Purpose Statement: Unity of Midtown believes each person is a spiritual being and a divine expression of God. We practice daily affirmative prayer and meditation. We also believe that a prosperous life is the result of the power of positive thoughts, words, and actions.
In the beginning, there was a thought, then a visualization and then the manifestation of what is the Unity Temple of Truth Church. It started with the little Unity Study Group in various homes during the 1940s, lead by Mamie Hughes, then to the Jordan Park Unity Study Group of the 1950s meeting in the Jordan Park Community Center, now lead by Mamie Hughes and Rev. Louise Beaty, to the Unity Temple of Truth Church, lead by Catherine Brooks to the Unity Temple of Truth Church of today.
We have never shut our doors as we have continued to teach the Truth Principles as demonstrated by our Wayshower, Jesus the Christ. We began in November of 1957, as an organized church of the Association of Unity Churches, and we recognize and acknowledge the thoughts, vision, perseverance and faith so many years ago by the many before who achieved the manifestation of what we have today. Today, we are strong and GROWing.
Core Study Group – Mamie Hughes, Catherine & James Brooks, Aggie Graham, Ruby Logan, Octavia Peck, Jessie White, Spencer Albury Sommers, Vivian Lockhart, Lillian Neal, Maxine Prior, Amanda Howard, Eloise Barrett, Christine Brinson, Minnie Hughes Johnson, Mabel Reese, Charlie Mae Bynum, Gloria & Julia Lattimore and Mabel Wood. Class Leaders: Mamie Hughes, Jessie White, Catherine Brooks, Vivian Lockhart and Rev. Louise Beaty. Mamie Hughes, after hearing Rev. Louise Beaty’s Unity radio broadcasts, contacted Rev. Beaty and asked her to come and teach the Unity Principles to the Unity Study Class. The Unity Study Class moves to Jordan Park Community Center and becomes the Jordan Park Unity Class
Mamie Hughes and Louise Beaty have the Study Group registered with the Unity Association. The Brooks, Catherine and James, renovate their garage to hold Sunday School for the children. Catherine Brooks in her green & white station wagon begins picking up all the children in the neighborhood that her station wagon could carry, and bring them to Sunday School in their converted garage at 1250 Fargo Street South in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Mamie Hughes always placed ads in the St. Petersburg Times with the schedule of meetings, services, classes and guest speakers along with the locations. In March 1956, Mamie Hughes’ health is failing and she turns the group over to Catherine Brooks and becomes inactive. Catherine is now the leader of the group. On July 6, 1956, Mamie Hughes made her transition. Mrs. Hughes left a parcel of land for the sole purpose of building a church.
Catherine Brooks ministers to the Study Group and soon begins her formal training at Unity Village to become ordained as a Unity Minister. Since she is only able to attend classes during the summers for six weeks each year, Catherine and her husband, James, pack and move there and back until she has completed the required studies. In early 1957, Catherine Brooks launched a building campaign. James Brooks, along with help, from time to time, from the ladies from the study group, his wife Catherine, Vivian Lockhart, Leila Jackson and others, he commenced building the Church.
November 10, 1957 Unity Temple of Truth Church is officially registered and recognized as member of the Association of Unity Churches with Catherine Brooks as the leader. Construction of Unity Temple of Truth is completed at 511 Prescott Street South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33712 and is the first African-American Unity Church built by African-Americans. Sunday, January 12, 1958 at 8:00 pm Unity Temple of Truth Church has its official dedication service. Rev. Donald O’Conner, an ordained Unity minister is the main speaker.
Catherine Brooks completes her required training and is one of three African-American students ordained as a Unity Minister, Rev. Catherine Graham Brooks. Even though Rev. Brooks had ministered to the Unity Temple of Truth congregation since 1956, she was the first ordained minister of the church and actively continued in that position for the next 30 years.
This decade saw an expansion of church by the addition of the Catherine & James Brooks Fellowship Hall, which now houses the Sunday School formerly held in the Brooks’ garage as well as space for other activities. On December 5, 1979, Rev. Louise Coffey Beaty made her transition at the age of 91. Rev. Catherine Brooks was one of three ministers who officiated at the services for Rev. Beaty. On December 23, 1990, after a total of 41 years of service, Rev. Catherine Graham Brooks made her transition at the age of 77