An estimated 450 people gathered in Shepherdstown for a Tuesday afternoon
prayer luncheon at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center. Dinner
would be in Vermont on this the final day of the historic "We
Will Stand" tour celebration of faith and family.
It was a miraculous victory of the human spirit and divine providence,
considering that there were only seven days to prepare for the previously
Reverend Doo of the regional Family Federation for World Peace
and Unification (FFWPU) joined forces with West Virginia state representatives
Henry and Katsuko Christopher to galvanize a small group of international
Pier Angelo and Mary Beltrami put up half of the happy pilgrims
at their house for the week, while the other half stayed with the
Three teams met together each morning at the Student Union Hall
of Shepherd College. After breakfast and some focused organizing,
five to six car teams went out to nearly every church within the
30-mile radius, covering parts of West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
By Easter Sunday, between 200 and 300 churches had literally been
visited, at least two or three times each.
Meanwhile, Pier Angelo's graphic design of?ce in Shepherdstown,
was abuzz with creative activity. All the signs, banners, maps,
and any other literature for the program were prepared. Hotel and
event coordination, including the ordering of flowers and a celebration
cake, alerting the media for the planned press conference, the contacting
of local of?cials, as well as countless other details were also
managed efficiently and joyfully from there.
A united faith, hope, and love made the overcoming of all barriers
and walls possible.
The banquet room at the Clarion Hotel was overflowing and alive
with excitement. Many stood in the hallway outside the room to hear
the messages and bask in the glow of the wonderful fellowship.
Father Sun Myung Moon was full of love and good humor.
The main sermon was simultaneously presented on a large screen
television so everyone could see it and translated by Mr. Peter
Despite his age and the arduous schedule of the tour, Father Moon
shared from his heart and soul for as long as possible. Suddenly
he realized that he had to close in order to quickly to catch a
plane to the final gathering in Burlington, Vermont.
"I didn't know I was spending so much time in West Virginia.
Maybe I love you the most," he said to the attentive and cheering
One of the local ministers in attendance, Joe Liles Sr. of St. John
the Baptist Church in Shepherdstown said afterwards to the press
that he had never followed Father Moon's teachings closely, but
noted that his message "is very needed in the world we live