A New Era-A Great Change

The World Was Unraveling, and Sagging-Weary of War

Fifty Years of Incredible History!


The world was unraveling and sagging-weary of war. For six agonizing years, the Allies and the Axis had been battling it out from eastern Europe to the western Pacific. The smoke from bombs and heavy guns and burning cities shrouded the land like a dirty, wet blanket.

Then an upturn. On May 8, 1945, the Axis in Europe surrendered. And another upturn. Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945, ending World War 11- and the world breathed easier.





A Splendid Fifty Years

That was over fifty years ago and probably those fifty years are the most unbelievable and mind boggling the world has ever seen. The technological advances that have been made since 1945 are as fantastic as Buck Rogers and science fiction. Television, jet travel, laser beams and word processors are only a few. Perhaps the most incredible feat was Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon and coming back to report on his trip, a trip which sounded like a fairy tale. In the medical field, other miracles were performed, such as replacing organs and bones by transplant, as well as implanting artificial hearts in the chest and artificial lenses in the eyes.

What was the cause of this mammoth, fifty year explosion of technology?


The Cause Of Civilization's Rapid Advancement

Let us go back to a few years before 1945 to find the answers. During the early thirties, One appeared on the public scene in Harlem Who was apparently insignificant-a Christian minister of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST, rescuing the huddled masses of people from poverty and hopelessness. But in fact, here was One demonstrating the Life of CHRIST far greater than even Jesus could do in His day. Here was One lifting up the consciousness of rich as well as poor to experience new mental and spiritual heights of awareness, coupled with the demonstration of physical phenomena and material abundance. Here was One answering the prayers of the lowly masses by healing the sick, raising the dead and providing food, clothing and shelter for the needy. Here was the Embodiment of GOD Consciousness.

It was in 1882 that FATHER DIVINE was first recognized by One here in America to be the long awaited Living CHRIST, and in order to be His helpmate in spreading the Consciousness of GOD'S Presence in the earth, Peninnah, one of the Angels of the Kingdom, desired to be married to FATHER DIVINE and on June 6, 1882, They were united in Marriage.

By Her Love for FATHER DIVINE, Whom She recognized to be the Person of GOD, Peninnah, the first Mother Divine, consecrated Herself completely to the nurturing of the CHRIST in those who had the same conviction, and therefore wanted to live in Holiness and Virtue, abstaining from the tendencies and habits of the mortal nature. By this, untold thousands were converted to lives of righteousness.

It was this great positive Power of Virtue and Holiness generated by FATHER DIVINE, meeting the negative forces as personified in the Axis Powers of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Hedeki Tojo, that provided the Resistance that culminated in World War 11. The Righteousness engendered by FATHER DIVINE, which enlightened understanding, quickened intelligence and created a willingness to unify for the general welfare, gave the democratic forces victory.

FATHER DIVINE had indeed implanted His Consciousness of GOD'S Actual Presence in those of His followers who accepted HIM as GOD, but until this time, they were not substantiated in this conviction without His Personal Presence with them.





But in 1945, One came to HIM from another land, pure enough to house the spirit of the first Mother Divine, who had desired to be reincarnated in a more youthful Body, to be of greater service. In the fullness of Her Conviction that FATHER DIVINE is GOD, MOTHER DIVINE willingly left country, a loving family and all that life could apparently offer, in Her youth, to join FATHER in establishing Righteousness on the earth. In Her Love for CHRIST, SHE desired to marry FATHER in Spirit and in Truth, and this interracial, international Marriage was legally solemnized in Washington, DC, on April 29,1946.

As Jesus found Peter's Conviction,

'I Know You Are The CHRIST, the Son Of the Living GOD'

the Rock upon which the Church could be built, so FATHER DIVINE found in MOTHER'S wholehearted Conviction,

'I Know You Are GOD,'

that which would redeem the whole earth and bring the Church Triumphant into being. The Life of CHRIST could be universalized now, for the perfection of the life of humanity was materialized in MOTHER DIVINE.


A Spiritual Marriage

FATHER had now completed His Work and Mission. His work was finished. It remained only for HIM to demonstrate to fallen humanity how they also, should be married to HIM by accepting His Ideas and Opinions nd being energized by His Spirit. This HE did by carrying MOTHER with HIM wherever HE went, so the true purpose of Their Marriage-which was to propagate Virtue, Holiness, Honesty and Brotherhood-could be demonstrated to the world.

Marriage has been interpreted as being the union of man and woman for self indulgence and procreation. But Paul described marriage in Ephesians 5:31-32 thusly:

'For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning CHRIST and the Church.'

The "mystery" is that CHRIST and the Church should be married-not man and woman.

The Union of FATHER and MOTHER DIVINE was a pure, spiritual, symbolic Marriage for the purpose of illustrating the Union of GOD and man and the fusion of Heaven and earth. It was not achieved for the purpose of reproducing flesh and blood children, but for the generation of Honesty, Competence and Truth. Today, after MOTHER DIVINE has been a Bride for fifty years, SHE is as undefiled and virgin pure as SHE was when SHE first crossed the border in Western Canada in June, 1945, to visit FATHER DIVINE in Philadelphia, declaring, "I want to marry YOU, because I know YOU are GOD!"

From 1946, the beginning of this fifty year period, FATHER DIVINE began, gradually at first, to withdraw from His Personal activities, that His Spirit might develop in others. With or without HIM as a Person, HE had said,

'The Purpose of GOD will be worked out throughout all the universe.'


A New Era-A Great Change

The recognition of FATHER DIVINE as being GOD by the first Mother Divine had ushered in a New Dispensation, for now, GOD HIMSELF was known to be in the flesh. HE said in a Sermon given in 1940:

' The dispensation in which we are now living is a dispensation of a New Era.... This is A.D.F.D., for it shall be stamped so vividly in the memory of humanity that in the future, they will realize that which has been spoken and recognized and realized by you all!'

Jesus was on earth in the Jewish Dispensation, but His Coming changed the Jewish Dispensation into the Christian Dispensation. FATHER DIVINE compared that time to the present:

'So it is in this Dispensation concerning this mystery; it is just as operative and expressive, for the Body was sacrificed for it ... as the expression and the unfoldment and the establishment of a New Dispensation.... Therefore, it is a great change, for this is as much a change from the dispensation in which you have been living-as the Dispensation A.D.-as the Dispensation B.C. There was a change, and even the governmental affairs changed because GOD was among men!
'Because of the change in the Dispensation, it causes a New Inspiration and a New Spiritual Awakening to take place in the consciousness of humanity, and civilization from that angle of expression will make its advances by the Spirit as it is unfolding in a deeper unfoldment of this dispensation from that of A.D..... for the Founder of this Dispensation and the Creator of it is GOD Who liveth forever and forever!
'Oh how Glorious it is to realize it! You see, as it is under My Personal jurisdiction and as it is wheresoever I AM functioning, there is a different atmosphere, is there not? There is a different environment altogether! Mankind thinks differently, they feel different because of the New Dispensation that has actually been created by the Creator of all dispensations.
'By this, the Truth has actually been established, and it makes it a Living Reality to the consciousness of humanity. Even those who have not been converted into it, they will be conscious of it as a Living Reality, for they see the changes that are taking place mentally, spiritually, socially, economically, politically, legally and otherwise. Therefore they are obliged to know this Truth is Real, and it has been established! It is a Living Reality now, henceforth and forever!'

New Day August 22, 1940. pp.61-62, given 126th Street, New York City, August 18- 19,1940


Scientist Bears Witness To The Change

Many are now bearing witness of this New Age consciousness, but on August 12 of 1945, a scientist by the name of Svend Raastad publicly spoke of its coming at the Academy of Equilibrium in - Los Angeles, six days after the fall of the Atomic Bomb. He realized that a great power was being unleashed which would change this whole civilization, and although he was not awakened into the knowledge of FATHER'S Personal Presence, he did speak of the splitting of the Atom in consciousness. In light of what has transpired during these past 50 years, his profound thoughts are well worth recalling. He said:

'The Truth of Being, the Truth of that Almighty Power, greater than man, that Infinite Power within which man lives, moves and has his Eternal Being in Divine Security, ... that Power is the Power of the New Age-the Power because of which all things shall become new. It is the Power of the Universe, as it exists and functions in the indivisible structure of Infinite Substance.
'We who accept this Power, we who understand this Power, we who live our lives inseparably in that Power and because of that Power, are the pioneers in the Life of the New Age. We are the ones who must exemplify its nature of unification, of equal relationship to all things. We are the ones who must become the . Beacon Light at the Dawn of men's awakening.
'Some day, I am convinced, we shall have been able to split the Atom of man's consciousness, of manyness, and from its exploded duality shall come forth the essence of its universal and infinite simplicity, its all pervading Oneness, its Ever Present Unity.
'We may truthfully say that August 6, 1945 is the day on which we passed from the old age into the New Age-the day in which all the old became obsolete-and we had to change our minds and adjust our thinking to conform with something altogether new. What had been practicable yesterday had become completely outmoded, and could not be used and would not fit into the pattern of tomorrow.'

New Day, December 27, 1975, pp. 14- 17.



Scientist Begins New Calendar

Twenty eight years later, Dr. John Platt, of the Mental Health Research Institute at the University of Michigan, gave his testimony also in corroboration of what FATHER DIVINE stated. He cited further scientific progress such as new types of plants and grains, new biological concepts, new psychological developments, satellite communications, etcetera. He stated that:

'Our present changes have been like ten Protestant Reformations and Industrial Revolutions rolled into one and occurring within a single generation.'

This is a powerful statement, inasmuch as everyone knows what an upheaval was caused by the Protestant Reformation in the fifteen hundreds and the Industrial Revolution in the eighteen hundreds. Dr. Platt is sure that we will move

'Toward life styles that are far less dependent on goods, and far more consonant with our older, high religious goals of human affection and service, creativity and contemplation.'
'Altogether we are acquiring a new sense of our powers and our responsibilities for ourselves, our planet and our future. If we survive, these new values and goals cannot help but lead to a more intelligent and responsive and humane society, where the great business of life will be loving each other and increasing our awareness and knowledge.'

New Day, December 25,1976, pp.20-21

Dr. Platt was so impressed with the towering eminence of the advent of the Atomic bomb that he considered the year 1945 as the beginning year of a new calendar, which he designated as World Year Zero. To underscore his conviction that a New Age had begun, he used this form of the date on all of his correspondence, written for instance, as November IO, WY Zero.


The following year, 1946, would be the first year, and the date would be World Year One, written as November 10, WY I.

The Peace Mission Movement also recognizes that a new calendar is in effect. In the Movement,
the date would be written November 10, F.D. I



Collapse Of Man's Dominion

The designation of the year 1945 as World Year Zero by Dr. Platt serves to emphasize the concept that the Marriage of FATHER DIVINE to MOTHER DIVINE in 1946 marked the end of man's world and the end of the supremacy of the consciousness of evil and the recognition that Good-or GOD-has been manifested, and eventually will be universally personified as it has been in the Bride of the Lamb, MOTHER DIVINE. Human nature is being changed into the Divine.

The year 1945 saw the surrender of the Axis Powers-as representing the dominion of man-to the Democracies- representing the Government of GOD. Atomic Power is now at man's disposal, either to destroy himself or to be recreated in GOD'S image and likeness. With the invention of the computer in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania in 1945, the practical use of this power came into expression.

Culminating scientific achievement was the Atomic bomb, first dropped in 1945, which was the out-picturing of the spiritual Atoms which FATHER DIVINE was quickening in the individual lives of the people-spiritual Atoms which enabled them to overcome their animal nature and be physically healed, to live independently and give service to others.

So it was not by chance that the dropping of the Atom bomb and subsequent development of computers and a whole new world of technology coincided with the Marriage of FATHER and MOTHER DIVINE. GOD was in the material world, spiritualizing material things and materializing spiritual things and the perfection of the life of humanity had been brought to fruition in MOTHER DIVINE. It was no longer man's world to control and direct, for as Paul said,

'When that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part shall be done away.'

The past fifty years have witnessed the materialization of many seemingly unattainable imaginations. We are now coming to the place where GOD'S Presence in the fullness of health, of happiness, love, abundance and Peace can be recognized as possible for all people. The material miracles which have been taking place can very readily be seen, but the far greater spiritual miracles taking place in individual hearts and minds may not be visible to the physical eye.

It may not be possible to measure the human advancement which a man makes when he overcomes some negative, inherited characteristic, and is willing to deny himself for the benefit of others, and surrender his personal will and way to GOD as Jesus did-but think of the impact of the Life of JESUS CHRIST on this whole civilization by doing just that! Then think of the chaos and destruction which we witness today because the average human being has not been wiling to do it! Instead at present, He is using the gifts of GOD, in the form of science and invention, for his own destruction.

So this fifty years now come to conclusion is a time of preparation for some great unfoldment. The Marriage of FATHER DIVINE'S Spirit to the material world has brought about the illumination of the minds of many and increased the great Power of GOD in Righteousness, even while violence has multiplied as Positive force meets negative force.



Profundity Of The Marriage

The Marriage of FATHER and MOTHER DIVINE may appear to be more or less routine and inconsequent to many. But as Attorney Austin Norris stated in his remarks found elsewhere in this issue of The New Day, the Marriage is truly profound, and its profundity is heightened and intensified by nuclear power and computer power being made available to mankind at about the same time-all three milestones occurring in the space of a year.

It is to be expected that such fundamental commotions in physical science would produce fallout, and everyone is aware of the fallout and turmoil nuclear energy has caused, and how the whole world has been turned topsy-turvy by computers.

Similarly, the Marriage of FATHER and MOTHER DIVINE has intensively affected mental and moral science. The curse of mortality is being destroyed by the Virtue and Holiness loosed by the Marriage to such a degree that a virtual explosion has taken place as the scourge of Adam and Eve is dissolved. Virtue is magnified in the land as never before, for instance, as thousands of teens have formally pledged to abstain from sex before marriage. They say, "Virgin" is not a bad word. Rather, they cry, "Control your urgin' -Be a Virgin!" Further, we have lived to see women emancipated from the drudgery of being a housewife. Today, the husband washes dishes and changes diapers almost as often as the wife in this world where both spouses work.

Since the Marriage, the Peace Mission Movement has experienced the impact of this explosion in various ways. First, it should be noted that the Peace Mission made a major acquisition in 1952, and dedicated this 73 acre property in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, in 1953, as Woodmont, the Mount Of The House Of The LORD. Acquisition of this Estate on Philadelphia's Main Line marked the beginning of increased recognition of FATHER DIVINE'S Work and Mission.

Another Peace Mission advance came in 1987, when the Keyflower Dining Room at the Divine Tracy Hotel in Philadelphia, switched from usual restaurant menus to serving healthful, nutritious fare, using no sugar, white flour, additives or preservatives, but plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, salads and healthy desserts. This Dining Room was the first in the area to offer this healthful diet, and it made additional progress in 1991 by no longer serving red meats. It provided abundant self service, by which patrons serve themselves with the size portion they desire, and pay according to weight. Below are described awards and other forms of acclaim.



Recognition Of The Peace Mission Movement

In 1973, a Resolution by the State Senate of Pennsylvania, introduced by Senator Freeman Hankins, congratulated FATHER and MOTHER DIVINE on the occasion of Their 27th Wedding Anniversary, and thanked Them for Their dedication to Brotherhood and Christian Principles.

Milton Shapp became Governor of Pennsylvania in 1971. At his inauguration, he would have no one to read the Scripture at the Ceremony but MOTHER DIVINE-and the Presence of FATHER DIVINE was recognized at the inauguration by a seat in the crowded speakers' enclosure being reserved for HIM. In 1977, Mr. Shapp issued a special Governor's Citation to MOTHER DIVINE for achieving Her naturalization and for being a dedicated, exemplary Citizen of our Great Nation.

The Philadelphia City Council passed a Resolution in 1982 that applauded FATHER DIVINE and the Peace Mission Movement for more than half a century of service to GOD and the Community through its business establishments, through feeding, sheltering and clothing thousands, gratis to many, through finding employment for the breadwinners, through encouraging and tutoring school children, and by standing for Americanism, Brotherhood and Christianity.

"Restore Philadelphia," Historic Preservation Society of Philadelphia, in 1984, presented the John MacArthur Award for the outstanding Historic Preservation of several Peace Mission properties.

The Victorian Society in America presented its National Historic Preservation Award to Woodmont in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, in 1994.

On September 11, 1994, an Official State Historical Marker was unveiled at the Divine Lorraine Hotel, Broad Street and Fairmont Avenue in Philadelphia, thereby weaving into the tapestry of History yet another spectacular event in not only Peace Mission annals, but also in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia history.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the William Penn Foundation of Philadelphia, and Mr. Charles L. Blockson, Curator of the Charles L. Blockson Afro American Collection at Temple University, were responsible for the erection of a State Historical Marker near the front entrance of the Divine Lorraine Hotel at Broad Street and Fairmont Avenue in Philadelphia. The marker cited FATHER DIVINE as a civil rights Leader, and the Divine Lorraine Hotel as one of the first integrated hotels of its caliber in the United States.





Woodmont Designated a National Historic Landmark

The Bronze Plaque Authorized August 5, 1998 by the United States Secretary of Interior was Presented at Woodmont, September 12, 1999. It reads as follows:




Intervals Of 2000 Years

At each interval of 2000 years, there comes a momentous convulsion in the earth that alters the course of history. According to Biblical history, the world was created when GOD moved upon the waters in 4004 B.C. and said, "Let there be Light." Probably something significant happened 2000 years later in 2004 B.C., such as King Hammurabi establishing the first legal system. Another 2000 years brought the Birth of Jesus in 4 B.C.-and no One has caused greater disturbance in the world than Jesus. There has been more literature, more music, more art and more controversy created concerning Jesus than concerning any other figure in history.

Now, 2000 years later, in 1996, another Landmark is upon us-the Fiftieth Anniversary of FATHER and MOTHER DIVINE'S Marriage in 1946-a really epochal occurrence when all its ramifications are pondered.

Perhaps the fifty years that FATHER and MOTHER DIVINE have been married can be considered the gestation period in the ongoing of the Peace Mission Movement. Perhaps the Movement is in the process of being delivered, after long labor and travail. Perhaps it will now move resolutely forth to lift Standards in fields of human endeavor, so that mankind may have a vision of the Kingdom of GOD on earth in the Upper State of Consciousness. Perhaps GOD has reached down and drawn His Sons and Daughters within and without the Peace Mission Movement up to HIM-up to His Spirit, Body and Mind.


Transformation Of The Mortal To The Divine

In Cosmic Reality, there are cycles, seasons and times, according to the history of experiences in sacred writings. Therefore, after the completion of 50 years of GOD's Union with His Creation, we look forward to a great unfoldment wherein man will be unified with the Spirit of Life within him. We look forward to an outpouring of the Holy Spirit such as took place more than 50 years ago when FATHER DIVINE first appeared on the public scene. Since then, many have conceived His Words of Spirit and Life and believed HIM when HE said that by so doing, they could become the personification of those Words. We look for good to overcome evil not by struggle, but by transcending opposing forces through being momently conscious of GOD's Actual Presence in all His Love and Mercy. We expect the Consciousness of GOD'S Presence to take over spiritually as electricity took over in the material world.

The use of electricity brought a complete change in the life of civilized man. The Consciousness of GOD'S Actual Presence will do the same. We look forward to a willingness in humanity through Love, to learn and obey the Law of the Spirit of Life as man has learned and obeyed the physical law of electricity Positive and negative are present, but he knows how to use them both for constructive purposes. Civilization as we know it today would be impossible without electricity, and it is taken for granted in everyday life. Likewise, civilization would pass into oblivion without the Guidance and the Love of the Almighty GOD. We believe that shortly, Divine Nature, which is the practice of the Presence of GOD, will be a Reality universally, and man's versions, ideas and opinions will be as obsolete in the modern world as gas lights and candles.

This is the Purpose for which FATHER DIVINE came-to transform mortal nature into the Divine, and bring Heaven to the earth by condescending to unite HIMSELF with mankind. It is with joy that we look to the fulfillment of His Plan and Purpose as we celebrate the FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY of His Marriage to MOTHER DIVINE!

Adapted from an article in The New Day, May 10, 1986, pp. 8-10