Our founder, Bishop Hiram O’Neal, III, was born on February 2, 1920 in Atlanta, Georgia. Bishop O’Neal and his wife Evangelist Pauline Ealy O’Neal attended a healing service of Dr. Richard Drummond of Progressive Spiritualist Church, (which was located at our current address 18 Jackson St. NE Atlanta, Georgia). He and his wife received their spiritual training under the leadership of Dr. Richard Drummond.
At the age of 24, God gave Bishop O’Neal the vision to organize National Divine Spiritual Association. With the aid of a white attorney and others National Divine Spiritual Association was organized and charted under the Secretary of State of Georgia as an non-profit incorporation. After organizing the Church, Bishop O’Neal and spiritual colleagues (former classmates of Progressive Spiritualist Church) conducted their first gathering in the home of Mother Mary Motes located on Irene Street. Those in attendance where Evangelist Pauline Ealy O’Neal, Evangelist Rosia Adams, Evangelist Bervinia King Billingsley, Evangelist Levell Cardwell, Evangelist Charlossa Chandler, Evangelist Oliver M. McNair, Evangelist Josie M. Moore, Evangelist Katty Stovall, and Elder Frank McDowell. Later within the year, Bishop O’Neal and congregation marched into their new worship space located at 215 Harris Street, Atlanta, Georgia. In April of 1955, the church relocated to 18 Jackson Street, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia due to the Atlanta Urban Renewal Project.
The founding ministers designed National Divine Spiritual to be an spiritual educational training center as well as a place of worship. The association every Tuesday evening offered courses on Spiritual Development, which a is promotes the enhancement of the spiritual gifts. In return, the students edified the church with their spiritual gifts by serving their fellowman. During the time of segregation and oppression due to white supremacy, National Divine afford minorities religious opportunities. This was made possible by the spiritual practices of Spiritualism and the Christian worship experiences.
The association expanded to have churches in Macon, Columbus, and Athens Georgia, as one church in Virginia. National Divine annually produced a play on Good Friday “Just to Behold His Face”. The association also created a international traveling ministry during the 1960’s-1979 where they traveled to broaden their minds and to seek to support other Spiritual churches and schools especially in South America, Cuba, the Bahamas, and the West Indies.
In recognition of Bishop O’Neal’s outstanding religious and civic leadership, Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson proclaimed December 10, 1978 as “Hiram O’Neal Day”. On June 14, 1980 Bishop Hiram O’Neal made his transition and his wife (Evangelist Pauline Ealy O’Neal) succeeded him as took the responsibility as pastor and directress until her spiritual transition on November 14, 1986.
On December 1, 1986 Reverend Bobby L. Graham, Sr. (assisted Pastor of Reverend Pauline O’Neal), was elevated to serve as pastor. Reverend Bobby L. Graham, Sr. served as our leader for 24 years. Under his leadership several advancements were done.
On February 6, 2011Reverend Bobby Lee Graham, Jr. was installed as pastor and director as foreseen by his grandmother (Evangelist Pauline O’Neal) and support by his parents; the spiritual succession plan. He has the spirit of God within him, and continues to preserve our spiritual legacy with integrity.
To God be the Glory! “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18