Nona L. Brooks

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Nona Lovell Brooks
Nona L. Brooks - 1914.jpg
Nona L. Brooks, Representative Women of Colorado, 1914
Born(1861-03-22)March 22, 1861
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
DiedMarch 14, 1945(1945-03-14) (aged 83)
OccupationMinister, author
Known forCo-founder of the Church of Divine Science

Nona Lovell Brooks (March 22, 1861 – March 14, 1945), described as a "prophet of modern mystical Christianity",[1] 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.[2] At a fairly early age, her family moved just outside Charleston, West Virginia,[3] 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.[3]

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"[4] and shortly thereafter Brooks and Small began to heal others.[5]

Divine Science[edit]

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,[3] holding its initial service on January 1, 1899 at the Plymouth Hotel in Denver,[6] in the process becoming the first woman pastor in Denver.[7]

In 1902, Brooks founded Fulfillment, a Divine Science periodical. During this period, she also served on several Denver civic boards,[8] including the Colorado State Prison Board.[9]

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.[3] In the early 1930s she moved to Australia, where she established several Divine Science organizations, returning to Chicago in 1935[10] and then back to Denver in 1938.

Fairmount Cemetery, Nona L. Brooks

Nona L. Brooks died March 14, 1945 in Denver, Colorado, and is buried at Fairmount Cemetery (Denver, Colorado) with her family.[3]

Nona was described by many who knew her as warm, gentle, and "motherly", but with "a strength that came from conviction".[11]


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.


  1. ^ Shepherd, p. 105.
  2. ^ Deane, p. 5.
  3. ^ a b c d e Religious Leaders of America.
  4. ^ 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".
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. First Divine Science Church of Denver Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Satter, p. 101.
  8. ^ Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology.
  9. ^ Colorado Prison Association.
  10. ^ 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."
  11. ^ Shepherd, p. 109.

Further reading[edit]

  • 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.
  • "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
  • "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.