In honor of CARP’s 50th Anniversary, we bring you the story of one of CARP America’s earliest members, Chad Hoover, who also currently serves on CARP’s National Board of Directors.
As a college student, the then-young Chad Hoover was searching for how to develop his spirituality. As a faithful Christian, he prayed for an opportunity to develop his heart for God and others. He took a sabbatical from his studies to pursue this calling and when he returned to school in 1975, he joined CARP in New York. There was a CARP Center at Columbia University which served as a place for students, like Chad, to pursue their studies and be part of a student movement.
“I was seeking a Christian community while in New York. I wanted to pursue my spiritual growth.”
Through CARP, Chad participated in weekend events and trainings that nourished not only his mind but also his heart. The day after he graduated, he also participated in the historic Yankee Stadium Rally where Father Moon gave the “America is God’s Hope” speech.
“Today, however, our world has no unity or harmony. Instead, there is much division, disharmony, confusion and chaos. On an individual level, our minds and our bodies, our high ideals and our actual behavior, are often very different, and our families, nations and our world are being torn apart. This reality is in total contradiction to God’s original intention. Clearly something is fundamentally wrong.” – Father Moon, America is God’s Hope, 1976
With the personal conviction that something needs to be done about the chaos in the world, Chad was called to attend the Unification Theological Seminary where he focused on practical applications of Unification Thought. Upon graduation, he and other members of his cohort were called by Father and Mother Moon to apply their education by expanding CARP nationally. Chad was sent to pioneer Boston CARP.
“I met with True Father at one point; he encouraged me to become an architect, so I did.”
As a UTS student, Chad had many opportunities to attend special meetings and trainings directly with Father Moon. Chad applied to several Master’s programs for architecture and was accepted to Cornell. Chad reported this opportunity to then-CARP President, Tiger Park, and sought his spiritual support to pursue graduate studies at Cornell. Tiger Park happily did so, on the condition that Chad also establish a CARP chapter there. Since 1981, Chad has overseen Cornell CARP and is a huge reason why it is the longest-standing registered CARP chapter on campus in the United States.
“At first it was just me, but then more people came. God kept bringing them to us.”
From 1981 to 1984, Chad was working and studying at least 65 hours a week on top of fulfilling his duties as Cornell CARP Chapter President. Chad and his wife, Ann, remained dedicated to creating an environment of love and acceptance for college students. In 1985, they also founded the Unification Fellowship and in 2009 were recognized by Cornell’s campus ministry association as co-chaplains of the Unification Church. They began weekly services at their home, a tradition they’ve maintained for over 20 years. Chad and his family continuously provide a sanctuary and listening ear for young people in the Ithaca area.
“Higher education is one of the United States’ cultural and economic strengths. CARP’s future boils down to our ability to influence higher education’s development in a God-centered direction.”
After finishing his degree at Cornell, Chad began working as an independent architect. Chad and Ann continue to serve as advisors for Cornell CARP and have seen over 60 Unificationist students study in Ithaca over the years. They continue to guide students to love themselves, excel academically and bring the spirit of God back to college
Over six years ago, Chad was recognized for his practical CARP expertise and was invited onto the National CARP Board of Directors. He and other Board members assist the national organization by offering feedback to support developing chapters and students.
Chad is eager to listen to college students and guide them through this pivotal time of intellectual and spiritual development. He supports the vision of Father and Mother Moon created for education where young people can develop healthy relationships based on selflessness.
“We need not only to create CARP communities, but to nurture and sustain them. I hope Cornell may be a model for other chapters throughout the U.S.
Thank you, Chad Hoover, for the past 41 years you have invested in CARP! We are so grateful for your long-standing leadership and kind counseling you’ve offered to students in their holistic development. You are a great example of how our passions and heart always have a place in serving the world.