The Unity spiritual movement began in the late 1800s based on prayer and the power of mind over body.
Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, a Kansas City, Missouri, couple with three young boys, had suffered lifelong physical ailments and constantly sought healing. They heard a lecture by a metaphysician named E.B. Weeks, and Myrtle came away with a startling new idea: “I am a child of God, and therefore I do not inherit sickness.”
In two years of prayer and meditation, she healed her body of tuberculosis. Charles also began to investigate spiritual principles and healed a leg that had been damaged in a childhood ice skating accident.
The Fillmores were devotees of Ralph Waldo Emerson and studied with the leading teachers of the day, including Mary Baker Eddy and Emma Curtis Hopkins. To share the exciting spiritual teachings they had learned, the Fillmores didn’t start a church but began to publish a magazine.
The first issue of Modern Thought came out in 1889 and is now called Unity Magazine®. The next year, in 1890, Charles and Myrtle formed a prayer group that is now Silent Unity, a 24/7 prayer ministry that responds to 2 million people a year through letters, telephone, and email.
Book publishing began with Lessons in Truth, still a Unity classic, and Unity Books is still active. A second magazine was initiated in 1924, Daily Word, which now circulates around the globe.
Classes taught by the Fillmores grew into a seminary, Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute, with about 600 churches and study groups worldwide.
The farm they initially established to grow produce for their vegetarian restaurant in downtown Kansas City is now Unity Village, Missouri, a 1,200-acre incorporated town and the world headquarters for the enduring Unity movement.
In the late 1880s, Unity’s co-founder Myrtle Fillmore’s life was transformed when she heard and believed the idea, “I am a child of God, and therefore I do not inherit sickness.” Speaking life-affirming words to her tuberculosis-ravaged body, she went on to live a life of health and wholeness.
News of Myrtle’s prayer experience spread, and people near and far began sending their prayer requests to her. In 1890 Myrtle and her husband Charles began a prayer ministry. Daily they held in mind and heart the prayer requests of everyone who contacted them. That was more than 120 years ago—the beginning of Silent Unity.
In 1907, Charles Fillmore, Myrtle’s husband and co-founder of Unity, added new telephone technology to the prayer work of Silent Unity. He knew that this would enable even more people to receive the prayer support they desired. Silent Unity now prays individually with callers from around the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Silent Unity is often referred to as the heart of the Unity movement, and for many people, it is a heart that beats in rhythm with our world. Personal journeys and human history have been enveloped in prayer for more than a century, including world wars, natural disasters and social upheavals.
As director of Silent Unity for many years, James Dillet Freeman spoke and wrote of the purpose of Silent Unity as helping people rekindle their faith. This sacred work and purpose continue today. Centered in God and united in prayer, Silent Unity uplifts minds and hearts to give people whatever faith, courage and strength they seek.
Every prayer begins by affirming the truth of God’s perfect life and love at work now and for the highest good of all.