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Father Divine

American religious leader

Father Divine (c. 1876 – September 10, 1965), also known as Reverend M. J. Divine, was an African American spiritual leader[1] from about 1907 until his death. His full self-given name was Reverend Major Jealous Divine, and he was also known as "the Messenger" early in his life. He founded the International Peace Mission movement, formulated its doctrine, and oversaw its growth from a small and predominantly black congregation into a multiracial and international church.

Father Divine (George Baker Jr)
Bornc. 1876
DiedSeptember 10, 1965
OccupationPreacher
Spouse(s)Peninniah Divine, Edna Rose Ritchings
Parent(s)George Baker Sr, Nancy (Smith) Baker

Father Divine claimed to be God. Some people who lived at the same time claimed he was a charlatan; others say he was one of the first modern cult leaders. Father Divine made numerous contributions toward his followers' economic independence and racial equality. Father Divine was a contemporary of other religious leaders at that time such as Daddy Grace, Charles Harrison Mason, Noble Drew Ali and James F. Jones, also known as Prophet Jones. Another minister by the name of Jones would play an important part in a brief struggle to gain control of the Peace Mission following Divine's death - Jim Jones, of the 'apostolic socialist' movement Peoples Temple.

ReferencesEdit

  1. John Gordon Melton (1965-09-10). "Father Divine (American religious leader) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2009-05-16.