Unity History

 Introduction to Original Thought

CharlesMyrtleFillmore2Charles married Myrtle in Clinton, Missouri, on March 29, 1881, and the newlyweds moved to Pueblo, Colorado, where Charles established a real estate business with the brother-in-law of Nona Lovell Brooks, who was later to found the Church of Divine Science.
After the births of their first two sons, Lowell Page and Waldo Rickert Fillmore, the family moved to Kansas City, Missouri.
Two years later, in 1886, Charles and Myrtle attended New Thought classes held by Dr. E. B. Weeks. Myrtle subsequently recovered from chronic tuberculosis and attributed her recovery to her use of prayer and other methods learned in Weeks' classes.
After seeing Myrtle’s results, Charles began to heal from his childhood accident, a development that he, too, attributed to following this philosophy of prayer and meditation. Charles Fillmore became a devoted student of philosophy and religion.

A Growing Movement

In 1889, Charles left his business to focus entirely on publishing a new periodical, Modern Thought.
In 1890 they organized a prayer group that would later be called "Silent Unity."
In 1891, the Fillmore's Unity magazine was first published.
In 1891 Charles chooses Unity as the name for the movement they are founding.
In 1893 Myrtle starts Wee Wisdom, a monthly magazine for children, and remains editor for many years. When it is discontinued in 1991, Wee Wisdom is the oldest continuously published children's magazine in the country.
Dr. H. Emilie Cady published a series titled Lessons in Truth in the new magazine. This material later was compiled and published in a book by the same name, which served as a seminal work of the Unity.
Although Charles had no intention of making Unity into a denomination, his students wanted a more organized group. He and his wife were among the first ordained Unity ministers in 1906.  Charles and Myrtle Fillmore first operated the Unity organization from a campus near downtown Kansas City. Unity began a formal program for training ministers in 1931.
In 1919 the first 58 acres of the present Unity Village site are bought in eastern Jackson County, Missouri. Other buildings are planned, but construction stops during the Great Depression and World War II.
In 1922 Unity becomes a pioneer in radio broadcasting. Charles gives his first Unity lesson over radio on station WOQ. This has been documented to be the first radio presentation by a clergyman in Kansas City, Missouri.
In 1924 the first issue of Unity Daily Word (renamed Daily Word in 1939) is published in July. Frank Whitney is the first editor.
In 1928 Unity buys the land where Unity Temple on the Plaza will be built (1948). Charles Fillmore blesses the site at a groundbreaking ceremony.
In 1929 the 165-foot-tall Tower and the Silent Unity Building (later known as the Education Building) are constructed at Unity Village. The Tower contains a 100,000-gallon water tank that provides fresh water. The Tower also houses a carillon that chimes music at different times of the day. In 1989 these buildings are put on the National Register of Historic Places.
Myrtle Fillmore made her transition in 1931.
Charles remarried in 1933 to Cora G. Dedrick who was a collaborator on his later writings. Charles Fillmore made his transition in 1948.

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