Our History

Our Founders: Charles and Myrtle Fillmore

The Unity spiritual movement began in the late 1800s, the principles of which are based on prayer and the power of mind over body.  Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, a Kansas City, Missouri couple with three young boys, had suffered lifelong physical ailments and constantly sought healing.  Together, they heard a lecture by metaphysician E.B. Weeks, and Myrtle came away with a startling new idea: "I am a child of God, and therefore I do not inherit sickness."

After this revelation, Myrtle recovered from chronic tuberculosis and attributed her recovery to her use of prayer and other methods learned in Weeks' classes. Subsequently, Charles began to heal from a childhood accident, a development that he, too, attributed to following this philosophy. 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," and in the following year, the Fillmore's Unity magazine was first published. On December 7, 1892, Charles and Myrtle penned their Dedication and Covenant:

We, Charles Fillmore and Myrtle Fillmore, husband and wife, hereby dedicate ourselves, our time, our money, all we have and all we expect to have, to the Spirit of Truth, and through it, to the Society of Silent Unity.

It being understood and agreed that the said Spirit of Truth shall render unto us an equivalent for this dedication, in peace of mind, health of body, wisdom, understanding, love, life and an abundant supply of all things necessary to meet every want without our making any of these things the object of our existence.

In the presence of the Conscious Mind of Christ Jesus, this 7th day of December A.D. 1892.

Charles Fillmore
Myrtle Fillmore

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 movement. 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; this seminary is now called the Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute, which has about 600 churches and study groups worldwide.

Myrtle Fillmore died 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.