World Seonghwa Ceremony for Wesley Samuel (1938-2016)

A World-Level Seonghwa Ceremony for Wesley Samuel was held on Sunday, October 2, 2016.

A historic and moving World Level Seonghwa Ceremony was held for Wesley Samuel, who passed away on September 23, at the Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland, PA.

Several family members and Unificationists shared about their experiences with Wesley.


His eldest daughter, Junie, explained that the entire family was absolutely united in honoring her father’s unwavering love for True Father, and also that “his heart was here (in Newfoundland)” with True Father’s heir and successor, Hyung Jin Nim.

Davetta Morgan explained that Wesley was her spiritual father who “transformed (her) life.” She sang several beautiful songs in celebration of his victorious life. Lewis Pearlman read from the book of Isaiah (from Isaiah 6:8) to praise his pioneering spirit, “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me.'”

Rev. Hyung Jin Moon gave a tearful, heartfelt tribute to the Samuel Family for uniting to honor their father’s intentions, in contrast to his own family who did not.


He explained that the calligraphy he drew for this Seonghwa meant, “Heavenly Warrior, return to your Father!

Pastor Moon explained about how many misunderstand God’s love, which does not mean to love everything but to love what God loves. He also shared about how there is a difference between good and evil, and between Father’s wish and what he told us not to do – otherwise we will end up loving what is false and becoming morally compromised ourselves.

He also shared that even though Wesley was in the 43 Couple Blessing which took place in 1969, he did not receive the praise and accolades of others in that historic Blessing. Pastor Moon explained that yet it was Wesley who stood with Father in the end by supporting the successor whom Father chose. Rev. Hyung Jin Moon said, “The kingdom is inherited by those who do the will of the Father – not by those who have good relations with their friends.” He added, “Civilization and the kingdom of God will not be built by just those who try to maintain relationships, but by those who have a steadfast and unwavering relationship with the King of Kings.”

Click here to download the full text and transcript of Rev. Hyung Jin Moon’s address at the World Seonghwa Ceremony for Wesley Samuel, as a pdf file.

The Wonjeon Ceremony was held at the Hopedale Moravian Cemetery nearby the Sanctuary Church in Newfoundland.

Biography of Wesley Samuel

Born in Quitman, Georgia, Wesley was raised on the farm in a Christian home with 5 brothers and 7 sisters. The family worked hard as farmers, sometimes they rented the land and sharecrop certain crops, such as watermelon, cotton, and tobacco. His father was the most religious one in his family. He spent many nights doing prayer meetings with the family and teaching the Bible before bedtime and tell stories about his life.

Wesley was very smart at a young age, many times his teacher would call on him to help others to count or recite their ABC’s. He helped his older siblings in their studies. He was also stubborn and determined to do just the right things. It was the tradition for everyone to join the church when they were 11 years old but Wesley did not join his family’s church until 13. He said, “I had no intention to join the church when I didn’t feel like I should or under pressure.”'

Wesley’s intelligence and determination helped him pass through many challenges as the first African American member of the Unification Church. He developed great patience and a sensitive heart to show grace to others. This nature was very important in his 50 years of service to God and particularly in his final years as great upheaval occurred in the Church he loved so much. As his wife, Gladys, says, “Wesley loved True Father so much, more than anything.”


He came to know the Lord of the Second advent in 1966 and with great love endurance and loyalty followed him for more than 50 years serving the church in many capacities. His diligence to study the bible, the Divine Principle and True Father’s speeches developed in him a deep insight and understanding. His patience and kindness made him a most beloved Husband to his wife, Father to his children and brother to brothers and sisters of all races throughout the world.

In 1961 Wesley married his beloved wife Gladys, in 1969 they were blessed in the historic 43 Couple Blessing, and in 2016 they did the Blessing to Return to True Father’s Authority. They have 6 children, 16 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.