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The History of Unity


Charles & Myrtle Fillmore

Unity was founded in the early 1890s by Myrtle and Charles Fillmore, not to be a separate church or religious denomination, but as a spiritual movement within religions, dedicated to helping people of all faiths apply positive spiritual principles to better their lives.

Myrtle had experienced poor health for most of her younger life.  In 1886, “Myrtle Fillmore, who had come from a family with a history of tuberculosis, then called consumption, fell a victim of that frequently fatal malady.  The future looked dark indeed.” ~ Charles Braden, Spirits in Rebellion, The Rise and Development of New Thought

A friend suggested to the Fillmores that they attend a lecture by Dr. E.B. Weeks, who studied metaphysics in Chicago under Emma Curtis Hopkins.  

“They were willing to try anything.  So they went to one of Dr. Week’s lectures.  Charles Fillmore was not impressed, but to Myrtle Fillmore it was the great turning point of her life.  As she later told it, one sentence of the lecturer came to her as a true revelation.  It was this: “I am a child of God, and therefore I do not inherit sickness.”  She went home repeating it, and her whole outlook toward herself and toward life underwent a change.  It was the beginning of her healing, and really, the beginning of Unity, for had she not been healed it is quite unlikely that Unity would ever have appeared.”

“Her husband, ‘a hard headed business man,’ was at first skeptical.  But the patent evidence of his wife’s own healing and those of some of his neighbors set him to reading and studying diligently.  He and his wife studied with Joseph Adams, who came also from Chicago, and they later went to Chicago and studied with Emma Curtis Hopkins herself.  Gradually, Charles Fillmore became convinced of the truth that these people were trying to express, and once he was committed to it, it became necessary for him to do something about it.”   ~ Charles Braden, Spirits in Rebellion, The Rise and Development of New Thought

Charles and Myrtle began writing about their ideas and beliefs and in 1889 began publishing their magazine, Modern Thought, which later became Unity Magazine, an international monthly magazine devoted to spiritual ideas.  This was the beginning of the Unity Movement.  


In 1890, Myrtle created a new department of the magazine, called “Society of Silent Help”, which offered prayer treatment support in absentia, as she had come to believe that “bodily presence is not necessary to those in spiritual harmony.” 

Myrtle Fillmore.jfif

This small group of friends and neighbours offering prayer at 10:00 every evening grew, and eventually became Silent Unity, the prayer wing of Unity Worldwide Ministries, which continues to offer prayer worldwide to any who request it.  

In 1903, The Unity Society of Practical Christianity became the first Unity Church; and as the publishing business grew, The Unity School of Christianity was formed to handle the Fillmores’ publishing and educational work.


The first issue of Daily Word was published in July1924 and has been continuously published ever since. 

Charles and Myrtle Fillmore taught, wrote articles and books, and led a movement dedicated to the Spirit of Truth.  In their example, many  teachers and ministers have continued the work of bringing the teachings of Truth into the world.

Charles and Myrtle.jfif

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