29UNITYMAGAZINE.ORG JULY/AUGUST 2017
When I was a young boy, my mother (a youth leader in our Unity church) told me an intriguing story about Unity cofounder
Charles Fillmore. Fillmore was born on what later
became a Chippewa reservation near St. Cloud,
Minnesota, and was raised among the Ojibwe nation.
His father was a trader with the Chippewa.
According to the account my mother told, the elders
of the tribe recognized young Charles as having been
marked by the Great Spirit to do divinely preordained
work. They believed that he needed to be prepared
spiritually with ceremonies. For this purpose, Fillmore
was “kidnapped” by members of the tribe at the age of 2
and taken through the appropriate rituals. He was then
returned to his family that evening in perfect condition.
This so traumatized his mother that she would never
speak of it, except to confirm that it happened. However,
Fillmore somehow knew that it was for a good purpose
and had never felt in danger.
This story was confirmed many years later by a
member of my Unity church who grew up on the Ojibwe
reservation and had heard stories of that young boy.
Only when I shared this story in a service did he realize
the young boy was actually Charles Fillmore!
A Unity minister on a long-ago summer
journey follows a trail of synchronistic
connections linking Unity with the
indigenous culture of this land.
By Rev. Gregory Barrette