Huisun Memorial Project and Its Progress
Three years have passed since Huisun Rev. Abraham Park, author of the History of Redemption Series and founder of more than 300 churches worldwide, entered heaven on December 17, 2014. The Huisun Memorial Foundation was established in February of 2016, one year and two months after his passing. How is the Huisun Memorial Project progressing?
Why is the Huisun Memorial Project Necessary?
“Content is king (content is the best)” is a well-known phrase in the global media industry. This states that an enterprise will endure the sudden changes and fluctuations in a business as long as it has sound content.
The Huisun Memorial Project must not be regarded as just a remembrance project to honor the person who founded our church.
Rev. Cho Seung-Won, who is in charge of the committee for the Huisun Memorial Foundation, stated, “One thing that I felt while reviewing the vast amount of materials and writings left behind by Rev. Abraham Park for the past three years is that it is truly inexhaustible. This applies in both quality and quantity. I myself have listened to the Word proclaimed by Rev. Park for several decades and read his books from the History of Redemption Series numerous times, but I realized that the Rev. Park I knew was only a minute part of him.”
There are countless handwritten manuscripts directly written by Rev. Park during his time of prayer on mountains. The sermons that have been recorded since the 1980’s, with video and sound, reach 3,000 in number. Each and every sermon is a guideline of this age that encompasses the entire Bible, both the Old and New Testament. Moreover, sermon manuscripts that Rev. Park prepared but was not able to preach are innumerable. It is content yet to be heard, which he showed the saints from time to time, saying “this is 20 pages but I was only able to proclaim three.” In other words, an amount we have not yet been able to read has been left behind.
“The content of the History of Redemption Series were already in the sermons from his early years of ministry. There is even more that has not made it into the books. For example, you can find dozens of sermons on topics such as “Abraham” and “the religious reformation,” and these sermons enrich the content we learned in the History of Redemption Series, making it three-dimensional.” (Evangelist Seo Hyun-Mi of Huisun Memorial Foundation)
“There are many aspects of Rev. Park that we did not know. From the early years of his ministry to the 1970’s, he actively participated in activities beyond the denomination and wrote many articles. It seems to be grounded on his belief that the Korean churches must be reformed, and when churches are reformed, society will change. When you look at the writings of the time, you are surprised by its theological systematicity that could be published as a thesis as itself and come to admire the sharp insight into social reform,” stated Rev. Cho.
The educators and saints of Pyungkang Cheil Church are the inheritors of this heritage. At a time of a drought of the Word where it is difficult to find true churches, nations can only come running to a place overflowing with the Word. The essence of the Huisun Memorial Foundation is to discover, preserve, organize and proclaim the endless content left behind byHuisun Rev. Abraham Park to all nations through offline (Huisun Memorial Hall) and online (digital archive) means.
Achievements so far
How much work has been done during the past two years? The foundation is involved in researching the tens of thousands of data and collecting, preserving and classifying thousands of artifacts. Among these, the handwritten manuscripts of 5,302 pages recorded in the 1960’s after Rev. Abraham Park’s prayer on Mt. Jiri was bound up in 26 volumes, after 6 months of special preservation treatment, and stored in a specialized acid-free paper preservation box. Because the preserved manuscripts cannot be retrieved under regular circumstances, each page of the manuscript was photographed and made into a photoprint, just like the original book last year (see True Peace Magazine, January 2017).
Interviews are held that testify of the holy ministry of Rev. Abraham Park and the history of the church. Mrs. Min Kap-Sik (wife of Rev. Abraham Park), Elder Jung Won-Sik (Former Prime Minister), Evangelist Hong Soon-Boon, Elder Choi Wan-Kyu and others were also documented. In addition, campaigns for the donation of old historical records took place. Documents such as the white paper for sanctuary construction of the 1970’s, first print of the “Victory Song of the Word,” certificate of graduation for Seongji Seminary, sermon notes from the 1970’s and pamphlets passed out during evangelism on the streets for all seasons were obtained and a few were revealed during the special exhibition for Huisun. Keeping the original and returning a copy to the donor and vice versa are available methods and a more active donation is requested.
Digital Archives, the Foundation of the Memorial Project
The digital archive business forms the basis of the Huisun Memorial Project. It is a task that digitalizes and systematically classifies all the data regarding Huisun Rev. Abraham Park so that educators, saints and people who wish to learn about Rev. Park can do so from outside as well as in the Huisun Memorial Hall. Of course, the scope and authority of access will be differentiated into stages. A great amount of time and budget is required to digitize such vast amount of material. Last year, continuous discussions were held to find the most productive method. This year of 2018 is when the system construction and data entry will officially begin.
One thing that filled the people in charge with awe was Rev. Abraham Park’s keen insight. All his sermons and various events were recorded since from the 1980’s, more than 10 years before other large churches as well as public sectors and large corporations of the nation. The digitalization of broadcasting and photographic equipment was completed faster than even major broadcasting companies in Korea.
Huisun Memorial Hall is not a “Hall of Commemoration” but a “Living and Breathing Memorial Hall”
Huisun Memorial Hall is the “signboard” of the Huisun Memorial Project. When the Word of redemptive history is spread to the north, east, south and west, and when more people come to focus on the word proclaimed by Rev. Abraham Park, they will visit Pyungkang Cheil Church and Huisun Memorial Hall. This is not in the distant future. We have already witnessed Dr. Bruce Waltke, the “world’s greatest theologian alive,” cross the Pacific for the first time in his life to visit Korea only to see the author of the History of Redemption Series and visit the church in which he ministers. Hundreds of ministers around the world come to Korea every year to learn of redemptive history. Hundreds of Korean pastors who attended the 2017 Minister’s Summer Conference on Redemptive History in August visited the Huisun Exhibition at Yeoju Pyungkang Cheil Conference Center and left touching remarks.
The Huisun Memorial Hall is scheduled to begin construction within the year, with site preparations already completed and sketch designs currently being mapped out. Various possibilities of its location were considered, including inside the church, Yeoju Pyungkang Cheil Conference Center and a place within Seoul city, but the site adjacent to the main gate of the church was ultimately chosen. The land area is estimated to be about 180 pyeong with a floor space of approximately 480 pyeong.
The Huisun Memorial Foundation has been agonizing over the question of what (and in what form) within the vast amount of material should be exhibited. Visits were made to the Presidential Archives (Sejong City), War Museum (Yongsan, Seoul), Seoul Museum of History and various distinguished museums and memorial halls in Korea. International examples and cases are also being referred to. The greatest major premise is to show the life and words proclaimed by Rev. Abraham Park in the most visual way. Recent trends in exhibition include the 3D hologram technique. It is a way to grab the attention of visitors, also encouraging revisits, as the content can be changed suitable to theme and time.
The Memorial Hall will include a permanent exhibition room that shows the life of Rev. Park and special exhibitions that will be switched out to present various themes, such as the tabernacle and ark of the covenant, international missions, and construction of retreat centers. A digital library from the archive will enable visitors to listen to and see the word. Experience rooms for children, a small theater for performances and seminars, and a storage place will be launched as well. The foundation aims to create a memorial hall that does not end with a single visit but will create a place where people can visit at all times. Even children can come to enjoy and learn the Word. Rev. Nathaniel Kim (Pastor in charge of Huisun Memorial Foundation) said, “The Huisun Memorial Hall is not a memorial hall that stays in the past. It will be a memorial hall that understands the history of the Word and finds the future within it. It will be a hall that spreads the vision of peace.”
The Huisun Memorial Hall will become a true part of Pyungkang Cheil Church and an attraction for nations that come, in line with the sanctuaries of Pyungkang Cheil Church and Biblical Archaeology Museum. Measures to utilize the limited area to create a hall that is not narrow and small are being arranged, but plans for enlargement and extension will be necessary should it exceed its full capacity.
People of Huisun Memorial Project
In consideration of the importance of the project, Rev. Philip Lee, the senior pastor of Pyungkang Cheil Church, is in charge of the presidential committee of Huisun Memorial Foundation. Rev. Nathaniel Kim was appointed to be the educator in charge, filling in the spot that was empty for the past year. Having worked in mass media and online press for religious circles for a long period of time, Rev. Cho Seung-Won and Evangelist Seo Hyun-Mi were the experts of media and digital fields put in charge of the hands-on work. The business team is composed of young, prepared experts who brighten the prospect of the memorial project. Two seminarians with skills acknowledged both inside and outside the church are in charge of researching and categorizing the material. Researchers Na Se-Jeong, who graduated Seoul National University Graduate School, analyzes the records and material, while Lee Sung-Sook, space design major at Hongik University Graduate School, and Kim Hye-Jin, arts and cultural management major, devise the high-tech exhibitions. Researchers Choe Yi-Soo, Lee Ji-Hye and Lee Young-Jae are in charge of digitizing the True Peace and Daesung Magazine. All these people turned down better jobs outside of church to serve here, with small pay. Evangelist Seo Hyun-Mi states that the seniors persuaded them, saying, “You will have work to do until the day you enter heaven,” but the process of each and every person joining the team shows that they are people of talent, prepared beforehand by God. The current team is made up of minimum manpower with minimum costs. Further reinforcements are urgently needed as the amount of work is vast and the future of the business unlimited.
Management of Huisun Memorial Foundation
The Huisun Memorial Project contains the wishes of all the congregation of Pyungkang Cheil Church. It will also be the center of content which founded the church. As such, the policy of the foundation is to operate with wisdom and justice. Its budget is organized with the annual budget of Pyungkang Cheil Church and is executed under the control of the finance committee in expenditure and settlement. The Huisun Memorial Foundation Operations Council was formed to advise and council the operations of the foundation last year, and meetings are held monthly (or when circumstances arise) to inspect the progress and/or decide on pending issues. Elder Yoon Seong-Tae, who has administrative experience as the previous vice minister and president of the Medical Insurance Association (current chief director of Gachon Cultural Foundation), is chairman of the council, with Elder Lee Woong-Hee, who served as secretary general of the War Memorial of Korea (retired brigadier general), and nine other elders and elderesses recommended by the men’s and women’s ministry and other departments.