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Father Divine's Creeds

Father Divine (1876-1965) was an African American spiritual leader who founded the International Peace Mission Movement  in the early 1900’s.  Through his leadership, the movement created multiracial communities of followers, and Divine managed to gain supporters and donations from all over the country.  Though often labeled as a cult leader and charlatan due to his insistence on being considered a deity by his followers, Father Divine and his International Peace Mission Movement have been thought of as, in some ways, forerunning the Civil Rights and Peace movements of the sixties. 

Members of the International Peace Mission were divided into groups based on age and sex.  These were the Rosebuds ("the young feminine group"), the Lily-buds ("senior feminine group"), and the Crusaders ("masculine group").  Each group had its own set of Creeds, which were poems, songs, and lists of commandments that detailed the nature of the members devotion to Father Divine and the mission.

The booklet Rosebuds', Lily-buds', Crusader' Creed is available for use in Special Collections located on the 3rd floor of McCain Library & Archives at the University of Southern Mississippi.  For more information about this item, contact Andrew Rhodes at Andrew.Rhodes@usm.edu  or 601.266.6765. To see more Items of the Month, click here.

Text for this Item of the Month prepared by Andrew Rhodes, Special Collections Specialist