Leafy Anderson

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Mother Leafy Anderson (1887–1927) was born in Wisconsin in the 19th century.[1] She was a Spiritualist, and her mediumship included contact with the spirit of the Native American war chief Black Hawk, who had lived in Illinois and Wisconsin, Anderson's home state.[1][2]

Anderson was the founder of the Spiritual Church Movement in New Orleans, Louisiana in the 1920s, a loose confederation of churches largely based in the African American community.[1][2] The church she founded in New Orleans featured traditional "Spirit Guides" in worship services, with a mixture of Protestant and Catholic Christian iconography,[2] as well as special services and hymns that honored the spirit of the Sauk leader Black Hawk.[1]

After Anderson's death, her successor, Mother Catherine Seals, then led the church, The Temple of the Innocent Blood, until her death, at which point it fractured,[1] giving rise to a multiplicity of Spiritualist denominations in New Orleans and elsewhere.

These denominations, along with a number of similar but independent Spiritualist churches across America, are known today as the "Spiritual Church Movement."[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Jason Berry (1995). The Spirit of Blackhawk: a Mystery of Africans and Indians. University Press of Mississippi.
  2. ^ a b c d Jacobs, Claude F.; Kaslow, Andrew J. (1991). The Spiritual Churches of New Orleans Origins, Beliefs, and Rituals of an African-American Religion. The University of Tennessee Press. ISBN 1-57233-148-8.