Father Divine

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Father Divine (George Baker, Jr.)
BirthplaceHutchinson Island, Georgia or Rockville, Maryland
Died
Occupation
Preacher

Divine, Father,

c.1882–1965, African-American religious leader, founder of the Peace Mission movement, b. probably near Savannah, Ga. and named George Baker. After preaching in the South, he moved to Harlem (1915) in New York City, became one of the neighborhood's biggest landlords, acquired wealth through other businesses, including restaurants and grocery stores, and began styling himself Major M. J. Divine, later Father Divine. Although once dismissed as a cult leader, he built the largest religious movement in northern ghettos during the Great Depression. His role as an early civil-rights activist—he led antilynching campaigns, instituted economic cooperatives, and organized political action against racial discrimination—has come to be more appreciated. The movement spread beyond New York City to other places in the United States and abroad, sometimes after the group sent whites to purchase property in segregated areas. During the 1940s, his health and influence declined, but his movement symbolized the progressive spirit in the black church and helped define the church's active role in the civil-rights movement.

Bibliography

See S. Harris, Father Divine (rev. ed. 1971); K. E. Burnham, God Comes to America (1979); R. Weisbrot, Father Divine (1984); J. Watts, God, Harlem U.S.A. (1992).

Divine, Father

See Baker, George.

Father Divine

See Baker, George.
References in periodicals archive ?
THIS time last year George Baker was ruing the one that got away as Cotai Glory dumped him on the turf in the Flying Childers at Doncaster.
Cotai Glory, ridden by George Baker, on the way to victory <Bin the J20 Spritz Scarbrough Stakes at Doncaster
QUEST FOR MORE was an authoritative winner of the John Smith's Northumberland Plate at Newcastle yesterday for Roger Charlton and George Baker.
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Ruth Rendell, who suffered a stroke in January, wrote more than 60 best-sellers, including the Inspector Wexford novels, which were turned into a TV series starring George Baker in the title role.
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PREMIO LOCO has been retired after a half-century of runs spanning eight years, but the ten-year-old is to be retrained as a dressage horse by jockey George Baker, who rode him on all but six of his starts.
com)-- The project, which is named after the Spanish word for “treasure,” has been processed over the last several years through George Baker, President of DEVCO Builders, LLC.
Over the last several years, George Baker, President of DEVCO Builders LLC, has processed the Tesoro project subdivision entitlement.
DESIGNS: Trust secretary Moz Baker and (right) George Baker
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OUTSIDER Premio Loco lifted Goodwood's Celebration Mile as George Baker ditched his usual front-runner tactics.