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Father Divine Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 3 Aug 2015

Biographical History

Father Divine (1876-1965), also known as Reverend M. J. Divine or Reverend Major Jealous Divine, was an African-American spiritual leader and founder of the International Peace Mission movement. The Mission's teachings include the belief that Father Divine is/was God, a ban on smoking and drinking, segregation of genders, and complete racial equality. The Mission reached its heyday in the 1930s, with gatherings in France, Switzerland and Australia, but has suffered a gradual decline ever since.

Father Divine's first wife, Peninniah, known as Mother Divine, died in 1940 or 1941. His second wife, also known as Mother Divine or Sweet Angel (1925- ) continued as head of the movement after his death.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Father Divine Collection consists of two photographs of Father Divine, one alone at a desk and the other with his first wife, Mother Divine.

Arrangement of the Collection

No order.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Father Divine.
Mother Divine.


African American evangelists.
African Americans -- Religion.
Religion -- United States -- 20th century.

Genres and Forms


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Father Divine Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 2015.

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