The History of Unity

Unity Movement

I am a child of God, therefore, I do not inherit sickness.

— Myrtle Fillmore

co-founder of Unity

Unity is a worldwide movement founded in 1889 by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in Kansas City, Missouri. Unity is first and foremost – a spiritual practice and a way of life. Unity has its philosophical roots in Christianity and was rooted in this couple's desire for physical healing. Both were well versed in world religions. Myrtle discovered that by repeating the affirmative prayer, "I am a child of God, therefore, I do not inherit sickness," and praying for perfect health for two years, she was healed of terminal tuberculosis. Charles used the same type of prayer that affirmed God's presence within him, and he was healed of injuries that had hampered him since childhood. Their friends soon began practicing affirmative prayer, the Fillmore's began writing about their beliefs, and the Unity movement was born.

Unity Village

Unity Village, located 15 miles southeast of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, was originally established by the Fillmore's as a place for people to be refreshed from the activities of daily life. The Unity School of Christianity was eventually organized, and Unity Village became its home. The Mediterranean-style grounds include 1400 acres of gardens, woodlands, and recreational facilities that attract thousands of spiritual seekers every year. Unity School is world headquarters for the 108-year old and still-growing movement. Unity groups are now found all over the world — in North, South, and Central America; the West Indies; the Caribbean; Africa; Europe; Russia; the Middle East; India; the Pacific Rim; and Australia.

Unity Village is focused on prayer, publishing and education.

Some 550 employees work at Unity Village. The 1600-acre grounds also include nature trails, a golf course and swimming pool, a new bookstore and coffee shop and the Unity Village Hotel and Conference Center, which recently became only the fourth hotel in the U.S. to be awarded a silver LEED award for sustainable design.

Unity world headquarters at Unity Village is focused on prayer, publishing and education. It is home to Silent Unity and The Association of Unity Churches as well as Daily Word, a daily devotional printed each month in eight languages and circulated in more than 180 countries around the world. Unity headquarters is also home to Unity Institute, which offers continuing education classes as well as degree and certificate programs for the education and training of Unity ministers.

Silent Unity

Silent Unity was established by Myrtle Fillmore with the mission “to pray with all who ask for prayer.” Silent Unity now receives about 2 million prayer requests a year through telephone, regular mail and email. Someone is always praying in Silent Unity.

Today Silent Unity provides prayer support via telephone (1-800-NOW-PRAY), mail, and internet (www.silentunity.org). Each prayer request is met with a prompt and personalized prayer for no charge. Silent Unity is located at Unity Village, the world headquarters for Unity about 15 miles southeast of Kansas City, Missouri.

Write:
Silent Unity
1901 NW Blue Parkway
Unity Village, MO 64065
Call or Email:
1-800-Now-Pray
(1-800-669-7729)
www.silentunity.org

Association of Unity Churches

Our Association of Unity Churches is dedicated to supporting and strengthening its member ministries by providing human resources, administrative, and education programs.

We are a worldwide network of ministries, ministers, teachers and laypersons sharing the vision and aim of furthering the Fillmore tradition of 'Practical Christianity' as demonstrated by Jesus Christ.

While maintaining a viable central organization, the Association's larger purpose is to support the development of individuals through local ministries. For more information: www.unity.org

Daily Word

In 1924, Frank B. Whitney created a magazine with one thought in mind: to have a source of encouragement and prayer support for anyone who has a need or desire to join together in positive affirmations and prayers. That thought became reality with Daily Word magazine. The Unity publication has been in print continuously for more than 80 years.

Since its inception, the Daily Word message has continued to reach out to an audience of spiritual seekers thirsty for positive words of Truth and light. Unity publishes Daily Word in eight languages and circulated in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information: www.dailyword.com

Unity Magazine

Unity Magazine explores the human connection to a higher power.

For more than 100 years, Unity Magazine has shed spiritual light on psychological and cultural issues, demonstrating the universal truths found in all religions. Dedicated to all people searching for a deeper understanding of life, Unity Magazine explores the human connection to a higher power. Articles in Unity Magazine provide a deeper understanding of spiritual principles, stimulate thinking, and are designed to refresh and deepen interest in spirituality. It also uncovers the link between spirituality and modern physical, psychological, social, and cultural issues.

Each bimonthly issue is read by people from all denominations and faiths around the world and features writings by well-renowned spiritual teachers, such as Wayne Muller, Mary Manin Morrissey, Barbara King, and many more. In addition to subscribing to the magazine, you may read the feature article of the month online at Unity Magazine.

Unity Institute

Unity Institute is the educational part of Unity that was founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore. It is housed at Unity Village, Missouri, just outside of Kansas City. Unity Institute includes Silent Unity and is where most Unity publications are published. The institute runs the Ministerial Education Program (MEP) to train Unity ministers, and the Spiritual Education and Enrichment Program (SEE) to educate people from any denomination in Unity thinking and to train Licensed Unity Teachers. The institute also hosts many spiritual retreats open to people from all walks of life. Learn more about the Unity Institute at www.unityonline.org.

SpiritPath Retreats

SpiritPath is the retreat and special event department of Unity. See their website for many activities and opportunities at Unity Village. www.spiritpath.org

More about Silent Unity

Millions of people of all faiths around the world have benefited from a now century-old service provided free-of-charge from the lush 1600-acre campus on the outskirts of Kansas City, Missouri. Individuals can pick up the phone, send a letter or an email to Unity and find a ready “prayer associate” to offer an affirmative prayer of support in response. Unity continues to answer the call for roughly 2 million people each year. Attached is a detailed news release announcing this 100-year milestone, as well as an image of the Telephone Prayer Ministry at its founding, and of the campus today.

Unity announced today that this year marks the 100th anniversary of its Telephone Prayer Ministry – a free, 24/7, year – round service that provides immediate and individualized prayer support to people throughout the world.

Begun in 1907, when Unity worker Fayette Drake was assigned the job of answering a single phone line dedicated to prayer, the Telephone Prayer Ministry today employs more than 200 trained prayer associates who respond to more than 4,000 calls a day. It is thought to be one of the largest and oldest telephone prayer ministries in the world.

It is a gift to be able to serve the world in this way.

— Charlotte Shelton

Unity President and CEO

"We offer this ministry to promote peace and healing, both spiritually and physically, to people on all spiritual paths," said Unity President and CEO Charlotte Shelton. "It is a gift to be able to serve the world in this way."

The Telephone Prayer Ministry is one part of Unity's larger prayer ministry known as Silent Unity, founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in Kansas City in 1890. The Fillmores originally prayed with people face-to-face or through letters. In 1907, the first dedicated phone line for prayer was installed.

Silent Unity has been a steady source of support to people seeking greater health, prosperity, harmonious relationships and peace of mind during calm as well as tumultuous times in history. Prayer associates have prayed with individuals through historical events including the Great Depression and both World Wars; world plagues and epidemics; hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts; social changes and the rising divorce rate; and tragedies such as the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

It is an honor to share in both the celebrations and the tender times in people's lives.

— Lynne Brown

VP of Silent Unity

Silent Unity has also been a place to celebrate the positive. Prayer associates regularly offer prayers of blessing to those calling with news of weddings, births, graduations, promotions and personal breakthroughs. The Telephone Prayer Ministry of Silent Unity has served millions of people of all faiths.

"It is an honor to share in both the celebrations and the tender times in people's lives," says Lynne Brown, Vice President of Silent Unity. "Our goal is to help them experience the peace of God, regardless of their situation."

She said that last year, Silent Unity responded to roughly two million prayer requests, including 1.3 million calls to the Telephone Prayer Ministry, 500,000 letters and 200,000 email requests.

In prayer, we affirm that the individual's good is ready to be realized and expressed.

— Lynne Brown

VP of Silent Unity

In providing prayer support, Unity associates use what is called "affirmative prayer."

"Rather than beseeching God to act, we believe that God is already present and active in our lives. In prayer, we affirm that the individual's good is ready to be realized and expressed," said Brown.

She said Silent Unity regularly receives calls and letters of gratitude from individuals who have been helped by the prayer they received. "The positive change we are supporting and inspiring in people’s lives and around the world is truly sacred," said Brown.

— Unity Village, MO

Oct. 2,2007

Top Flower

Unity

Unity, formerly called Unity School of Christianity at Unity Village, MO; is our world headquarters. The tri-fold purpose of Unity is Prayer, Publishing and Education. It houses Silent Unity, Unity Institute and SpiritPath Retreats.

About Unity

Affirmative prayer has been the cornerstone of Unity for 118 years. A transdenominational organization, Unity is dedicated to helping people of all faiths apply positive spiritual principles in their daily lives.

Unity's former poet laureate, James Dillet Freeman, wrote the Prayer for Protection that was published for members of the armed forces during World War II and was taken to the moon during the first moon landing by Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., in 1969. It reads:

The light of God surrounds us,
The love of God enfolds us,
The power of God protects us,
The presence of God watches over us.
Wherever we are, God is.

— James Dillet Freeman

Prayer for Protection

Is Unity a denomination?

Some aspects of the Unity movement are denominational and some are not. For example, there are more than 900 Unity churches and study groups affiliated with the Association of Unity Churches. This is denominational in nature.

In addition, the Unity Institute at Unity Village trains approximately 60 students every two years to be Unity ministers. This is also denominational. However, the majority of the work done by Unity at Unity Village involves prayer, publishing, and education services to people of all faiths. These nondenominational aspects include the prayer ministry, Silent Unity, Daily Word (Unity's nondenominational inspirational monthly magazine), SpiritPath Retreats, and continuing education classes that are open to everyone and teach Unity principles in nondenominational settings. For more information: www.unityonline.org

Unity and Jesus

Unity recognizes and embraces the teachings and demonstrations of Jesus Christ. We believe that He was reminding people of spiritual truths that are eternal and universal - truths that other great spiritual leaders have also taught.

What I have done you will do, and greater things than these will you do, because I go to the Father.

— Jesus Christ

As related in the Gospel of John

We believe that Jesus was the son of God just as each of us is the child of God. Jesus perfectly expressed His Oneness - His Unity - with God, but he did not present himself as a unique being. Rather He called us to follow His example, to recognize the same spiritual power within ourselves that He was able to express in His life. "What I have done you will do," He tells his followers in the Gospel of John, "and greater things than these will you do, because I go to the Father." In other words, Jesus Christ is a Wayshower, inviting us to follow Him into the kingdom of heaven, and available always to help us along the way.

Unity and the Bible

Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore was widely known for his Bible scholarship, and the Bible continues to serve as a basic Unity text, even as we appreciate and draw strength from other scriptures as well. We honor it as a history of the Hebrew people, including the stories, myths, songs and sayings that defined their culture and beliefs.

We recognize it on a second level as a great textbook, offering practical life lessons that help people to survive and grow in their human experience.

And at its deepest level, we recognize the Bible metaphysically as the story of each person's great journey through fear and ignorance to understanding, love and a full expression of our spiritual nature.

Unity and You

As we affirm at each service we welcome all people and honor the many different spiritual paths that can lead to an awareness of the Creative Power of the universe. This Power may be known by many names, including God, Brahma, Allah, Spirit and Divine Mind. Even as we honor all paths, however, we also recognize an expression of universal spiritual principle that is uniquely Unity.

We believe that there is one Presence and Power in the universe, a spiritual energy that we call God. We believe that as God is Spirit, so are we spiritual beings caught up in a shared adventure of human experience. Through ignorance of our spiritual essence we create a sense of lack, limitation and separation from each other-and from God.

In truth, however, we are one---one with each other and with all of life, because all of life is an integral part of the energy that is God.

We believe that God is present within us, seeking to express through us. We call this indwelling Presence of God the Christ, and we recognize Jesus Christ as a perfect demonstration of our own potential. Jesus used his life to show what we can achieve in terms of healing, abundance, love and peace. Achieving our full spiritual expression, the state of being that Jesus called "the kingdom of heaven," is the entire purpose of life.

We believe that there is one Presence and Power in the universe, a spiritual energy that we call God.

We believe that we will achieve the kingdom through prayer and meditation, as we recognize our spiritual potential and make choices that allow the creative power of God to flow through us, creating a life experience based entirely on our Oneness with God.

Unity and Prosperity

Prosperity is the consciousness of God as our abundant, unfailing, everywhere present resource that is ready for us who open ourselves through faith. Charles and Myrtle Fillmore made a spiritual covenant with God in 1892 in which they dedicated themselves, their time, their money, all they had and expected to have to the Spirit of Truth and in turn, they trusted that the Spirit of Truth would render to them the equivalent for their 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 making any of these things the object of their existence.

Unity believes in the abundance in our lives as taught by our Master, Jesus Christ. Unity believes in providing 1/10th of all our income to God and all the sources of spiritual food. As children of the most high we inherit God’s kingdom and provide of that abundance to all around us. We celebrate your prosperity and abundance in all areas of your life!