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Father Divine

(original name believed to be George Baker; ca. 1880–1965). Negro cult leader; b. probably Hutchinson Island, near Savannah, Georgia; itinerant worker; asst. to evangelist Samuel Morris in Baltimore; ca. 1907 Morris took the name Father Jehovia and the title God in the Fathership Degree and gave Baker the name Messenger and the title God in the Sonship Degree: traveling preacher in the South 1912–15; to NYC 1915; operated an employment agency; purchased home 1919 in a white community at Sayville, Long Island, under name of Major Morgan J. Devine and made it a communal dwelling, his first “heaven”; operated an employment agency; changed name to Father Divine 1930; arrested with followers for disturbing peace 1931; released on bail and moved to Harlem 1932; opened first Harlem “heaven” 1933; sued by an apostate and moved to Philadelphia 1941; est. “kingdom” including many properties; movement called Peace* Mission; defined deity: “God is not only personified and materialized. He is repersonified and rematerialized. He rematerialized and He rematerialates. He rematerialates and He is rematerializatable. He repersonificates and He repersonifitizes.”

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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Content Reproduced with Permission

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