The International Peace Mission Movement, is a cult started by a man named Father Divine.


The IPMM began in 1912 when the African American man who called himself Father Major Jealous Divine began preaching that he was God. He obtained a following of mostly black women. He was arrested in 1914 for lunacy, but this only brought him more attention and more followers. After this he moved his congregation to Brooklyn, New York and met a woman named Peninniah and married her. She would be reffered to as Mother Divine. In 1919 His disciples moved with him to Sayville, New York and held free weekly banquets to attract new members. These banquets were very attractive do to it being the time of the Great Depression. Father Divine became very wealthy and flaunted this on a regular basis.

Father Divine would be arrested several times for his banquets because they disturbed the peace. When he was finally sent to jail, the judge that had sentenced him died of a heart attack. Father Divine claimed it was his godly powers that killed the judge. Father Divine's sentence was overturned and he and his following moved to Harlem, New York. It was there that he began getting involved in Civil Rights, but he would up in a scandal caused by John the Revelator. John was a member of IPMM who had sexual relations with his daughter claiming they were giving birth to a "New Redeemer". In 1937, a man that was trying to give Father Divine a court summons was stabbed to death by a follower. Father Divine went into hiding and a woman who called herself Faithful Mary stole a large portion of his congregation.

Eventually all criminal charges were dropped and Faithful Mary's group returned to the IPMM. In 1942 Father Divine moved to Philidelphia, Pennsylvania. His wife died after the move and Father Divine remarried to Edna Ritchings, a white follower. Ritchings would be called Mother S.A. Divine. Father Divine would die in 1965. Before he died Father Divine developed a close friendship with Jim Jones, leader of a cult called the People's Temple. Jones tried to have the IPMM join his group but Mother S.A. Divine wouldn't allow it. After she died along with the mass suicides at Jonestown. The IPMM's membership dwindled though it still exists today.


Father Divine made the claim that he was God. He also forbid smoking, drinking, profanity, bribery, and receiving presents. He also promoted chastity to the point were men and women had to live in seperate residences, even if they were married.

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