The theme of this year’s Black History Month is “African Americans in Times of War.” Father Divine lived through several, including World War I, the Spanish Civil War, World War II and the Korean War. Because he revealed little about his early life, it’s almost...read more
Father’s Kingdom, the MAJ Productions documentary that was called “One of DOC NYC’s best,” has just been selected for the 2018 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana. "It’s so exciting to be selected by Big Sky,” says Lenny Feinberg, the film’s...read more
Since 1977, Father Divine’s International Peace Mission Movement has celebrated “American Christmas” on Dec. 19. It was the date on which Mother Divine became a naturalized American citizen during a public ceremony at Valley Forge Park. Though the former Edna Rose...read more
When the Great Depression hit the United States in December of 1930, everyone suffered. The national income dropped by 50 percent and the unemployment rate skyrocketed. African Americans, though, were hit harder than most. According to the Amistad Digital Resource for...read more
Thanksgiving has been celebrated, in one form or another, since the days of the first settlers at Plymouth. It was usually held on the last Thursday in November, but in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt bucked tradition and moved Thanksgiving up a week. The...read more
Father M.J. Divine’s role as a forerunner of the Civil Rights Movement is often overlooked and even dismissed. Although he’d been actively working toward racial integration and harmony long beforehand, the Harlem Riot of 1935 seems to have served as a catalyst. As at...read more
At its peak during the Great Depression, the International Peace Mission Movement had about 150 centers, called “Heavens,” spread across the globe, with the majority based in America.
Each Heaven was established as a desegregated communal living facility — a haven for anyone seeking food, work, shelter, and Father Divine’s spiritual teachings.read more
When Father Divine died on Sept. 10, 1965, members of the press were not admitted to Woodmont, home of the International Peace Mission movement in Gladwyne, Pa.
Throngs of faithful gathered there to pay their respects. News media stationed outside the gates interviewed followers. “What kind of person was he?” reporter Trudy Haynes asks one of the followers, a white man. “Well, he was different from anything that you could have ever come in contact with,” he replied.read more
“Father’s Kingdom,” the new documentary by MAJ Productions, has been selected to make its world premiere at the 2017 DOC NYC film festival, which runs from Nov. 9-16.
The film explores the groundbreaking work of International Peace Mission founder Father M.J. Divine, whose religious movement boasted more than a million followers during its heyday: the Great Depression.read more