More than 200 friends and family of Dr. David Sang Chul Kim said goodbye to a lion of the Unification Movement on Nov. 10, 2011 in Barrytown, New York. He was 96.
Dr. Kim, known by more than 1,000 graduates of the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) as President Kim, was honored by True Father with a new name for his transition service: it is the first-ever "Sung Hwa (Heavenly Harmony) Ceremony."
"Since 1984, True Father designated the ascension ceremony for Blessed members as the Seung Hwa, but from today we will have Sung Hwa ceremonies," said Dr. Chang Shik Yang, the Continental Director of the Unification Church.
True Father said that Dr. Kim will go directly to the heavenly garden, which means the place in the spiritual world that is like the “Garden of Eden before the Fall," he explained.
Reflections on President Kim's unique contributions to the Unification Church were given by Michael Mickler, professor of church history at UTS, Dr. Theresa Stewart, former dean of UTS and Dr. Tyler Hendricks, former president of UTS.
Dr. Mickler and Dr. Hendricks explained that President Kim counseled students to anticipate what projects True Father needed before he articulated those needs.
"He advised others to be thinking leaders not blind following leaders," Prof. Mickler said.
After arriving in the United States as the second missionary in 1959 (following Miss Young Oon Kim), he set up United Faith, Inc., a group which foreshadowed several interfaith projects, explained Prof. Mickler. "While serving as president of UTS, he was the father of UTS' interreligious work,” he added. President Kim helped establish the Assembly of world religions, the International Religious Service, and the New Ecumenical Research association.
Early in David S. C. Kim's life, he believed that it was his destiny to unite the world's religions, but after meeting True Father, who was five years younger, God told him that this younger man would carry out this mission. David S. C. Kim decided to subordinate himself to this younger man – “Not an easy thing for a Korean to do in 1954,” Dr. Hendricks said.