Mother Divine, leader of religious sect, has died

ABC-6 Action News, Pennsylvania/March 7, 2017

Mother Divine, the leader of a religious sect based in the Main Line suburbs of Philadelphia, has died.

Her legal name was Sweet Angel Divine, and she had guided the International Peace Mission, after her husband, Father Divine died in 1965.

At one point, more than a million members worldwide worshiped Father Divine as God. The movement promoted racial equality, celibacy and devotion to the Kingdom of Heaven.

In 2009, Action News reporter Sarah Bloomquist investigated a power struggle within the religious organization, as Father Divine's son tried to take over its leadership.

Father Divine was the also founder of the Divine Lorraine and the Divine Tracy Hotels in Philadelphia. They were the first racial integrated hotels in the city.

Mother Divine moved from Vancouver to Philadelphia at the age of 21 to join Father Divine's mission. The two married in 1946.

Mother Divine died Saturday, March 4th at the age of 92, at her home in Gladwyne, Pa. She lived in the sprawling mansion known as the Woodmont estate.

A viewing is scheduled at Woodmont on Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m.

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