On the Shoulders of Greatness: Black History in Unity

On the Shoulders of Greatness: Black History in Unity

African-Americans played a vital role in the development of the spiritual movement at Unity. In honoring Black History Month, we dive into Unity history and the impact that black leaders—past and current—have made to the growth of Unity.

Unity recognizes how these leaders have played a key role in our understanding of what “unity” means, and how together we affirm today and always a path of inclusion for all.

Take a look at our 2019 Black History Month series on our Facebook page.

“Spirit gave me the vision of doing this work. Also vision of a temple and a home. I immediately started to do something about it.”
—Rev. Helen Mouton

Read More About Black History and Pioneering Leaders Within Unity

Unity Urban Ministerial School: Built on a Dream and Commitment

By Rev. Sandra Campbell

Since its inception in 1980 by founder Rev. Ruth Mosley, the Unity Urban Ministerial School has graduated hundreds of licensed ministers and teachers, shaping the Unity movement and bringing the Unity messages to a more diverse and inclusive audience.

The House That Ruth Built: Rev. Ruth M. Mosley and the Unity Urban School

By Rev. Sandra Campbell

Unity minister Rev. Ruth Mosley founded the Unity Urban Ministerial School in 1979 and was elected President of the Board of the Association of Unity Churches in 1982. She founded West Side Unity in Detroit in 1964 and was ordained in 1966.

From a Path With Heart …

By Rev. Jackie Hawkins

Unity Minister Sallye Taylor founded Unity of the Inner City in Kansas City, the Soul Food Unity Ministry, and wrote from a path with heart in her newsletter “Good News From Soul Food Ministry.” For her inner city work, Rev. Sallye Coe Taylor was recognized as one of the 50 most influential black women in Kansas City.

Catherine Brooks, a Pioneering Spirit

By Rev. Jackie Hawkins

Unity minister and community leader Rev. Catherine Brooks founded Unity Temple of Truth in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1957 with her husband James. She was a pioneer of the Unity movement, helping thousands of blacks to be sustained by Unity principles …

It Works if You Work It: The Legacy of Rev. Johnnie Colemon

By Rev. Charline Manuel

Black Unity minister Rev. Johnnie Colemon was a pioneer in the Unity movement, the first African-American student to be allowed to live on Unity grounds. Her message “It Works if You Work It” and her actions demonstrated that exclusion is shortsighted, and something that Unity or New Thought dare not support …

Archive Letter Sheds Light on Social Change Within Unity

By Rev. Eric Page

As a spiritual movement, Unity has evolved over time in its race consciousness. In the 2013 issue of Unity Magazine®, former Unity archivist Rev. Eric Page wrote about the early history of Unity with self-segregation and its impact on its spiritual communities.

Do you have an untold story, memory, or anecdote about the diverse history of Unity?
We want to hear it! Please submit it here.


With gratitude to Rev. Sandra Campbell, Rev. Dinah Chapman, Rev. Jacquie Fernandez, Rev. Jackie Hawkins, and Rev. Charline E. Manuel who developed this series.