FATHER DIVINE Breaking Down Segregation in the Navy During World War 11.

Crusading for American Equality.

Two Testimonies - FATHER DIVINE Having HIS Way in Righteousness, Justice, Truth and Integration.



Testimony given at the Holy Communion Table Woodmont, The Mount Of The House Of The LORD,
Sunday July 5,1992 A.D. 47 F.D. Time:7:00 P.M.

Peace FATHER Dear, Peace MOTHER Dear, Peace Everyone:

I was just thinking about what MOTHER said about FATHER'S followers in the service and how FATHER had us there for a purpose, to help bring about de-segregation in America.

I was thinking of Mr. Leo Everett's testimony of how in the Navy in World War II he was on an experimental ship that was trying to see if an integrated crew could operate efficiently.

He told of how they were forced to integrate but that there was much animosity between the men. He told that it was not until after the war when he came to one of our banquets did he experience real integration.

Then there was Rev. John Child who said that he was born and raise a Southerner with all of their prejudices and that when in the Navy during World War II he found that he had to be with a very dark complected fellow sailor. This he said he could not handle at first but eventually they both became friends. He again said that after the war and after he had entered the ministry that he came in contact with FATHER and it was here that he found real brotherhood.

My own experience in the Navy during World War 2, as a conscientious objector, was another example of what was happening. I found a great deal of segregation after boot camp.

In San Diego, California during hospital training we slept segregated, ate segregated, and had segregated rest rooms. Whenever possible I disobeyed the signs designating color. Some of the fellows looked at me queerly but no one said anything to me about it. In the Navy manual which I had searched I found the statement that the U.S. Navy does not segregate and I stood on that statement.

In Norfolk, Virginia it was worse, we weren't supposed to walk on the sidewalks together. Most of us were Northern boys and so we just ignored this practice. However we did confine our excursions to the U. S. O. operations. We weren't looking to make trouble.

Philip Life and another sailor
with a Peace Mission group in Panama.

Philip Life and another sailor with a Peace Mission group in Panama

Then we headed for the Panama Canal Zone. I soon learned that the Canal Zone at that time was administered from the Naval District of, I think it was, Louisiana and most of the officers, especially the older ones, were so-called "Southern Gentlemen". Down in Panama of course I refused to segregate again. I attended Peace Mission services 2 or 3 times a week and was investigated by the Shore Patrol (Naval Police) and also by a Navy Chaplain. Both of them learned about FATHER DIVINE and enacting The Bill of Rights.

Some of the fellows I worked with went with me at times to the Missions and to visit with some of the brothers and others didn't want to have anything to do with me. I also had sailor friends of different completion come and visit with me at the dispensary. These were sailors that were with me in Norfolk. But I think someone intimidated them because they became uneasy and soon didn't come around.

However I seemed to be doing fine. They found out that I had one term of typing in high school so I got stuck in the dispensary office. I was making my advances and I soon got up to third class petty officer. One of my duties was to make out reports of the sailors that contracted venereal diseases---and I was supposed to describe the different contacts these men had so that these girls could be picked up and treated so that they would not continue to spread these diseases. As they described these women I would designate them as to there nationality and not their race, the latter of which was usually done.

The Captain found--out probably some of the boys from the south who didn't like what I was doing told him--and he called me and told me what he wanted me to put down, "w---- or n----. I told him that I never received any complaints about my reports from those responsible for locating these women and considered that was sufficient and that I couldn't designate with racial terms. The Captain said "What do you mean you can't do it.  I am giving you a direct order."  I said that my contract with the Navy was that I would serve to the best of my ability and that the Navy would not expect me to violate my religious convictions and that's my religious conviction and I won't do it.

He said "I'm giving you a direct order and you'll do it or I'll have you shot". I didn't believe he could do it although it's quite possible in time of war and especially if you disobeyed a direct order from a high ranking commanding officer.  You had no recourse, there was nowhere you could go higher.  The Captain he's in charge.  You can't go to somebody else and deal with them.  He's the top and he could have you shot.

He meant what he said. But it didn't bother me.  I knew FATHER would take care of it. I did what FATHER would want me to do so it was all right.

I just stood at attention and let him rave and stomp. "Will you do this? Will you do that?" Yes sir, yes sir. "Will you do that?" No sir. He swore.--- He walked circles around me.--- He told me he was going to have me before a court martial and shot. I went back to my work and felt as though nothing had happened.

A yeoman, that's a sailor secretary, from the Headquarters in the Panama Canal Zone, who I had been treating because he had a back problem came and told me that he typed the letter that this captain had sent to Washington D.C. requesting a Court Martial procedure. It was necessary to get permission before a Court Martial this serious could be initiated and this sailor said "You better watch your step."  I said "I thank you for telling me."

I felt I couldn't write FATHER and tell HIM all this because all the mail going out of the Naval Base was censored so I used a little chicanery. I went into Panama and to the Mission there and asked one of the brothers "Would you write a letter to FATHER and enclose my letter in with your letter.  He said "Sure".

I wrote this letter and told FATHER the whole situation and after a short while I got a letter back from FATHER: "Everything will be all right.   You'll get the honorable discharge you desire."  Soon thereafter the yeoman came and said "You're off the hook, Life. The Captain got a letter back from Washington telling him to leave you alone." (Applause and cheers for FATHER.)

I've always felt that because the followers had turned the Brigantine Hotel, near Atlantic City, over to the Coast Guard for the duration with the stipulation only that they not segregate, and because FATHER had also admonished HIS followers to buy Bonds unlimitedly, the Navy couldn't possibly go through with that Court Martial.  However it was, I know it was only FATHER.

The Captain was drunk for a week after that.  They took his meals to him.  He didn't come out of his quarters.

Now, another thing, because of all this I knew that that was the end of my promotions. I had been studying for another promotion but I had to take a lot of tests and examinations and fill out questionnaires so I just dropped all of that.   I knew the captain would never sign my promotion papers.  At least that's the way I felt at the time.

Then the war ended and they started discharging the different boys and soon discharged all the petty officers above me and sent them home.   There was no "Officer of the Day". He is the one in charge of the dispensary. Naval regulations say that the Officer of the Day must be a second class petty officer or above.   I was only third class. I was the only officer left and they had to give me this promotion in order for me to do this job.  So I got my 2nd class petty officers papers.

I did a big job though because they wanted to close the dispensary and the books had to be balanced.  I was doing the books starting from World War 1 and they were so much out of balance because some of the equipment was illegally stolen or sold.  Someone would take out a microscope and sell it---you know---and they would just write it off.  They didn't bother to even falsely balance the books. They just wrote numbers down. The Captain said "Go through all the books, they've got to go to Washington and they have got to be balanced correctly."  He even gave me a private office where I could work undisturbed. So I balanced the books from World War 1 to the end of World War 2.

Then the same yeoman again came to me, "Life" he said "Your discharge papers are in. I'm telling you this because the Captain will normally get your papers first and I know he's not going to give you your papers, I know, because he's still sore at you.  He's going to keep you here as long as he can.

So I went to the headquarters building and picked up my papers myself and signed myself out.  The day I was ready to go I went to the Captain and presented my discharge papers and told him I'm leaving.  All he said was "Ok, ok, ok."  Then while I was waiting for transportation another thing happened. Three or four of the boys also being discharged, who were devoted southern segregationists, came and told me there was a ship going directly to Philadelphia. These were the boys who were with the Captain and had on several occasions expressed their feeling and had tried to get me in serious trouble.  Because they were so friendly and were willing to go to Philadelphia too, FATHER intuitively told me to beware.  There were many planes taking the boys home but they all stopped in Florida and to avoid going through the segregated south again I chose the ship to Philly.

Because these boys also chose this ship it was very suspicious.  I felt I knew what they were up to.  I considered if they could catch me on deck after dark they might think it would be easy for them to throw me overboard.  It was because of what FATHER had gone through and my association with the followers I had learned how the southern mind of that era worked.

However I said ok, I'll take it, trusting FATHER again.  We were all assigned to the dispensary barracks on board ship and I took the upper bunk at the furthest corner of the room. That was my signal to let them know I knew what they were up to.  They were of course unusually friendly, buddy, buddy and everything and I was buddy, buddy with them as if nothing was going on.  But when the sun would go down I'd go inside and get in my bunk. There was nothing they could do. They couldn't drag me through the whole dispensary with all those others there and throw me overboard.

When we got to Philadelphia I called the Circle Mission but FATHER was in New York City.  So on a Monday or a Tuesday we got on the Navy Bus at the Navy Yard and were coming down Broad St. and I got to feeling so good because I considered I would see some of the children on the sidewalk at Broad and Catherine Streets. but when we got to Christian St. the bus turned west to 22nd St. and straight to the railroad station.  That was my big disappointment.

So I went to N. Y. and got my discharge on Long Island and three days later I was back in Philadelphia. I got off the subway at South Street and walked down Broad St. toward Catherine St. At Bainbridge St. my knees felt so weak I had to stop and put my duffle bag down and compose myself before I could go on. I was so glad to be home after almost three years. I saw FATHER and MOTHER in the office but of course I didn't know who MOTHER was. FATHER came down to the table and MOTHER sat down besides HIM. I guess there was a lot of sailor in me because I thought "Where did FATHER get that beautiful secretary from. (laughter) I didn't know a thing about MOTHER at the time. Everything worked out fine and I got to talk to FATHER and told HIM how HE took care of me.

Of course, since then, the next war, the Korean war was much more integrated and there were some of us serving then also, still keeping the flag of liberty waving high. But our first totally integrated war was against Viet Nam. They called that "our integrated war" and it was totally integrated, all the way up to the top ranks. We lost that war but I had the thought that perhaps we were not supposed to win that war but that it was primarily to help integrate our whole nation. The armed forces were to be integrated and then other things were to follow such as the schools, etc. and from then on it spread like wildfire. We know it was all YOU FATHER and we know that YOU are still marching on because YOU are still doing what needs to be done.

We truly thank YOU FATHER Dear, and we thank YOU MOTHER Dear.

FATHER DIVINE Commissioned Himself To Prove That a Man Is a Man And Not a Race, Creed or Color and that the Scripture Could be Preached without Purse or Script.





From New York City to The Mount of the House of the Lord, Woodmont



Speech, in part, by Mr. Philip Life, Given at the FATHER'S DAY Celebration in The Holy Communion Banquet Hall of The Divine Trace Hotel, 20 South 36th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania September 10th, 2002

Peace FATHER, Peace MOTHER and Peace Everyone!

I would like to share with you a few thoughts and facts about FATHER'S Work in Integration that I have encountered while on this journey to the Celestial City.

It has been a wonderful journey observing the Omniscience, Omnipotence and Omnilucence of FATHER and MOTHER DIVINE as they show us the way of peace, prosperity, life, health and happiness.

Father says:

'I Am not a race, creed nor color: but as a Supernatural power, as Infinite Spirit, as Universal Mind Substance I came - I Am redeeming the children of men." (August 12th, 1939)

Prior to the Sayville era, 1917 to 1932, FATHER was carrying on HIS work in Brooklyn, N. Y. and prior to that HE went South through the lynch mobs, but at this time I would like to talk about the Journey after Sayville. This is the era that I personally witnessed beginning in 1940.

In 1932 Father left Sayville and set up His headquarters in New York City where He Integrated Harlem in the Spirit of Peace and Harmony.

A Civil Rights Demonstration in New York City

FATHER said:

'We stand consolidated together, representing not a race, not a creed, not representing a color, but representing a Standard of a Principle I have lifted." (June 27th, 1943)

Father also integrated the lower west side of Central Park which at that time was not integrated, by setting up an extension and Church at 204 W. 63rd Street.

He took integration to 2064 Boston Road, in the Bronx and then back to Brooklyn at the an extension at Lefferts Place and at The Unity Baptist Church.

369 Park Hill Avenue. Yonkers, which is still integrating the area, and The Tarrytown Mansion at 620 Broadway, Tarrytown, N. Y. were also drawn into this band of Unity by Father's love and sacrifice.

These properties were purchased co-operatively by groups of followers and the follower who acted as the purchaser representing these groups was of a light completion because these properties could not be purchased otherwise. By this means these neighborhoods were integrated without the peoples knowledge but most of them soon learned to love us.

In Ulster County, Upstate New York in "The Promised Land" followers purchased farms, businesses and mansions and fulfilled the mandate of The Bill Of Rights, in Ulster County, and integrated the school systems.




The Brigantine Hotel on the Beach, Brigantine, N. J.

The Brigantine Hotel is Dedicated to Democracy.

To the best of my knowledge The Brigantine Hotel, purchased by followers of FATHER DIVINE in 1942, was the first totally integrated Hotel in the United States. The owners were integrated, the management was integrated, the staff and the guests were totally integrated.

On March 20th 1942.the Elders of the Township wanted to buy the Hotel back and conveyed the thought that there could be violence if we remained as owners of the hotel.

The Township removed the Board Walk which was an extension of the Atlantic City Board Walk to the Hotel and therefore we could not use it.

The Board Walk and Beaches were so segregated that dark complected and Jewish persons were not allowed to use them. FATHER said. on June 25th, 1942

'They claim the Brigantine Beach and all over down there...it is filled with some kind of oil...the same gets on their feet and they can't get rid of it.'


In the Chapel of The Brigantine Hotel, Brigantine, N.J. on July 19th, 1942 Father said:

"The Spirit speaking said: let there be light, in the beginning of the creation; light shall come forth into expression in this vicinity as never before."

And so it did and all that changed.

The Coast Guard who were patrolling the Island during World War II had no suitable quarters and on November 1942 a Meeting of Trustees of Palace Mission Church and Home, Inc., Brigantine, N.J. was called for the purpose of taking action on request to lease the building to the Coast Guard. It was agreed to turn the Hotel over to the United States Coast Guard for the duration of the war for $1 a year and stipulated that there must be no segregation but total integration in the hotel. The Coast Guard agreed and complied.. The Island of Brigantine has been integrated ever since.

The Brigantine Hotel, FATHER DIVINE'S International Peace Mission Movement and The United States Coast Guard.

(It should be noted here that 4 more first class fully integrated Hotels were opened soon thereafter by The Peace Mission Movements Cooperative System.. The Divine Lorraine and The Divine Tracy Hotels in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; The Divine Riviera Hotel in Newark, New Jersey and the Divine Fairmont Hotel in Jersey City, New Jersey were owned, operated and dedicated by the All American followers of FATHER and MOTHER DIVINE and broke down segregation in the hotel industry.)

I experienced the segregated U. S. Navy during World War II where I served as a conscientious objector.

I Refused to segregate in San Diego, CA by deliberately disobeying the so-and-so -only signs., and in Norfolk, VA I moved about with an integrated group but experienced no Problems. .

Photograph of the Holy Communion Table,

Panama City, Republic of Panama.

Photograph of the Holy Communion Table, Panama City, Republic of Panama

I spent two years in The Republic of Panama and had a joyous time attending the church services with the followers in Panama City on the Pacific coast and in Colon on the Atlantic coast. However in The Panama Canal Zone, Naval Station, because I refused to use low rating and discriminatory languages such as neg.... and col.... in Naval Station correspondence when ordered by the Captain. I was threatened with a Summary Court Martial and told if I did not obey I would be shot. I refused to comply.

One of the sailors that worked at the Naval Station Headquarters came and told me to be careful as the Captain had requested this Court Martial from Naval Headquarters in the United States.

I managed to smuggle a letter to FATHER DIVINE telling of the situation and Father replied that everything would be all right. This same sailor came back a few weeks later and told me that Washington told the Captain to "Lay off."

Our next two wars were with North Korea and Viet Nam and were integrated. It was in Viet Nam that the armed forces were finally fully integrated.

Father did it again and is continuing to do it. HIS Work goes on.



A special Philadelphia Commission headed by Judge Rainey traveled to New York City to meet with FATHER DIVINE and request that HE move to Philadelphia to bless and change the city to prevent the impending chaos because of segregation and on September 3rd, 4th and 5th, 1939 FATHER DIVINE at the invitation of the City Officials spent these days at The Baker Bowl, the Philadelphia Ball Park and at The Music Fund Hall at 8th and Locust Street in Philadelphia.

in The Baker Bowl, Philadelphia.

FATHER DIVINE'S Mass Meeting in Shibe Park, Philadelphia.

Father spoke on eight different occasions during these three days, portions of which were broadcast over radio station WHAT, and told the City Officials and the massive crowds of people:

'I would just like to say to "the City of Brotherly Love," we have stressed 'the City of Brotherly Love' nationally, socially and otherwise, but we have come to personify as well as reincarnate that Spirit of 'Brotherly Love' until man will join hand in hand and walk circumspectly in this great City of yours, without prejudice without debauchery, dishonesty and incompetence such has been in this City, and in all other great cities.'

On this same day at the Ball Park Mr. Kevie Frankel, prominent New York Attorney told the huge crowd:

'I challenge anyone within the hearing of my voice, in a most amiable spirit, to tell us where there is found anywhere among the angels or men, anyone else who teaches the great doctrine that is so necessary and so requisite in this present day of chaos and trouble--no segregation, no discrimination of race, creed or color. What else can build a greater civilization, what else can build a more constructive humanity when the barriers, when the walls of prejudice, when the destructive creeds of hate and bigotry are torn and burned down and the clear light of the sun shines upon no discrimination of race, creed or color--where we find the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of GOD in its reality!'

FATHER was extolled by the numerous City representatives and many others for the great work HE is doing.

Circle Mission Church, 772 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pa. because New York City Officials made it obvious that they didn't want HIM. HE obviously had too much power over the people for them to cope with and because HE was feeding so many of the people with 10 and 15 cent meals and providing so much help in every aspect of housing, feeding and clothing the under-privileged and poor that it affected the other industries. They imposed a sales tax on the charitable feeding in the Peace Mission Dinning Rooms. Also a trumped up charge that someone had given FATHER money was sanctioned by the Court and FATHER said "That's enough." He left New York City.

Segregation was rampant in Philadelphia. No one of dark completion worked in any of the department stores, drove city trolleys or busses, was permitted in any first class hotel or were living outside of very segregated neighborhoods but Father changed all of that .

The followers purchased property wherever they chose, opened integrated businesses throughout the city and purchased two large, first class hotels and proved that integration is really the key to success and prosperity.

We always rode in seven passenger limousines for two reasons. Firstly to display and demonstrate how to integrate for we always made an effort to sit, stand or walk with or next to someone who looked different than we did as far as race or color was concerned.. We have been Freedom Riders since before the 1930s and still are today. Second, to demonstrate that as we are conscious of GOD'S Presence the abundance would always be at our disposal.

The Positive effect of this, took a hold in Philadelphia and most of the rest of the country followed suit and now it's hard to remember that it hasn't always been this way. FATHER did it again.

`The State of New Jersey in the early 1950s still had huge problems with race, creed and color.

The effect on those who were negative about this demonstration of democracy portrayed by the followers of FATHER DIVINE is shown on the New Jersey Turnpike. They harassed Father and the followers because of our integration and religious convictions.

The Marriage was first revealed publicly because a New Jersey Turnpike Officer questioned the fact that a limousine full of integrated sisters were riding with Father. Father assured him that Mother Divine, His Wife, was seated beside Him.

Another time they stopped the caravan and wanted to know where we were going. Father told them we were just going to church. Then finally when they stopped and fined the caravan with an untrue charge of speeding

Father called for a boycott on the Turnpike. Since then this turnpike has been plagued with many problems including being sued for discriminatory practices which resulted in major changes in policy..

As proof that Father's Work along this line has been very effective there have been assassination attempts even in the 1950s. Of course as with all other attempts they were futile. As FATHER has said, to assume that HE could be assassinated is to doubt HIS Divinity, HIS Omniscience and Omnipotence. Nothing happens that HE does not allow.

Three that I personally was aware of occurred in the early 1950s

#1. Two teen age men who, we were informed, were sons of a southern sheriff, entered a Righteous Government Meeting service in the Circle Mission Church and took seats in the rear of the auditorium. Because it was seen that they were armed the police were summoned. They were removed from the auditorium and disarmed and a search of their automobile revealed an arsenal of rifles, shotguns and other weapons. They were released without charges.

#2. A Blind man requested an interview with Father but while he sat waiting his turn a gun was spotted. The police were summoned and he confessed that he had been paid to get in the office with Father and try to shoot Him.

#3. Two "FBI types" entered the Circle Mission Church one afternoon and refused to stop when questioned by the receptionist and bolted up the stairs to Father's office area. I followed on their heals. When they got to the top of the steps they saw three doors with the name FATHER DIVINE on them plus a long line of believers who were waiting their turn for an interview they became confused.

They refused to answer my inquiries, said not a word, and just turned around, bolted back down the steps and out the door. We heard and learned no more about them. So much for that.

The Mount of the House of the Lord at Woodmont.

The Mount of the House of the Lord at Woodmont.

Integration of the Main Line occurred at Woodmont in 1952 when the Palace Mission Church purchased the estate and dedicated it as The Mount of the House of the Lord.

During the dedication ceremony in 1953 the chauffeur of the former resident testified thanking FATHER that now he could come in the front door where once he couldn't. FATHER said at the time:

'I hold no grudge at the tide of the times at that time.'

During the early years of our occupancy at Woodmont we experienced the anxiety of our neighbors but we enjoy total respect now because of the high moral standard of holiness and cleanliness that FATHER DIVINE established. The Mount of the House of the Lord is now designated A National Historic Landmark.

In conclusion listen to Father's Words about His vision for mankind.

'The only thing I came for is to bring you all - all denominations, all creeds, all colors and all people - in one and to dissolve them in the melting pot, that there may be no division among you. And I will not be discouraged until I have Universalized it, as I have accomplished it; and I have the Patent right for this Kingdom! It is wonderful! I have the Patent right for this Kingdom! The only thing I will do is to Universalize it now, as I have the patent right for the Kingdom and the copyright for the Constitution of it!

(Given: in New York City - date not given.)



"GOD in the midst of the Children of Men Was Purifying Them,
Purifying unto HIMSELF a Spotless Church . . .

"The Virtue of Mary and the Holiness of JESUS
must be Personified!" -- FATHER DIVINE


Excerpt: From FATHER DIVINE'S Message Given - May 9, 1948 A.D.F.D.



The First Appearance of MOTHER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................................................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Second Appearance of MOTHER




"This you know by the first as well as the second appearance of MOTHER.

"I produced Honesty, Holiness and Virtue! Aren't you glad! I produced Honesty as no man can! Where have you ever seen such Honesty and such Virtue exemplified? Where has there ever been on earth a man that could or would cause men to live Virtuous and Holy and Untouched, Incorruptible and Undefiled? Aren't you glad! It in itself is exemplifying that of which came in the Body of the Blessed Virgin Mary of nineteen hundred years ago.

"As I have said from years back, those of you as woman have been requested to copy after the Sample and the Example I have given you in the Blessed Virgin Mary. I mean of nineteen hundred years ago before it was reproduced, before it was reproduced, before it was reincarnated knowingly to the children of men. I said, the Virtue of Mary and the Holiness of JESUS must be Personified! The Sample and the Example you observed and thence realized: GOD in the midst of the children of men was purifying them, purifying unto HIMSELF a Spotless Church, a Glorious Church without spot or wrinkle, but I did not bring it into outer expression in the depicting of the mystery so explicitly until I brought you the Spotless Virgin as a Person to show you and to assure you that which was invisible, all of the Virginity of Mary and the Holiness of JESUS as being termed invisible, could as it would, yea, as it did, be reincarnated, visibilated, tangibilated, reproduced and personified!"

We Your Crusaders wish YOU a very Happy Mother's Day. Philip asked Jesus to "Show us the Father and it sufficeth us". He was representing all of us who would follow after him. Because FATHER knew we needed to see the FATHER when the time came for Him to withdraw His Body, He put His Nature, Characteristics, Love and Devotion,Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding in His Spotless Virgin Bride and made Her one with Himself in every respect, for our salvation.

Thank YOU, FATHER and we thank YOU, MOTHER for accepting this responsibility and fulfilling all that was required of YOU. With all our love we're wishing YOU again one eternal happy Mother's Day.