This page was created by Craig Dietrich.  The last update was by Will Luers.

The Father Divine Project

Mother Divine

In 1940, Edna Rose Ritchings left her home and her family's flower shop business in Vancouver, Canada to join the Peace Mission Movement. She broke ties with her parents and traveled to Philadelphia to live communally and interracially at the Circle Mission Church. There she became Father Divine's secretary and was given the name "Sweet Angel". One day in the office, Sweet Angel proposed to Father Divine by saying, "I want to marry you because I know you are God." 

In 1946, Father Divine married Sweet Angel in Washington, DC and she became the second Mother Divine.

Since Father Divine's physical passing in 1965,Mother Divine has presided over the Peace Mission, and the Movement has developed a matriarchal quality, with Mother Divine maintaining her husband's moral and religious standards as she looks after the spiritual and temporal needs of their "children" or followers. 
Though the membership of about 100 is elderly and dwindling, Mother Divine maintains the Peace Mission standards for living and believing from her estate in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia. Abundance of material wealth signifies "Heaven on Earth." Still, she has changed certain aspects of the lives of followers. For example, Mother Divine transformed elements of their principle ritual, the Holy Communion Banquet Service, when she introduced in the late 1970s concepts from vegetarianism and macrobiotics transforming food preparation, food ingredients, and even eating habits of the followers. A focus on the health of the aging body. 

This page has paths:

This page references: