(Scarce) original newsletter magazine called The Spoken Word by Father Devine dated March 7th 1936. Reverend M. J. Divine, was an African American spiritual leader from about 1907 until his death in 1965. 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 claimed to be God. Some contemporary critics also claimed he was a charlatan, and some suppose him to be one of the first modern cult leaders. There is much information on Father Devine to be found in libraries and the net. The newsletter has termite damage but is complete with a list of his converts and addresses. Mrs. S. A. Divine became spiritual leader of the movement after his death. In 1972, she fought an attempt by Jim Jones to take over the movement's dwindling devotees. Jones based some of his doctrines on the International Peace Mission movement and claimed to be the reincarnation of Father Divine. Although a few members of the Mission joined Peoples Temple after Jones made his play for leadership of the movement, the power push was, in terms of its ultimate objective, a complete failure. The fact that Jones was 34 years old at the time of Father Divine's death made his claims of being a new incarnation rather hard to sustain - Jones claimed Divine's spirit had entered his body upon the passing of the elder man - and Ritchings was left unimpressed by Jones' impassioned rhetoric. Jones' custom of tape-recording all his sermons was copied from Divine, who "spoke" to his followers via archived sermon tapes once ill health forced him to cease speaking at meetings.
The newsletter measures 8.5 x 10.5 inches with 31 unnumbered pages.
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