual group that was working in Eve’s position. Rev. Baek eventually discovered my grandmother’s church in Cheolsan.
While Rev. Baek was there, he learned from my grandmother that the root of sin was fornication. Second, he learned that Jesus came to build the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth but because the Jewish people denied him, Jesus was crucified. That is the reason my grandmother’s church did not put up the cross. The third point he learned was that the Lord of the Second Advent would come to Korea and that Korea would be the central nation of the world.
After hearing these revelations, Rev. Baek was overwhelmed. He and his own church members were very happy with the spiritual atmosphere they felt there. A few days later, Rev. Baek returned to his hometown of Wonsan. From there he sent a letter to my grandmother’s church asking if some of them could come and help him guide a revival meeting with another spiritual group.
My father, my aunt, my uncle, and three members of my grandmother’s church went to that group in Wonsan. But before they could start the revival meeting, the members of the group told them to leave; they could not accept them. So Rev. Baek and the others returned to the Chang Mak Church in Cheolsan.
But one of the members of the group that had rejected them came back with Rev. Baek to Cheolsan. She was the grandmother of True Mother. At my grandmother’s church she received a lot of new truth and guided her daughter Hong Soon-ae, Mother’s mother.
She explained to her daughter, “The New Lord always emphasizes Matthew 5:48, ‘You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’” She explained to her how mankind must overcome arrogance, jealousy, lust, and anger. They ate only vegetables, no meat, in order to control their fallen nature.
My grandmother’s group grew bigger and bigger every day. One day the Japanese police came and interrupted their meeting without permission. So Rev. Baek and my father, Chung Seok-cheon, registered the group with the Japanese administration and received a church permit. They officially named it the “Holy Lord Church.”
Many people came from all over Korea to the church and it grew rapidly. One thousand people from throughout Pyong-ahn Province, Gyeong-gi Province, and Hwang-hae Province became members. They eventually set up meeting places in other cities, Anju, Sookcheon, Pyongyang, Youngcheon, and Suncheon.
Arrest and imprisonment
At that time all Korean Christians were persecuted by the Japanese who occupied Korea. One day a young member of the Holy Lord Church witnessed to a policeman from the Japanese police department. He told him that Japan would be destroyed and that the second coming of Jesus would be in Korea. He said that many people from all over the world would come to see the Messiah, and that Korea would become a first-tier nation.
The policeman wanted to know more about the Holy Lord Church, so the young member guided him to my grandmother in Cheolsan. The policeman studied there for ten days and then reported everything to the police headquarters.
On December 16, 1941, they arrested my father Chung Seok-cheon, my grandmother Kim Seung-do, my uncle, and another young man, Kim Young-su. They were in jail for 100 days, during which time the Japanese burned all the records my grandmother wrote of her revelations in the spiritual world. It was a heartbreaking experience.
While my grandmother was in jail she became ill. Soon after she was released, on April 1, 1942, she died. She was 62. She had worked for 30 years to build a foundation for a new Christian revolution. In later years our True Parents would say that my grandmother was the first person who understood the root of sin and that she had prepared the growth-stage level for the Messiah to appear.
After my grandmother died all the members were confused and had little hope for the future. They scattered, and many left the church. My father became the new master of the church, but he was also sick after being in jail. He had not been united with my grandmother, and the members were not satisfied with his religious guidance. He mainly just helped the members economically.
It was difficult for the church members to find transportation to the church headquarters, so they couldn’t gather very often. The Japanese police persecuted them more strongly than ever. Therefore, all the members moved to the Pyongyang branch of the church. This remained as the central church until liberation from Japan. They continued to hold prayer services and to receive strong spiritual guidance.
Meanwhile, my father had married and had three children. I was the son of the Holy Lord Church master so many people persecuted me, calling me “Baby of New Church Master” because we believed the second coming of the Messiah would not be on the clouds but through a woman’s womb.
Meeting the Returning Lord
On August 15, 1945, Korea was liberated from Japan. At that time the church at Pyongyang gained many new members. But soon after liberation, Korea was divided into North and South. My family escaped to the south because they felt the danger of communism. Most of the members stayed behind at the Pyongyang church, and Lee II-duk and his wife Huh Ho-bin became the new church leaders there, inheriting my grandmother’s mission to prepare for the coming Lord.
Under my grandmother’s guidance, all the members of the Holy Lord Church had learned about the Fall, Jesus’ crucifixion, and the Messiah’s coming to Korea in the flesh. But Mrs. Huh Ho-bin, when she felt her stomach move, thought that it meant the second Jesus would be coming through her own womb, so her members started preparing for the Messiah to come through her. The revelation was symbolic, not literal; but they misunderstood it. They forgot about man’s portion of responsibility to understand the complete truth. From that time many people called them the “Inside the Belly Church” but they were originally from the Holy Lord Church.
The other members of the Holy Lord Church came to South Korea and gathered at my father’s and uncle’s house in Taegu.
My grandmother’s last words to us had been, “In the future, if you find a church that is persecuted and accused of immorality, then go to that church. There you will meet the Messiah at his second coming.” In June 1955 our family saw a newspaper article about many students from Ewha Women’s University being kicked out of school because of their membership in the Unification Church, which was being accused of fostering immorality. So my whole family went one day to the Unification Church and listened to the Principle. We were amazed that the lectures about the Fall, the resurrection, and the second coming of the Messiah were exactly the same as my grandmother’s teachings at the Holy Lord Church. We assumed that a former member of the Holy Lord Church had discovered the Principle.
After listening to the Principle for one week, my father realized that this principle explained much more completely about God’s providence than we had ever heard before. Then we learned that the Principle had been discovered by Rev. Sun Myung Moon.
After we heard the Principle our family was very happy because the teachings were so similar to what we already knew to be true. So we joined the Unification Church on June 25, 1955. At that time the Unification Church was receiving strong persecution.
In 1957 we moved to Seoul from Taegu; I had just returned from the army. I entered college and there I studied the Principle more deeply.
I had many special experiences with Father at that time. Even though we were suffering from the persecution and lack of food, we didn’t mind, because Father was paying so much attention to us. One day, Father took the young church members mountain climbing and he shared rice cakes with us. I remember running and wrestling with Father.
I decided to discontinue my studies, and I went to pioneer in Choongju, I had a very good experience there. When I was lonely I would climb a mountain to pray and meditate. I wanted to harmonize with the church members, so sometimes we climbed the mountain together and prayed. I grew to have a deep relationship with the other pioneer members.
To be continued….