Prepared by FFWPU USA

As protests against racism and police brutality continue to swell across America, demonstrators have taken to the streets of Jacksonville—the most populous city in Florida and all of the southeastern U.S. For many years, it has also been home to Rev. Richard Sapp, a longtime Unificationist and pastor of Jacksonville Family Church. “I’ve been called an honorary mayor,” said Rev. Sapp, who is well known in his community. “I have planted many seeds and built relationships with many people for a long time.”

Now, during such a tumultuous period, Rev. Sapp said it is more important than ever to strengthen our community relations. He shared about his experiences with neighbors and other Jacksonville residents during a recent online pastors’ meeting among Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) USA leaders. Rev. Sapp and his wife have steadily cultivated relationships over the years, setting an example through their actions, and even opening up their home to host foreign exchange students from Haiti and Latin America after the devastating earthquake in 2010.

“I’m going to be proactive,” said Rev. Sapp. “What is happening in the world now is a very timely thing, and I have taken this on as a breakthrough effort to share True Mother’s memoir because for each reader who gets the book, it will change their life.” True Parents is an affectionate term for Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon and her late husband Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, co-founders of FFWPU.

A global peace activist, Dr. Moon penned a memoir sharing stories about her life and journey toward promoting world peace and unity. Her book was recently made available in the U.S. Rev. Sapp said he is distributing her book to inspire others. “People are looking for solutions and looking for peace,” said Rev. Sapp. “There needs to be reconciliation in the world. True Mother’s book can educate the minds and hearts of our brothers and sisters to forgive and love one another.”

As a coastal city, Jacksonville served as a key supply point for Confederate forces during the American Civil War. Today, about 41 percent of its residents are minorities, 30 percent of which are black. “True Parents have urged all of us to live for the sake of others,” said Rev. Sapp. “This is what will bring real peace and long-lasting unity among people.”

“It’s incredible what Rev. Sapp is doing in his community,” said Rev. Ernest Patton, FFWPU-USA southeastern regional director. “We all have a responsibility to God and each other to do our part.”

“This is really a culmination of many relationships,” said Rev. Sapp. “I’m just very happy to do whatever I can to help people and bring peace.”

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