Nona L. Brooks
|Nona Lovell Brooks|
Nona Brooks in an undated photo.
|Born||22 March [O.S. 22 March] 1861
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
|Died||14 March 1945
|Known for||Co-founder of the Divine Science|
|Part of a series of articles on|
Nona Lovell Brooks (March 22, 1861 – March 14, 1945), described as a "prophet of modern mystical Christianity", was a leader in the New Thought movement and a founder of the Church of Divine Science.
Brooks was born on March 22, 1861 in Louisville, Kentucky, the youngest daughter of Chauncey and Lavinia Brooks. At a fairly early age, her family moved just outside Charleston, West Virginia, where Brooks graduated from the Charleston Female Academy. Due to the collapse of her father's salt mining business, the family moved again, this time to Pueblo, Colorado where he entered the metal mining business. He died shortly after the move, when Brooks was 19.
In 1890, with the aim of becoming a teacher, Brooks enrolled at Pueblo Normal School, which was followed by a one-year stay at Wellesley College.
In 1887, encouraged by her sister, Althea Brooks Small, Nona Brooks attended classes taught by Kate Bingham, proponent of the New Thought philosophy. While attending these classes, Brooks "found herself healed of a persistent throat infection" and shortly thereafter Brooks and Small began to heal others.
In December 1898, Brooks was ordained by Malinda Cramer as a minister in the Church of Divine Science and founded the Denver Divine Science College. Shortly thereafter, she inaugurated the Divine Science Church of Denver, holding its initial service on January 1, 1899 at the Plymouth Hotel in Denver, in the process becoming the first woman pastor in Denver.
After World War I Brooks succeeded her sister Fannie James as head of the college and in 1922 Brooks aligned the growing Church of Divine Science with the International New Thought Alliance. In the early 1930s she moved to Australia, where she established several Divine Science organizations, returning to Chicago in 1935 and then back to Denver in 1938.
Nona L. Brooks died March 14, 1945 in Denver, Colorado.
Nona was described by many who knew her as warm, gentle, and "motherly", but with "a strength that came from conviction".
Brooks was the author of:
- Mysteries (1924)
- The Prayer that Never Fails
- Short Lessons in Divine Science
- What is Real and What Illusion?
- The Training of Children: Based upon the Practical Principles of Life
- Studies of Health
- The Kingdom of Law.
Several of her sermons were collected in Into the Light of Healing.
- Shepherd, p. 105.
- Deane, p. 5.
- Religious Leaders of America.
- Religious Leaders of America. See also Deane who says that "sometime during that class Nona was healed", p. 51. See also Satter, who says that "Brooks saw the room fill with light . . . from that moment on, Brooks was healed".
- Religious Leaders of America states simply that "Both she and Small found that they could heal others". Deane (p. 72 and others) also describes several instances of apparent faith-healing. Satter describes Brooks as "'treating' the sick and unhappy", p. 101.
- Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. First Divine Science Church of Denver.
- Satter, p. 101.
- Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology.
- Colorado Prison Association.
- Chicago Tribune, Saturday, September 28, 1935, which stated that "Dr. Nona Brooks Announces a series of meetings . . . Sunday, September 29 . . . Subject: 'OUR RIGHT TO POWER', Wednesday . . . Subject: 'Masterful Living'. Under the auspices of the Divine Science College, Denver."
- Shepherd, p. 109.
- Colorado Prison Association (1908) Biennial Report.
- Deane, Hazel (2006) Powerful is the Light, Kessinger Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4286-0920-4.
- First Divine Science Church of Denver, "Centennial", accessed May 2008.
- Gale Publishing Group, "Nona Lovell Brooks" in Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, 5th ed. Gale Group, 2001. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008., accessed May 2008
- Gale Publishing Group, "Nona Lovell Brooks" in Religious Leaders of America, 2nd ed. Gale Group, 1999. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008., accessed May 2008.
- Satter, Beryl (2001) Each Mind a Kingdom: American Women, Sexual Purity, and the New Thought Movement, 1875-1920, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0-520-22927-3.