TYPE: Artifact
DIMENSIONS: 16 x 11 by 8 inches deep
COMPONENTS: A photographic portrait, artistically enhanced with graphite, housed in a carved oak-framed box, with a heart carved at its crest
ITEM ID: 2261

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Father Divine Photographic Portrait

DATE
Century: 20th (1901-2000)

A unique artifact, made by one of Father Divine’s disciples. A photographic portrait, artistically enhanced with graphite, housed in a carved oak-framed box, with a heart carved at its crest with an electric light inside, which, when turned on, illuminates the image of the religious leader; as if surrounded by a golden “aura.” A testament to the depth of devotion felt for this religious leader. Father Divine (c1876 – September 10, 1965), also known as Reverend M. J. Divine, was an African American spiritual leader who began his ministry in about 1907. Unlike most African American religious leaders of his day, Divine led a culturally diverse flock more or less continually until his death in 1965. His full self-given name was Reverend Major Jealous Divine, and he was also known as “the Messenger” early in his life. He founded the International Peace Mission movement, formulated its doctrine, and oversaw its growth from a small and predominantly black congregation into a multiracial and international church. Father Divine claimed to be God and as a result, many contemporary critics called him a charlatan.