Unity: A History of Dedicated Service to Others
Unity as always made a pointed effort to remember friends, family, and leaders who served in ways that left a meaningful impact on the lives of others.
In “A Grandson’s Reflections: An Interview With Charles R. Fillmore,” the first grandchild of Unity cofounder Charles Fillmore describes the elder Fillmore as “very outgoing, generous, and patient.” Just before entering the U.S. Navy in World War II, his grandfather gave him a watch, making a memory to last a lifetime.
Writer and minister Ernest C. Wilson remembered Fillmore in “Charles Fillmore—As I Knew Him,” published in January 1979. He wrote of the prominent things about Fillmore, such as his “significant counsel” as well as the “little things,” like his love for sitting near a fireplace. Wilson, ordained a minister in 1916 and author of 17 books, served at Unity centers in Los Angeles, California, and Kansas City, Missouri.
In Torch-Bearer to Light the Way: The Life of Myrtle Fillmore, Unity historian Neal Vahle wrote about the positive impact Unity cofounder Myrtle Fillmore had on people’s lives.
She was still writing Silent Unity letters on October 5, 1931, the day before her transition. Her last letter was to Mrs. Angie Jackson, writing: “… the Power that brought you into the world is always with you to guide, strengthen, and prosper you.
Dr. George Leroy Dale, a Unity teacher and Charles Fillmore’s business manager in the early years of the Unity movement, was remembered by inspirational author Catherine Ponder in a 2008 issue of New Thought. She recalled meeting him for the first time in the 1950s when he checked her in at the Registration Office at Unity Village (then called Unity Farm).
“New avenues of good are opening for you, and as you are diligent in prayer, and are receptive to the leading of your indwelling Lord, you will be guided to these avenues,” she wrote.
She described Dale as a health care professional trained as a doctor of chiropractic, and a vegetarian who focused his efforts in healthy exercise, and vitamin and mineral supplements. His well-attended prosperity class at Unity School was called “Dr. Dale’s Exercise Class,” but she said it was more than physical exercise. He incorporated spoken affirmations and music accompaniment. His 1956 book, Special Methods for Attaining Spiritual Mastery, included much of what he used in his exercise classes.
In a December 1979 article in Unity, Wilson remembered Unity minister and author Georgiana Tree West as being the only Unity minister to have a photo and article about her in Time magazine. West, founder of the Unity Center of Practical Christianity in New York City, began holding services at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in 1938, where her ministry soon began to thrive. Wilson said he first met West in 1925 and quickly grew to appreciate her special insights, calling her among the “Great Women of Unity.”
Internationally known poet James Dillet Freeman, who first joined Unity in 1929 at the invitation of Myrtle Fillmore, wrote about “many women who impacted his own contribution to the Unity movement” in his “Life Is a Wonder” column that ran in Unity Magazine.
He spoke of Jennie H. Croft, who wrote, taught, interpreted the Bible, and organized the Unity ministry of prayer; Imelda Octavia Shanklin, who headed the editorial department at Unity; and Annie Rix Militz, who cofounded the Homes of Truth, which taught new religion in cities and towns throughout the U.S. and Canada.
And, in Unity Weekly December 1934, Unity leaders offered to readers the importance of remembrance, with their interpretation of 1 Corinthians 11:23-24, prompting one reader to ask: “Why did Jesus ask His disciples to take food and drink in remembrance of Him?” They replied: “Everything that is done for the sake of attaining the Christ Consciousness in an outer as well as an inner sense, is ‘in remembrance’ of Him, the perfect expression of the Christ Idea.”